Titanic Struggle Recap

Do your job

Final R H E
 Cincinnati Reds  (15-18)
3 4 0
 Boston Red Sox  (17-17)
4 10 0
 W:  Breslow (2-0)     L: Hoover (1-4)
 Box Score  |   Play-by-Play    |    Photos    |    Depth Chart    |    FanGraphs Win Probability

Positives

Skip Schumaker drilled Jake Peavy’s first pitch to him in the third inning into the Reds’ bullpen. The homer drove in Chris Heisey, who was on third base after doubling. Good thing the Reds had Zack Cozart bunt Heisey from second to third. Otherwise there might have been another runner on base when Schumaker homered.

Mike Leake held the Red Sox to two runs over seven innings. He struck out four. Leake gave up eight hits and two walks. In the seventh, after giving up a lead-off walk, he buckled down and struck out Dustin Pedroia (for the third time tonight) and got Victorino to fly out. Another outstanding start from Leake against a tough lineup.

Chris Heisey made two exceptional defensive plays in LF. In the seventh, he prevented the tying run from scoring when Shane Victorino drove a ball into left center. Heisey caught it on a dead sprint.

Sean Marshall struck out the two batters he faced in the eighth inning.

Bronson Arroyo helped the Diamondbacks beat the Milwaukee Brewers today. That’s two starts in a row for Arroyo giving up no earned runs over seven innings.

Negatives

After striking out David Ortiz, Manny Parra was left in to face Mike Napoli, who he walked. Bryan Price then got the match-up he wanted as J.J. Hoover came to face Johnny Gomes. Hoover was awful, giving up two runs. He failed to do his basic job, which was to throw strikes and challenge hitters. While Hoover did himself no favors, he did seem to be the only pitcher all night who didn’t benefit from an expansive strike zone called by umpire Brian Gorman.

The Reds only had a one run lead going into the bottom of the eighth because they didn’t hit much tonight. They were held to four hits. Joey Votto was 1 for 10 this series. A big part of their offensive woes come from their lack of a bench and having to start hitters like Neftali Soto and Roger Bernadina.

Not so random thoughts

The last time, we won the game the day after.

It feels like the Reds are playing with one arm tied behind their collective back, given the horrendous condition of their roster. But that’s not fundamentally changing much any time soon.

General manager Walt Jocketty has been loud and clear, the players on the roster now have to stand up and do their jobs. I’m for that. I’m also for the general manager doing his job. With the condition of the Reds bench being what it was this series, if I’d have been Jocketty, I’d have kept my mouth shut and spent that finger-wagging time working on answers.

The Reds are reaping the consequences of the terrible off-season by the front office. It was said by many at the start of the year, the Reds roster was tissue-paper thin. The injuries they’ve sustained have exposed that. Yesterday, the general manager said that if Billy Hamilton had to go on the DL, he didn’t know who they would call up to replace him. Just think about that for a second. Or maybe it would be better if you didn’t think about it.

157 thoughts on “Do your job

  1. I think it’s pretty clear when the front office went for Price, that they conceded the season. It’s on-the-job training, and Bob & Walt aren’t going to spend $$$ for players that Price can fiddle with while he figures out how to be a manager in Major League Baseball. And I please keep including Bronson Arroyo in the recaps. I love it!

    • What? The Reds have the highest payroll in the division. They most certainly are paying $$$ to players.

    • I don’t think they conceded the season. And I’m not ready to ascribe much blame for this mess (roster/playing time) to the manager. It’s way more on the general manager.

      The bullpen pitchers have to throw strikes.

      • Agree it’s more on the GM. Who does Price really have to work with? It’s Parra, Ondrusek, Hoover. Pick your poison any given night (until they all turn it around).

        • And NO, I don’t believe Sean Marshall is really healthy and ready to go. So scratch him off that list.

        • He is not ready to go? He just came in and struck out 2 hitters with bases-loaded in a 1 run game. I realize how he looked in the Cubs game a week ago but if you can use him in that situation tonight why cannot use him last night or 3 left-handed batters earlier. I just assumed he was not available, does he pitch the 13th or some other extra inning last night if Ondrusek gets out it in the 11th

        • I don’t think anybody, including Marshall, has much of a clue what he is going to bring to the table on any given night; and, how many days it may take for him to pitch effectively again after an outing. I have no idea if this would be directly due to lingering effects of the injury or just fall out from him trying to pitch himself into game condition under live fire.

  2. This is more than just a loss for me. It’s the night of confirmation that the Reds still don’t have a top notch manager. Up until this series it was okay for me to overlook what looked to be curious managerial decisions, continued poor base running, and occasional poor plate discipline . Can’t overlook it anymore. Injuries or no injuries, in my opinion the team lacks what it needs in a manager – and that cloud will be around for a long long time. Really hard to stomach.

    • It’s worked out pretty well for the Sox & John Farrell, but he didn’t get there in one season. Price may, or may not become a John Farrell, but the guy needs more than two months to figure it out. He also doesn’t have much to work with.

      • I didn’t want a price to be hired from day one and I am proven to be right. He looks clueless on the bench. Dusty hit this team to win, Prce funds ways to lose.

    • Curious managerial decisions? Poor base running? Poor plate discipline?

      Sounds like a severe case of the Dustys.

  3. What are the Reds now in one-run games, 5-11? That’s a sign of a bad/thin bullpen, no clutch hitting, and bad/rookie managing mistakes. They can only survive about three more weeks of that cr@p before it tanks the season for them.

  4. I live in Dallas I’m watching the rangers play the Rockies Stubbs is playing and Massett is pitching. Too bad they aren’t with the reds. Stubbs is better than Hamilton.

    • based on what? -dude struck out over 200 times a year while a Red – mostly from the Leadoff position

        • Based on he is off to a nice start,I am pretty sure most Billy supporters would take Stubbs obp any season sans 2012, Hamilton brings intangibles but Stubbs is more valuable at this point due to his speed, defense, power combo

    • Stubbs is also making more money and Marty’s head would explode having to watch him strike out.

        • I started listening to the away feed. You don’t realize how bad Marty has become until you listen to other booths.

        • Agreed. I know it’s been covered to death, but the opposing teams booths say more positive stuff about the Redlegs than the home team. And not in a, “we’re just throwing out niceties” sort of way… really digging into how talented they could be as a club.

        • You aren’t allowed to say things like that about Marty, cuz he’s a HOF’er. He’s beyond reproach.

  5. Aren’t there only, like, TWO rookie managers to ever lead their clubs to win a World Series? (maybe I’m wrong) Odds seem to be against Price, tough.

    • why ever hire a rookie manager, there are plenty of Dusty, Boones, and Narrons out there to lose the way Price is doing it

      • Why is this on Price? He put the players out there, they have talent…is he suppose to play thier positions also?

  6. When the Reds get the Cuban Missile back, Matt Latos back, Jay Bruce back, Devin Mesoraco back and Billy Hamilton back, and this team is clicking (and they will) the Reds will be a fun and competitive team to watch. The struggles in the early part of the season will be a distant memory. Go Reds!!!!!

    • Thanks, I am trying to be positive as rooting for a team all summer long can be fun if you have hope. I like to give Price credit for having this team virtually in every game all season, there has been few games where they looked beat all the way through and were just not a pitch or a hit from making it a game. The Saturday game against the Braves comes to mind and the 2 losses to the Cubs were lost in mid to late innings. I can almost rationalize Hoover that first Saturday game against the Mets in that you are establishing roles- might have been a different outcome if Votto takes the sure out; using Ondrusek against the Cards in the 6th- almost worked until Bruce drops a ball; and may have been limited in choices when he used Parra against McCutchen- cannot think of any other blown leads by the bullpen until tonight.
      But the use of supposedly injured players boggles my mind the past 2 nights, got to give a manager with an injury riddled roster at least 2 seasons.

      • The Reds weren’t the only team that were keen on Price as a potentially very good manager in the major league. From all reports if the Reds didn’t offer Price the job, there were several other teams that would have. I’m sure there are many successful managers that would look back on their first year or two of managing and cringe at some of the managerial decisions they made at the time. Several organizations thought Price had a lot of potential, as frustrating as it is watching Price grow into the job, its worth being patient if Price turns out to be as good a manager as many organizations judged he would be. We’re about seven weeks into the season (the way the team is playing, it seems a lot longer) if Price hasn’t showed signs of learning from his mistakes come September, than I would start to worry. Go Reds!

        • Exactly, you almost have to manage differently in Sept than you would in May, especially to avoid overworking guys

      • I’m talking about whether Price has the potential to be a good manager, improving his skills as a manager. If the Reds are 10 games out in mid June, but Price looks like he is becoming a competent manager come September, I’ll be an optimistic Reds fan.

        • Agreed. I’ll give Price this season to get his ML experience as a manager. I wouldn’t want to see a redo of the Tony Perez managerial saga. And right now, Price has a wounded team to work with. If this season goes down the drain, the blame will be on the GM for doing little to upgrade the offense in the offseason. That’s where change will have to be made.

    • Great post Sergeant2! I sure hope you’re right! Maybe our hearts will hold out until that happens, if it happens.
      I sure hope your Defibrillator has very strong batteries, we may all need to borrow it by then. Maybe the Reds pro shop should sell the defibrillator implants with a special on insertion from Kremchek.

    • Agree 100%, Sarge, With the way they’ve held their own despite the injuries, they will be scary good if they can ever get healthy!

  7. Mediocre organization = mediocre team – injuries have certainly taken their toll, but absolutely brutal management of bullpen , nightly questionable in-game strategy, woeful bench, all adds up to lackluster,frustrating ballclub

  8. Walt doesn’t know who he would call up for Hamilton because the minors are just like the Majors and everyone is hurt/unable to play. There is one healthy position player on the 40-man roster who is not in the big leagues right now.

    • Regardless, it seems like a cop-out. It’s like saying, “Well, we don’t have anyone, so we can’t be expected to win.”

      He should at least act like he has confidence in his organization. “Donald Lutz would be a good call-up.” Even if we know it’s not true, maybe Lutz would get a boost of confidence or something.

      I dunno.

    • So what happens if you actually have 16 DL’d players, tough luck, suck it up and do what the Reds do it this year?

    • Do the Reds go heavier on pitching on their 40 man than is the norm?

      I was looking over the Louisville roster on Monday evening ahead of the Bruce DL; and, with Barnhart already up, it looked to me like the only true position player prospect at AAA is LaMarre who is also the only 40 man position player at AAA. And it seemed to me to be similar last year.

      • I just don’t think they consider any of their position players at AAA prospects, so they don’t have to protect them. They’re just filler.

  9. I just don’t understand what Marshall was being saved for tonight. You bring n Hoover to face the righty. Regardless of that outcome there are two more lefties coming up behind Gomes, Marshall has to be warmed up and ready to go at that point. They brought him in when the game was essentially over. Price is a pitching coach, this is supposed to be his strength. If he can’t even manage the bullpen competently what hope do we really have? If the plan was to let Hoover pitch the remainder of the inning, which is apparently what the plan was I have to ask WTF? Hooer with an 8+ ERA is being asked to handle the highest leverage situation of the game on the road against the world champions?

    • I just posted a similar comment below. I concluded that Price doesn’t have confidence in Marshall, and that could not just be based on the one poor outing he had. He doesn’t believe Marshall is in good form. In that case Marshall should be pitching regularly at AAA to regain form.

      Given that Marshall is on the Reds’ staff, Price has to show some confidence in him, because the bullpen is too thin to have him around as a mop up guy.

    • when you have got 3 more seasoned pitchers in front of him, in a way I can see a reason not to use all 3. Sam through 32 pitches the night before, Marshall is hurt an unavailable but not worth putting on the DL for some unknown non-addressed reason (unless I missed something), and Broxton’s your closer. Hoover had 2 strong outings, but on the other hand he had pitched the night before also, Marshall obviously could go, and Broxton is your closer & was pretty fresh, used twice in the past week. Just would have preferred he stayed with a 91 PC Leake or at least Parra (despite Johnny Gomes) or took Hoover out to stay consistent with the match-ups especially knowing Marshall was available. Truly believe game is managed totally different in September

  10. This division is up for grabs-the Brewers are leveling off, the Cards are muddling around and they were supposed to be an improved team, and the Pirates are also not doing real well. It is May and the season is ending in October. If the Reds are all on DL they will not be in it, otherwise, this division will be up for grabs in September and I like the Reds chances. Sure this is tough to watch, but is not Jocketty doing nothing. Pena has been good, Schumaker, and Bernadina were good pick-ups. He is a little hamstrung by his budget and by the prospects he had to trade to put the Reds in the playoffs the last couple of years.

    A moment of caution in expecting Bruce coming back really ripping the ball. Knee surgery, even minor surgery, takes a while to recover from. A month from now Jay may be able to run at something close to full speed, but he may not have the push to drive the ball hard. Also, standing in one place for periods of time, can also be taxing.

  11. I’ll say it again: I don’t know specifically what the Teds front office could have do e this offseason, but as far as the draft goes they haven’t taken an IF in the first round since Yonder Alonso in 2008. Since then it’s been exclusively pitchers and OF prospects. Throw in the fact that we converted Hamilton to an OF and how can it be a surprise that we have zero organizational depth in the IF? We have drafted terribly in recent years, bolstering a pitching staff that doesn’t need bolstering while ignoring most of our offense except for prototypical Jay Bruce power hitting OFers. I’m fed up with Walt. He’s a relic. I’m not sure Price is any good answer, but this organization needs a shake up.

    • That’s extremely common though, and likely just a function of where they’ve drafted. The Reds have actually done extremely well in the recent drafts. We’ll be happy with the Reds focusing on pitching when they lose 2 of Leake, Cueto, and Latos to free agency.

      I don’t particularly care for WJ, but he has done a decent job drafting. We’re paying for the organization’s failure to value high OBP…that failure pre-dated WJ.

      • Pitching is fine, but where is the IF talent supposed to come from? At some point you have to look at the organizational needs and craft a drafting strategy to account to for it. It seems like our scouting philosophy is either “that dude throws fast” or “that dude hits hard” and that’s the end of it. Then we shore up our roster with the Santiagos and Izturis of the baseball world and wonder why Zack Cozart is far and away the best SS in the system by a mile even while hitting .230.

        • Don’t forget the Reds/WJ drafted Billy Hamilton in 2009 as a SS.

          There are also other avenues to fill needs. I think the MLB draft, more than any other professional sport, is about drafting value. The amount of time between the draft and the player reaching the majors is so long, and the players have such a large failure rate, although it seems like all the advanced metrics have made it less of a crapshoot (but that could just be bias on my part).

        • That’s called baseball scouting. Also, it’s much cheaper to sign a decent infielder than it is to sign a decent pitcher.

  12. The situations where Hoover has come in and not been able to throw a strike have been in New York, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and now Boston. (He did give up 2 HRs to the Pirates at home.) He’s pitched timidly in high-leverage situations on the road. After walking Gomes, which is not easy to do, and with Marshall available to pitch to Pierzynski, you’d expect even a manager who doesn’t like to match up with one hitter at a time to go with Marshall.

    Price obviously doesn’t have confidence in Marshall, and that could not just be based on the one poor outing he had. He does not believe that Marshall is in good form. In that case Marshall should be pitching on a regular basis at AAA, to strengthen his arm and regain form.

    • Amen, Why was he rushed through rehab; and, will they accept the cautionary signs about Chapman the last two days or force feed him too.

  13. Chapman has pitched so horribly in the two AAA outings that I don’t believe they’re going to call him up as planned for now. Chapman was also struggling in spring training. It’s hard to say how far he is from pitching well.

  14. What drives me crazy more so than the poor offseason, the lack of in season motivation to get help, the refusal to make 40 man roster moves to improve the bullpen, is…

    Why do they ALWAYS have to play with a 23 or less man roster? Is this Walt’s favorite pasttime? “Lets see how short of players our team can play!” It seems like it happens every year. Billy Hamilton can’t even grip a bat right now, let alone swing it. He hasn’t started since May 1st. If they put him on the DL, he’d already be done with 6 of his 15 days and the Reds could actually have someone on the roster who could help. Instead they keep pushing back both his DL date and his recovery time.

    What also kills me? Hamilton has been hurt for a week now. His finger is still bad enough he can’t hold onto a bat or even take practice swings… yet wait for it… HE HASN’T EVEN HAD AN MRI YET.

    WHY!? Even making the relatively small amount of $500k this year, you’d think if he has a swollen finger, you’d want him to get an MRI and get rested. Let alone if a week later it’s not better.

    • I’ll never understand why a team that pays it’s employees like $114m this year can be so freaking stingy with MRIs. Like how Votto didn’t get an MRI for his knee in 2012 for forever. Same with Bruce this year, despite his obvious complete loss of power.

      If you’re paying people millions and millions of dollars, why so cheap with a couple grand on an MRI to make sure there’s nothing worse going on? Look at how the NFL operates. A player comes hobbling off out of the game with a hurt knee. They go into the locker room and within minutes they have an MRI done. I’ve seen games where they had MRIs done during the game and the player came back out to play because it turned out negative.

      Meanwhile in Reds baseball, you can’t even get one after a week of not being able to even grip a bat.

    • Certainly makes you wonder what in the world this organization’s thought process is – no sense of urgency whatsoever – this type of rediculous stuff has been going on well before now > almost like they are just satisfied with status quo – well status quo AINT WORKIN’ !!!

    • I just made a lengthy post defending Jocketty and the front office, but I do agree 100% with this. I’m not sure if it’s true of other teams well, but the Reds seem to play short-handed way too much.

      I still believe Billy is in for a stint on the DL which means that they have totally mismanaged the situtation.

  15. I didn’t watch or listen tonight, I just now looked over the Box and Play by Play. 3 GIDPs for the Reds if I counted right (and it would be more not less if I counted wrongly). Actually that’s something of a miracle to score even 3 runs on 4 hits with that many DP’s yet they blew a gold plated chance to score another run in the 7th.

    I know they’ve been hit hard by injuries but still I think this team needs a sea change if it is to get things turned around. I don’t have any silver bullet to champion, just saying they need to find one and soon,

  16. It’s been frustrating watching Votto struggle. More of the same this series. Does anyone have any sabermetric insights that would give me hope that he might turn it around soon? I know his OBP isn’t awful, but I’m still waiting for home runs or doubles in bunches. Right now I’m disappointed. Thoughts?

    • His BABIP is down practically the same amount (.044) as his batting average (.041) compared to his career average. We should expect his triple slash to improve across the board as he regresses (upwards) to the mean. Another positive is that he’s currently striking out at a career lowest rate.

      The bad news is the post-knee injury lack of power is still ongoing. Probably going forward we just need to expect a .310/.430/.490 kind of Votto, which is still pretty magical.

      • The difference between a 30 HR pace Votto and a 20 HR pace Votto is about 6 inches in the Brewers series twice. If those two had gone just a couple inches more, we wouldn’t be worrying about Votto’s power right now.

        • This exactly. I think it’s very clear Votto has more power this year than he did in late 2012 and all of 2013.

        • We’ll see if more of those balls start flying out as the weather heats up. That’s usually the case.

          I have Votto pegged for 23HR this year. Let’s see if he gets there.

        • Two additional home runs only bumps Votto up to .500 slugging, which is still .037 lower than his career mark (and not too far my .490 suggestion, I might add)

  17. Reds need to consider a trade or try to see what the minors have in relief pitchers. Just like any workplace, if you don’t do your job, get somebody else in there that has a chance to do a good job. At least, they can’t do no worse.

    • This idea that a player from the minors can’t do worse than someone underperforming at the Majors is faulty. The difference between playing minor league ball, even at AAA and playing in the Majors is huge. Almost every one of the guys playing in the Majors right now was an exceptional minor league player. There is an excellent chance that a player in the minors can come up and do considerably worse than the guy in the Majors he’s replacing. The Reds already have Parch and Christiani up and had Bell up… It hasn’t been very pretty.

  18. I know I have a minority opinion on this, and I hate disagreeing with Steve because he knows more about baseball than I probably ever will, but it just seems to me that the Reds and Jocketty had pretty good off season.

    1. They fired their manager. This was a huge step.
    2. They hired a guy that I think most of us were very excited about.
    3. Hired an entirely new coaching staff.
    4. Acquired Brayan Pena. A move that was panned by many that has worked out wonderfully.
    5. Built some pitching depth. If Holmberg becomes a legit MLB starter then this goes from a good to an outstanding off season.
    6. Reached an agreement to bring in Grady Sizemore. Not sure that you can blame Jocketty for the fact that the guy is a scumbag whose word means nothing.
    7. They made an offer to Choo but refused to saddle the club with an albatross contract for a player that is, or soon will be, in the decline phase. As I’ve said before, sometimes doing nothing is better than doing something.

    Obviously, they didn’t get that young, high OBP right-handed bat with pop that would have been great in this line up. However, which MLB club did pick one of those up this off season? I’m not sure it’s fair to blame Jocketty for failing to get what wasn’t available on the market.

    Like it or not, Walt Jocketty has very little, if any, control over injuries. This club has been completely decimated – Latos, S. Marshall, B. Marshall, Hannahan, Mesoraco x 2, Bruce, Chapman, LeCure?, Broxton, Hamilton, and I’m sure I’m missing some guys. If you had laid out to me at the start of spring training the injuries this club has had, I would have been elated to be only six games back on 5/8.

    As Doug as rightly pointed out, it is a mischaracterization to say that Walt was admitting some sort of incompetence by saying that it wasn’t clear who the club would bring up to replace Hamilton on the 25 man roster if Hamilton was placed on the DL. What Walt was pretty clearly saying, if not in the most direct way, was that the farm system is as depleted by injury as the big club is. Again, I’m not sure it’s fair to lay that on Jocketty.

    I wish we were the Yankees and had more money than sense and could build a 40 man roster with great depth. I wish we had the deep pockets of the Angels to bring in high dollar free agents to boost the offense. The reality is that we are a small to mid market club that can afford nice things because of the current financial environment but that still has to be thrifty and thoughtful when spending. As long as this club remains in Cincy, it will never be a club that can sustain multiple major injuries and still be at the top of the division. I hope and believe that we will get healthy and make a run at the division, but we’re going to have to survive this rough patch to get there, and I do not believe that is the fault of Walt Jocketty.

    Thanks for letting me ramble and share a dissenting thought. Looking forward to the weekend series! Go Redlegs!

    • You make some fine points… However, please explain to me why St Louis doesn’t seem to have these roster problems, and they have fine organizational depth.

      • My guess is that if you surfed over to some Cardinal blogs this morning, they are not real happy with their roster or organizational depth this morning. I agree that they are better positioned than the Reds at the moment, but they are struggling as well.

      • St Louis has more depth because their organization is in a different place in the development cycle. They spent years going the free agent route while young talent waited it’s turn. Now, they are reaping the rewards. The Reds have depended heavily on the minors to stock the 25 man roster. Two or three years ago, the Reds farm system was rated 7th or 8th. Now, it’s 16th. Trades for Latos and Choo accelerated the decline.

        How is this Jocketty’s fault??

        • Well, in the case of Choo I think you could make an argument that trading prospects for a 1 year rental is usually not a good idea. He played very well for us, but we didn’t even make it to the post season and now he’s gone. I guess the frustration watching the Cardinals is that no matter where they are in the “development cycle” they always find a way to be an elite team. When their prospects need more time, they find a way to bring in productive free agents. When those free agents get too expensive (Pujols) they have guys ready to come up and contribute. There’s never a hole in the cycle. We seem to be at a place where we have no major league ready prospects and holes on the major league club that can’t be filled by FA’s either because of money or lack of talent available. Granted, that’s the problem with about 25 major league clubs any given year. It just never seems to be the problem with St. Louis. So what accounts for that?

        • How long has Walt been running this team? His 25th men have been Cairo, Izturis, Willie Harris, Ramon Santiago, etc. Cairo really has been the only one who has worked out for any extended time. None of these players are products of the Reds system.

          Walt is filling the last spots of the roster with substandard pieces, and he seems content to do this in CIncinnati. I don’t think he did this when he was in St. Louis.

    • Kyle, that was excellent. People, keep telling the Pitchfork and Torch Club to take a seat and simmer down. Bryan Price has done a tremendous job keeping this boat afloat even as it patches one hole only to see another open up with injuries that just seem to continue on a weekly basis. Jocketty continues to work with a farm system that has few healthy alternatives, the ones who are simply are not improvements to the people already on the 25 man roster, no matter how frustrated people are with Logan Ondrusek or JJ Hoover.

      Good grief.

      • Walt is not without blame for the farm system being paper thin. When was the last time we made any significant move to restock it with legitimate prospects? We’ve been shipping them out for the last 3 years and haven’t brought in anyone except Holmberg who looks like a bust. I get that it’s not easy to balance a team in Win Now mode with a healthy farm system, but there’s a reason GM’s get paid a lot of money. He’s supposed to be one of the best in the business. And, as I’ve said before, St. Louis seems to find a way to make it work year after year so there must be a better way.

        • The Reds restock their farm system through the draft. As Richard pointed out above, the Cards seem to make it work because they built up their whole system over a long time where now it seems to just churn out quality players year after year. The Reds lower levels are like that, it’s just the players are a good 2-3 years away from being ready.

          Patience. The Reds are getting there. I know everyone wants instant gratification, but there is no way to restock a farm system on the fly unless you completely blow up the big league club.

          You can’t have it both ways.

        • Again, I realize it is a difficult proposition, but you just seem to gloss over the fact that the Cardinals keep doing it regularly at the same time being competitive at the major league level year after year. So I don’t think it’s an unfair criticism of Jocketty that our farm system is so thin and its top prospect the last 2 years is a CF who can’t hit major league pitching.

        • Also, as for building through the draft, I said in a comment above that we seem to have seriously neglected drafting IF prospects over the past 6-8 years and the response was “That’s because it’s easy to find IF free agents.” Yeat we’re shocked year after year when we end up with Cesar Izturis’s and Ramon Santiago’s on our bench and no minor league IF talent anywhere. People keep knocking Soto, but he is far and away the top IF prospect in our system. And before that it was Zack Cozart. We seem to solely value defense when scouting IF’ers either for the draft or FA and we wonder why we haven’t had a SS that can hit since Barry Larkin.

        • The Cardinals rely heavily on the international signings, especially Latin American signings. At one point, several years ago, the Reds seemed to be prioritizing a Latin American presence and signings, then the organization seemed to have backed away from that prioritization for some reason. That’s a very large supply of talent that is not being mined successfully by the Reds over the past several years and that’s also where a lot of the middle infield talent is found.

        • Again, I realize it is a difficult proposition, but you just seem to gloss over the fact that the Cardinals keep doing it regularly at the same time being competitive at the major league level year after year.

          You, in turn, seemed to gloss over something I said:

          The Cardinals didn’t just suddenly get an awesome farm system. They built it up slowly and carefully over the years through the draft and by trading away old/over priced players. You may not remember this, but throughout the 90’s, the Cards were a pretty mediocre team who often finished somewhere between 4th and 2nd year after year….. Sound familiar? Jocketty came to the Cardinals in 1994, and they didn’t become the power we know today until nearly a decade later.

          It is unfair to criticize Jocketty at this junction because he hasn’t had a chance to fully implement his plan. The Reds are not quite there yet, but their farm system will get there soon. I fully expect Jockettly plans to instil “The Cardinal Way” throughout the whole system, but just like in St. Louis, it will take awhile. But once it’s in place, you can expect the Reds to churn out quality players on an annual basis… Just like the Cards do today.

          As I said, patience.

        • Starting to sound like a Marvin Lewis apologist. Walt hasn’t had time to implement his plan yet? What’s he waiting for? Votto to be 33 and Cueto and/or Latos to be gone?

          The Cardinals have won the division 5 of the last 10 years. 3 other times they came in 2nd. They have had a losing record twice in the last 15 years. That’s not just one cycle of rebuilding the farm system. That’s systematic excellence. There have been 3 major moves in Walt’s tenure: Trading for Latos, signing Chapman, and locking up Votto. He was very explicit that he signed Chapman to be a starter, so that move has already failed and Chapman will likely be gone in 2 years. Latos has been very good, likely worth the trade value assuming he gets healthy soon and is productive this year, but right now it looks like Cueto is the priority to extend so Latos will probably be gone in 2 years. That will leave Votto in his mid 30’s and starting to head down the wrong side of his contract. So the window for Walt’s master 10 year plan is sure closing fast and I don’t see the farm system on the verge of spitting out a lot of great prospects except Stephenson.

        • Restock the farm system with what? Should we have traded Homer and abandoned this year to restock the shelves? One the one hand, you want Jocketty to do something because Votto isn’t getting any younger, but on the other hand you want resources needed to win NOW to be traded for prospects.

          Which is it?

          The Choo move was bad why? Because Jocketty doesn’t have a crystal ball? Really?

          Yeah, the Cardinals are on an unbelievable run of success lately. But until recently, they’ve been spending more money than the Reds and their attendance numbers help them spend even more.

          I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: even the Cardinals head of player development has said that once this crop of players moves up the ladder, the Cardinals farm system will …. take a step back. I’ll say it again.

          They will take a step back. Why. Because that’s the way the system works.

          OBTW. How’s Kolten Wong working out? Contrary to popular opinion, the St Louis Cardinals don’t do everything right.

        • I’m acknowledging that there is no easy answer, but also that for whatever reason our farm system seems to be particularly weak, at least in terms of offensive prospects. And I attribute that to Walt’s predilection for pitchers and guys who play great D. Those are fine things to continually pump into your farm system, but we just don’t seem to either scout offensive prospects well or develop them well once they’re in the system. We’ve produced 4 players since 2006 with career OPS+ of over 100 and two of them aren’t in the organization anymore. Mes is promising, and possibly Frazier can keep it up for a while but he came up so late it’s going to be hard for him to contribute for an extended amount of time. And so we find ourselves in a situation where the best borderline major league offensive prospect we have in the system is Neftali Soto.

          I’m not looking for a magic bullet and I’m not saying the Cardinals are perfect, but they seem to do a better job than the Reds and have the trophies to prove it. All I’m trying to do here is start a conversation about how we MIGHT be able to improve the way the organization is run. I’m not calling for Walt to be fired, I’m just curious what some ideas might be to get us closer to the level of sustained success the Cardinals have.

        • Oh, and the only thing I said about the Choo move was that one year rentals might be a bad idea. I’m not even saying they ARE, just that it’s a fair question to ask. Choo did exactly what we brought him here to do and the team failed around him – that’s certainly not a failure for Walt or for Choo, but the fact is we knew we would only have him for a year so it’s valid to ask if that’s a smart way to spend your prospects.

    • Thank you sir for adding a dose of reality to this “the sky is falling conversation “. its May 8th .. We are six games out .. Lets get healthy and see what happens .. It is frustrating to lose so many one run games … That’s whats is causing most of the panic right now … Lets ride this horse for a while and see how things go longterm ..

      • The thing is the injuries aren’t hurting us THAT badly. Pena has been more productive than we could have even expected Mes to be so far. Simon has been more effective than we could have expected Latos to be. We’re not missing Hamilton’s 66 OPS+ at the top of the order. Maybe Chapman comes back and helps the ripple effect in the bullpen, but unfortunately we all know he’s only going to be used in save situations so we’re still going to see the same guys in high pressure situations. I guess Broxton is a step up from Hoover in an 8th inning but I hardly see that being a the deciding factor.

        Then again, with all the 1-run losses maybe that is exactly what the deciding factor is…What do I know…It seems like we’ve lost more games with bad base running and horrible situational hitting than anything else. Yeah, it hurts when Hoover gives up 2 runs in a tight game, but when you can’t score more than 1 run on a bases loaded no out inning then you’re kind of asking to lose.

        • You’re kidding, right? You don’t think having Simon in the bullpen would make a difference? You think a game like last night, holding a 3-2 lead late, looks a little different with a healthy Chapman/Marshall/LeCure? (Let’s not forget Broxton is just back from injury.). An extra powerful RH bat like Mes wouldn’t come in handy? Having Heisey and Schumaker on the bench if we need bats late, instead of starting? This team has been ravaged by injury.

        • I think having Simon in the bullpen will help immensely, I’m just trying to be cautious in thinking that we’re suddenly going to be a juggernaut of a team once Billy Hamilton is back in CF and we’re back to wasting Chapman on meaningless save situations. Bruce is the big hole, but it’s going to be a while before he’s back and we all need to be realistic that he could be relatively useless this year even once he’s back. See Votto, Joey circa 2012.

        • Like Eric The Red said, it isn’t about some players who are taking the place of injured players not producing. It is more about how everyone has to slot up one step, or sometimes two steps when people are hurt. Heisey, Pena, and Schumaker look better on the bench than starting. The problem is that all three are starting right now. Having Simon in the pen and more healthy relievers would have turned around some of those 1-run games too. The injuries have been devastating. Every team needs to weather injuries but a team can’t take so many man-days lost by key players and produce excellence.

    • Nice write up

      Not sure losing Grady Sizemore is such a bad thing. Negative WAR to this point

      The handling of Hamilton’s injury to this point is curious. If he goes on the DL now, that will be complete mismanagement of the roster.

      The current OF will not get it done, the starting pitching will need to get outstanding the remainder of the month

  19. Lots to be frustrated about. But I’ll take the 6th inning: Reds up 2-0, guy batting 9th is leading off, he’s hitting .187. Leake gets ahead 0-2, then throws a fastball right down the middle which the guy takes straight back through the box for a single. Assuming Leake missed his spot, I went back and looked to see where they were trying to go. Amazingly, he threw it exactly where Pena was set up. The big bats for the Red Sox come through, and we’re tied at 2.

    Who throws, on purpose, an 0-2 fastball in the middle of the plate to the #9 hitter, batting .187? Sorry to pick on Leake, who has pitched very well for a 4th starter, but that was terrible. (Same thing with Pena, who has been a surprisingly good pickup that people tend to forget when dumping on the Reds offseason.) We have a decimated bullpen and almost no healthy outfielders in the entire system so I’m not too inclined to blame Price for this loss. But we can’t afford knuckle headed mistakes like that.

    • More of this, please. After all, it’s a GAME recap, and yet 90% of the comments have nothing to do with the game itself.

    • Heisey saved Leake’s bacon on Ortiz from an 0-2 count too. I was only listening, but by the radio call, Ortiz grooved that offering.

      • It was hit well, but it wasn’t exactly a web gem of a catch. He had to run to it, but I think most major league LF’ers make that catch. I even think Ludwick could have made that catch.

    • Why not challenge a guy who has shown he can’t hit? I mean I understand what you’re saying, but I don’t know the scouting report on Herrera. It might be that he doesn’t swing at stuff off the plate and he has trouble with fastballs. I’d trust the combination of Price, Leake, and Pena to know better what to throw in that spot than anyone on this board only because I’m sure they know the scouting report a lot better.

        • Happens about .27.5% of the time in general. About 20% of the time with Herrera apparently.

        • Eric NYC: regarding your point–I think it’s below this one–that 20% of the time teams get it wrong with Hererra, I doubt he gets all of his hits on 0-2 counts.

        • I was just being a smart ass. My point was just that I don’t find much fault in challenging a bad hitter. I always think it’s odd when guys try and give pitchers at the plate some really complicated AB. Unless you’re trying to neutralize a bunt, just throw the guy strikes. Odds are he’s not going to get a hit. And if he does, well it happens sometimes.

  20. Be all things as they may the Reds are not fun to watch right now. Until Jocketty is willing to provide 25 major league talent on the team keep your money in the wallet and find something else to doinstead of attending home games. This team is just awful to watch

    • I guess it depends on your view. I live in Indy and will be driving over a number of times this summer to see the boys play. I am a Reds fan and enjoy baseball and overall find the team fun to watch. I guess it’s all perspective and expectations.

  21. The narrative on this blog has become so bi-polar. Its seems like months ago that we took 3 of 4 from the Division and MLB leader in wins. Any season that proves to be successful will have its trials and tribulations. This is just one of those times during the year that a good team will step up, tread water, stay close, whatever term you choose, to be there at the end of the season. The expanded playoffs give every team a chance. I watch daily and feel the pain of the losses, But our team is on the field, not the DL. I like the fire of Cueto, the Toddfather, The shue, Pena, Tucker, Leake, Hammy, Luddy….These are the guys that will bring the fire untill we get healthy. Just my two cents to get me through the day till our next game and victory! Enjoy, Have fun, Its supposed to be fun, win or lose. I still get paid and my family still loves me no matter what happens to the REDS! GO REDS!

    • Agreed. So often people comment as if they’re writing post mortems on the team at the END of the season. We have like 120 games left and we’re only 6 out. Stop focusing on the day in day out and take a longer view. Gheesh.

      • Frustration is natural when the Reds take 3 of 4 from the Pirates and then get sweep in Atlanta. They win the series against the Brewers and then are not able to at least split in Boston. Not ignoring the injuries, but this is an inconsistent team.

      • I get that. I really enjoy this blog… but sometimes the numbers and negativity make it not so fun and tiring, I think I’ve been on here off and on for a couple of seasons and this year just seems a little more doomsday than the others.. I’m in Florida so I love the inside scoop this blog provides and the back and forth during the games . But while I hate to loose I love watching baseball and our team isn’t as bad as it seems and I choose to ENJOY this team. I’m not saying the posters aren’t correct in there assessments or disputing the numbers.

  22. Is there really no one in all of our minor league clubs that can pitch better than Logan or J.J.???
    And I think I´ve had enough of these games where our starting pitcher does a wonderful job and we lose anyway to last me the rest of the season.

  23. I did get a kick out of Marty last night, in his usual way. When the Reds loaded the bases with no outs, he commented how it was a statement of affairs that Bernadina was even allowed to bat in that situation. Those kind of situations are really getting frustrating. Lo and behold, one run, and the ball never left the infield.

    And how many times have the Reds had a runner at 3rd taken off the basepaths? That seems a bit abnormal.

    • I really didn’t understand why Pena was running on contact in that spot. 1st base open he has to make sure the ball gets out of the infield. Another TOOTBLAN on the 3B coach? Sure seems that way. I mean yeah at some point the accountability is on the players, but when you see this kind of uptick in base running errors, especially involving guys being thrown out at home, and the one thing that has changed is the 3B coach…That’s not a tough puzzle to solve.

  24. I think we’ll see a couple of roster moves before the weekend series with the Rockies. Personally, I’d swap Chapman and Diaz for Hoover and Soto. Schumaker’s versatility makes Soto redundant.

    • Chapman has looked TERRIBLE so far in Louisville. Granted, he’s done that before and then been fine back in the majors but it hasn’t been pretty. Still, I don’t know how they can trust Hoover at the moment for anything but mop up duty. Something’s not right with him.

      • They have got 2 AAAA pitchers that the Reds cannot trust, Hoover will turn it around and should be ahead of Logan, meaning coming in during the 6th, maybe the 7th with a lead. Funny very few mop up situations this season.

    • Can Schumaker play Soto’s role of emergency catcher ? Price has been willing to pinch hit with Mesoraco or Pena (whichever is on the bench) because of that, and it’s made the bench much stronger. I think Schumaker would be willing to do it. It’s not likely that he would ever need to actually catch.

      • Yeah I never understood the paranoia about backup catchers. 90% of the time no one gets hurt, so construct your bench to optimize offense. If a worst case scenario happens and you find yourself without someone with experience playing a certain position, go with your best option (some of these guys have played catcher before in their life at some point I’m sure) and accept that there’s a good chance you’re going to lose that game but can bring in a warm body tomorrow.

        • Probably because you’re not a catcher Eric. All other positions on the field, the average Major Leaguer can probably muddle through, but catcher is a different animal entirely. This is even more true at higher-levels when just receiving a pitch can be quite challenging. Bringing in a catcher without experience, even for a few innings can be an utter disaster. Then there’s the fact that very, very few non-catchers or even former catchers from HS lower levels, have any desire at all to get back behind the plate again. In extra-innings and with a thin bench, maybe I’d take the chance of PH with my backup catcher but it would pretty much be a last resort.

        • How bad could the “utter disaster” possibly be? The worst thing that can happen is you lose the game. If it got to the point where you were afraid you were going to burn through your bullpen you could even just forfeit. What are the odds it’s ever going to happen? I’m not saying you don’t carry a backup catcher, I’m saying do you really need to keep a guy on the roster because he could be your emergency THIRD catcher? We’re talking about a situation where you’ve pinch hit your backup catcher, probably in the 7th or 8th inning, and then your starting pitcher gets hurt. How often is that going to happen? MAYBE once in a season? I’d say you just chalk that up to the baseball gods not wanting you to win that day.

      • I do not think the Reds are thinking too clearly on Soto, he needs to be playing everyday, how often do team use 3 catchers in a game anyway, totally with Eric on this?

  25. In an article at http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/74676106/major-league-baseball-best-new-rivalries-dodgers-diamondbacks-cardinals-reds-braves-nationals?partnerId=ed-8172826-702120743#!K1cnD, they discuss the Reds- Cards rivalry, and quote “our own Will Leitch”. “People love to talk about the big brawl from 2010 … Johnny Cueto, like a scared kitten, kicking Cardinals as hard as he could with his spikes. He ended up landing on Jason LaRue, kicking him with enough force that it caused a concussion. LaRue would never play again.”

    I’ve heard this kind of account dozens of times, that doesn’t even mention that Cueto was pinned against the backstop. Note that I didn’t even say “trapped”, just “pinned”, the same word that the Wikipedia account uses.

    Chris Carpenter’s role in re-igniting the brawl is as usual not mentioned.

    The brawl doesn’t mean much to me now, with Carpenter and LaRussa gone. And I have no problem with Molina. But it’s unfortunate that the above version of events has become a permanent part of Cueto’s legacy.

    • Yes Pinson. While Cueto certainly played a role and while it was his kick that likely ended LaRue’s career, not pointing out the circumstances under which the kick occurred is unjust.

  26. It’s funny how so many on here have such short memories. I remember a great number of people on this site claiming closer position was so overrated and Hoover good do just as good a job as Chapman now all of a sudden he’s a bum. Most wanted & lobbied for Price as the Manager; we knew he was a rookie so I’m willing to give him time & support. Can this site quick blaming Dusty for everything wrong with this club he’s gone get over it. Players need to do their jobs; I don’t care how much we love Votto he has to start producing more than a high OBP, like it or not in this market for his allocation of the Red’s payroll he, BP & Bruce have to deliver more if the Reds are going to win.

      • I do feel the closer role is overrated, although my opinion may not be as strong as some others in these parts. I would never say that Hoover is a bum. I think he’s off to a lousy start to the season but I think he’ll pitch better. I wasn’t in love with the Price hiring but wasn’t against it. I certainly agree with your position that fans need to stop blaming Dusty for the Reds problems. Dusty is gone and clearly we’re seeing a lot of the same things happening that happened on Dusty’s watch. Clearly, the Reds’ failures weren’t all Dusty’s fault and a new manager hasn’t solved many of the issues plaguing the team. Keep in mind though that Price is running a team that has been decimated by injuries to the pitching staff and the position players.

        I agree that Votto needs to actually hit better than he has been. He’s been very good but he hasn’t been elite beyond his extraordinary OBP. In all fairness to Votto though, he hasn’t had much help. That OBP can’t be ignored as so many fans and even guys like Marty B seem to do. He hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to drive in runners himself and when he’s had them, he hasn’t produced very well thus far from an RBI perspective. I’m sure part of the reason is that teams are definitely pitching around him. In a very small sample size (30 PA) he’s hitting .176 with RISP but his OBP in those situations is .500. In his 15 times on base as part of that .500 OBP, he has scored 13 times, including driving himself home w/ a HR once. To say that he doesn’t have anyone pointing out his lack of actual hitting on this site isn’t exactly true either. In this recap, it was pointed out that Votto when 1 for 10 in the series. I don’t think that was pointed out as a positive.

        I think Bruce has been hurt but April has never really been his month. As for BP, well, he isn’t getting any younger but I suspect he’ll have some good stretches as he has some good baseball ahead of him. He shouldn’t be counted on however as a major run producer right now though and expecting him to even match his career averages .272/.320/.428 seems like a stretch.

        With this team’s injuries and early schedule, I think if they can hang around .500 then they’re doing ok. They are 3 games under now and have caught some unlucky breaks. They need to get healthy and then I think we’ll see them climbing into this thing. It just needs to start happening soon though before the hole is too deep to dig out of.

  27. Why isn’t anyone accessing our “best hitter” batting hang-ups? Someone needs to help the man get his swing corrected. Why is the offense always struggling?. Hitters are consistent this season. Who is responsible for this? And yes Votto swing looks like he is shortening his swing. Frankly looks awful.

  28. If you look at the comments on the game recaps after a loss, the same issues keep popping up.

    Bad bullpen
    Bad roster depth
    Bad baserunning
    Bad injury management
    Questionable decision-making.

    These issues are not new.

    The window of Votto, Bruce Latos, Bailey and Cueto at their peak is shutting. Yet management seems content to ignore these issues. Do the Reds want to win or not? I really don’t know anymore.

    • Bad bullpen: Chapman, Broxton, Marshall, and LeCure are our best bullpen arms (not to mention Simon.). How would you like Management to just overcome their injuries? (If LeCure isn’t injured he’s mysteriously lost 5 MPH, which might as well be an injury.)

      Bad roster depth: Our catcher and all 3 of last night’s outfielders are supposed to be coming off the bench. Actually, if they were our bench, it would be a pretty good bench. But they’re starting, due to injuries.

      Questionable decision making: See above. Decisions are tougher when you don’t have any good choices.

      I’m kind of with you on the rest.

      • I would like management to hire competent trainers and evaluators to determine whether chronically hurt players (Marshall) are viable options for the future. Masset and Bray are examples of hurt pitchers the Reds hung onto for too long.

        Marshall, with his current state of health, is a waste of a roster spot.

        LeCure shouldn’t be pitching at all if he’s hurt. He’s a Broxton waiting to happen.

        I would like management to make a tough decision and acquire another bench piece that would be a significant upgrade over Santiago, Izturis, Bernadina, and the other castoffs that have drifted through the roster over the past three seasons. And yes – that might mean trading something of value.

        Walt saying that the Reds will just have to make do with what they have is unacceptable. Do your job and find a solution. Stop crossing fingers, hoping things work out, and telling everyone that they have to work harder.

        • The point is, you can say “Marshall is a waste of a spot” and “LeCure shouldn’t be pitching” and things like that, but no team can just keep plugging in guys and expect optimal performance. The Reds are a seriously banged up bunch.

          Regarding the bench, this is a much better bench than in years past. Except the bench is starting right now.

        • I’m not expecting optimal performance. I’m expecting an arm in the bullpen to be healthy, and ready to pitch. Putting an bad arm in the game has three negative outcomes – pitching poorly, getting seriously hurt (see Broxton, 2013), and not being ready to go the next game. I’d rather have a healthy Curtis Partch or another live arm than someone who is chronically hurt.

        • Why do you assume he isn’t doing his job. You have no idea of what limitations he has from ownership so it’s hard to point fingers based off of limited info.

  29. i thought both of these games were really good games actually. i’m sad that the reds lost both, but i’m hardly in a tailspin about the team based on what i saw in boston.

    the reds have played .500 ball the last 18 games. with the schedule and injuries, that’s not that bad. we definitely could have won a few more of those, and that stings, but it’s not like we’re circling the drain.

    the one thing that is clear to me, is that jj hoover stinks. he’s always been highly overrated on this site, and the chickens are coming home to roost for a pitcher who has always been mostly smoke and mirrors. he’s got more walks than innings pitched AND more hits than innings pitched. he clearly has no control over any of his pitches right now, and at the best of times he’s an extreme flyball pitcher, who’s always walked too many guys, who plays in a HR friendly park.

    i would have rather had anyone in the pen in the game rather than him. jj hoover now has 3 blown saves and 4 losses on the year. a decent arm instead of him and we’re .500 on the season.

    • The thing is that no team is ever 100% healthy. All teams have injuries. The best teams are smart about managing and overcoming injuries.

      The Reds have overcome some big injuries. Frazier subbing for Votto in 2012 was amazing, Cingrani for Cueto and Simon for Latos – excellent work.

      It seems like management just hopes that they can plug someone in to rescue the team. It doesn’t work like that all the time.

      The Reds do not manage injuries well. They diagnose them too late and don’t decisively act. Jay Bruce and Billy Hamilton are recent examples, and then there’s Votto in 2012.

      Why is Marshall still hurt from an injury suffered in 2012? Why didn’t Latos have surgery earlier? Why was Bruce playing on a bum knee for over a week? What is wrong with Sam LeCure?

      These players are multimillion dollar assets that the Reds medical staff seem to botch routinely. It’s unsettling.

  30. In the past I would agree, but for the most part this season they seem to be a little more on the ball in dealing with injuries quicker and better.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s