Titanic Struggle Recap

Bitter lemonade

Final R H E
  Chicago Cubs  (39-52) 6 10 2
  Cincinnati Reds (49-43) 4 7  1 
 W: Parker (1-0)     L: Hoover (1-6)
 Fangraphs Win Probability |   The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score    |   Game Photos

[Full disclosure: I attended the first few innings of the game, then left and listened through the eighth inning on the radio, then left radio contact. After that, followed online and in car, sporadically. Sorry, we just didn't have anyone available to watch the entire game and write the recap today. Kind of fitting.]

An old proverb says, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But what with the events and news from GABP today, I recommend you find someone who life gave dry gin. And relieve your pain.

Seriously, manager Bryan Price sent lemonade into the field and for the most part it tasted fine. Brayan Peña committed a key error that allowed a run to score. But keep in mind he’s a catcher, with limited experience at first base. The Reds lineup managed only seven hits.

DatThumb  John Fay reports that Brandon Phillips has torn a thumb ligament and will have surgery tomorrow. Bryce Harper was out 57 days with a similar injury this year. In bizarrely related and unrelated news, the Cardinals announced that Yadi Molina tore his thumb ligament last night and will be out 8-12 weeks.

Bailey’s Knee  The Angry Reds’ Knee Hating God isn’t through with the team just yet. Homer Bailey left the game in the sixth inning, with a subsequent report that he is suffering from pain in the patella tendon of his right knee. Tendons attach muscles to bones. The patella tendon is the large tendon that connects the quadriceps (thigh muscle) to the patella (knee). “That’s the push-off leg” is what former-pitcher Jeff Brantley highlighted. 

The Reds will perform x-rays and an MRI to determine the extent of the problem. There are varying degrees of injury, ranging from annoying to terrifying. Words you could hear the next few days are patellar tendonitis, partial tear, complete tear and rupture. The treatment for tendonitis is rest and anti-inflammatories. The treatment for complete tear/rupture is surgery.

With the memory of David Holmberg’s start seared on our brains, let’s hope the All-Star break gives Bailey sufficient time to heal.

Bullpen Props  The Reds bullpen, starting with Sam LeCure, then Manny Parra, Jonathan Broxton, Aroldis Chapman, Jumbo Diaz and J.J. Hoover stepped into the breach quite ably. In Hoover’s second inning, the Cubs scored two runs.

Ludwhacks  Ryan Ludwick was 3-for-6, including a home run and two RBI.

164 thoughts on “Bitter lemonade

  1. Does the staff of RedLeg Nation have some sort of drinking problem? Seems to be a recurring theme.

  2. bad luck w. injuries…. BP is gone for a long time… Baily might miss few starts… Votto maybe rest of season… man Walt better do something to earn paycheck….

        • The game was a lot more fun before money got a hold of it. I’m a capitalist to the core but it has hurt baseball, IMO. Never going to be another Big Red Machine in Cincinnati or anywhere else for that matter. Maybe NYC or LA.

        • And seer that he was or turned out to be, Bob Howsam told the world that as he accepted the 1976 World Championship trophy in the Yankees visitors’ dressing room just a couple of months before he shipped the BigDog off to Montreal .

        • “Maybe NYC or LA……:

          Or if there is ever a more effective salary cap/ containment mechanism and three top of the rotation starters conspire to be become FA’s simultaneously and go to the same team, ,,,, oops wait that was the NBA I was thinking of and it only almost worked.

      • If Bob C’s checkbook is open, I’m sure he will. Wish we knew what Bob was thinking. Hopefully he has been as inspired by the team lately as we have and willing to invest.

  3. Daniel Murphy? Martin Prado? The Reds need someone who can keep Santiago out of the lineup every day.

    • Cards can’t be in 1st place at the All Star break – they just can’t be. Pulling big time for the Pirates tonight and Brewers this week-end. Reds fans won’t hear the end of it. Still like this Reds team’s resiliency, even with the loss of BP – they will hang in there.

      • Great! Cards losing 8-1 to Pirates this evening (Thursday). And Cards catcher is having his share of problems. Folks, it’s going to be a wild and wooly 2nd half of the season folks.

  4. I’m not someone who likes “if”s, but…

    If this team had been healthy all year, what could they have accomplished?

    This trade deadline is going to be very interesting. Jocketty needs to find pieces to plug holes now and who can stick around after. I’m thinking 2 utility guys and one legit hitter. (Duda?)

    • Homer is not the most consistent pitcher ever but he is still pretty decent and has the ability to shut-down an offense. Really too bad for him and the team that this occurred when he was pitching his best baseball of the year. Who replaces him will be very interesting. I’d like to see Contreras get a shot. Walt is going to be working overtime for quite a while.

      Enjoyed your comments and great humor.

      • Steve,

        There are a number of people on this board that are consistently negative and especially love to hate on Bailey. They are probably also the same people that would be wailing and grinding their teeth went he went somewhere else and won a championship.

        Too bad we’re going to have a starting pitcher with us for a long time that has the ability to consistently go out and give 7 innings and also possibly shut the other team down? Who should we have given the money to instead? Every other team in the majors would have given DDB the same or better contract in a heartbeat. To say otherwise is to ignore the reality of baseball today.

        Of course we would all love to discover the diamonds that cost nothing and are under team control forever. We’ve done well with Latos and Cueto and will hopefully do well with Cingrani, but the Homer hating needs to stop.

        In his last 10 starts he has given up 3,1,0,4,3,4,1,3,2 and 3 runs and has gone 6 or more innings in 7 of them (I would argue he would have done that today as well). I’ve been a Reds fan for a long time and in the majority of those years we as fans would have sold our souls for a pitcher like Homer.

    • What are you giving up to obtain one, or both of them?? One is going to come at a steep price, but two, well doggies! That’s going to be a price that hurts.
      I think the Reds should at least trade for one of them. Duda, then go get Nick Franklin or Chris Taylor from Seattle.

      • If you’re dealing with Seattle anyway trying to get Franklin (I know you’ve loved him a while), then why not just work the Franklin package to include Smoak? He has some issues but has power that plays even better at GABP, will take a walk, and plays a decent 1B…. Honestly though, I think the Reds would have to give up pretty much to pry away Franklin. That’s why nobody has picked him up yet. The asking price is too high.

  5. Cubs need to deal Valbuena as he will quickly become surplus with the ascension of Bryant, Alcantara, etc. We could use him to play the infield (except SS). He’s cost controlled, and whatever we give up for him we could get back by flipping him in the offseason.

    The right side of our infield is now out for an extended period of time. Walt absolutely must do something.

    • An infield of Rizzo, Castro, Russell, and Alcantara all relatively cheap and under team control for years is a scary thought. Good thing they will still have to play in Cubs uniforms because something in that shade of blue brings out the inner Three Stooges in players.

    • Back 72 hours ago when we were thinking corner IF and maybe a little bit of LF, I was thinking Cubbicles were treating Olt like he was excess. But unless Schu is competent at 2B, now the Reds need more.

      I just knew today that there was no way Hoover was setting down Valbuena to successfully end that inning. I was hoping he had the good sense to walk him and go after the next guy but I guess that 3-0 swing and foul gave Hoover false courage…..

  6. The last 18 hours have been the worst of this season. 2 starters hurt; starting pitcher goes out with apparent knee issue. This team is starting to look like a M.A.S.H. unit.

    • I think Hamilton’s fine. BP is a blow, but he’s not done for the year. Bailey is concerning. Any news on Cingrani? Any estimates on when he might be healthy?

      • Agree that the injuries aren’t terrible (esp. if it’s true that BP will be out only 6 weeks as is being reported). I just don’t recall so many in such a short time period!

        • Your timeline is a lot more accurate considering the circumstances with Phillips – some fans are just prone to over-react. Probably their nature (the sky is falling, the sky is falling).

      • Eight to 12 weeks is done for the season. Cards lose Molina, Reds lose Phillips. I think there are things the Reds can do that will make it possible to try and replace Votto short term. Phillips is more difficult to replace. I do not see any alternatives in house so a trade seems necessary. I would favor Franklin or Prado, not Duda, and maybe a flyer on Willingham.

        • Rey Navarro at least deserves a look. +Defender and is hitting .300+ at Louisville. Severe deficiency if the Reds need to play Schumaker or Santiago – neither capable of hitting much over .235 – .240. Schumaker’s and Santiago’s best days are behind them as both close to mid 30s in age. Go with the kid.

        • 12 weeks is not what the Enquirer is reporting – and remember with BP the injury is to his glove hand – Molina its his throwing hand. Big time difference.

  7. Phillies about to sweep the Brewers. Another wasted opportunity, but it’s pretty hard to beat any team 5 games in a row. Going to try and remain level-headed about the injuries. Where we are right now, if this team can just hold on and play .500 ball for the next 6-8 weeks they could still be in a good position to make a run. If the front office makes a move or a couple guys get hot and we can keep it a bit above .500, all the better.

  8. If Homer is out for any length of time, I’m moving my money over to the Pirates. BP is integral to the team on so many levels and we haven’t felt Joey’s absence as we surely will. Maybe Walt can put a couple of deals together that will keep us afloat until we get some bodies back. Boy of boy, riches to rags.

    I need a Zig Zigler peep talk about now but sadly he is no longer with us

    • Even without Bailey we have 4 starting pitchers better than anyone in the Pirates rotation. They will fade quickly if they can’t shore up their pitching and that won’t come cheap. Their bullpen has also taken a huge step back this year and it was maybe the best in baseball last season. If Cingrani gets healthy soon we won’t miss Bailey that much. He’s been our worst performing starter up to this point.

      • Thanks Eric. I hope you are right. The rest of the season starts tomorrow night. Wish the Sarge was around to rally the troops.

        • Don’t get too excited. That’s just me talking you off the Pirates bandwagon. They have a negative run differential and are looking like another sub .500 season is possible. But St Louis has underperformed to this point and will likely be in first place by August. As it once was, as it always will be. This Reds team healthy could have run away with this division.

        • Eric, without Molina the Cards are not going to be the same team either. He’s the heart and soul of the Cards – and they don’t have a capable replacement.

        • Now I am just trying to talk you off the Cards as definitely overestimating them without Molina. That’s going to hurt them a lot more than fans realize.

    • Interesting stat. The following is the Red’s record in each of the following starter’s starts:

      Simon _________15-3
      Cueto _________11-8
      Latos __________ 2-3
      Leake _________8-10
      Cingrani ________4-9
      Bailey _________9-10

      Total: ________49-43

      Who would you rather have starting a Red’s game?

  9. I’d venture there isn’t a single person who is even a little happy to gloat about BP getting hurt. It was a fluke thing that happened with him doing what he does best. The issue about trading him was never predicting something like this… trading him was always recognizing that returns would start to get smaller and smaller, so use this time to free up money and get something of value back, getting younger. One of the sticking points was “who would replace him at second?” and that has been a fear of something like this happening.

    On July 10, 2014, this team needs BP healthy, and it’s a shame he’s not.

    • And had he not hurt the thumb, I’m pretty sure he would have recorded the assist. This team will definitely miss him, rather he’s out 6 weeks or 12.

      • Live I saw him scream as he went down on the stop and I still thought there was at least a 50% chance he’d make the play. Everyone who has knocked BP over the last 18+ months is about to see what life without him looks like. But I am going to be optimistic that he’s only down 6-8 weeks. A September that included a rested, healthy Votto and BP could be a huge bump. Just hold our ground for a bit. I think we have the talent to do that given one or two moves.

        Lost in all of this was Ludwick’s performance today. Almost begs for him to be given a look at 1B soon. Maybe they wait until after the break to give him a couple days to work with the coaches. Love his proactive attitude about it. Easy to forget that he grew up a die hard Reds fan. Winning here probably means more to him than anyone on the roster.

    • And I love Brandon Phillips too. the very heart and soul of this Reds team. Hope he’s back in 6 weeks – my fingers are crossed. Hope Joey Votto is too. They are both in my prayers and wish them both bountiful blessings. Amen.

  10. Bailey will make his next start. If the Reds shuffle the rotation he will have 12 days off. Phillips projected out now 6 weeks instead of 8-12.

    • Eight to 12 weeks is done for the season. Cards lose Molina, Reds lose Phillips. I think there are things the Reds can do that will make it possible to try and replace Votto short term. Phillips is more difficult to replace. I do not see any alternatives in house so a trade seems necessary. I would favor Franklin or Prado, not Duda, and maybe a flyer on Willingham.

  11. I would call up Soto and play him everyday at 1B. Negron, Santiago and Schumaker can cover 2B. I would also look to call up Felix Perez as well. No trades unless Walt can avoid giving up big time prospects.

      • I don’t know how you can say that considering guy has a grand total of 28 ABs over a 3 week period. Give him some consistent playing time before you write him off.

      • Both, together scare me. However, realistically, the farm system is going to have to step up. The Reds would be unnecessarily depleting their system to fill all these holes in the market, especially 1st.

    • I just threw up a little bit in my mouth. The thought of watching that lineup trot out every night is horrifying.

  12. Homer had been throwing quite well in his last few starts. He’s blown some leads earlier in the year during his slow start but he was starting to put it together. In the Brewers game you mentioned earlier, he gave up 1 run through 8 and lost. If you are more inclined to just look at W/L record when evaluating pitchers, he is 8-5. I’m guessing you prefer ERA over FIP, xFIP, or SIERA so will point out that he’s lowered his ERA from well over 5 to 4.21, counting this start. His ERA in June was 3.25 and the Reds won 4 of his 6 starts. His only start in July prior to today was the aforementioned start against the Brewers. I was betting and would still bet that his ERA will be below 4.00 by the end of the year.. .Please note that he also didn’t blow the lead in today’s game. Also, the inning in which he gave up the 2 runs; that was the inning he left the game. We don’t know when his knee started barking on him but you have to figure it was probably barking during that 5th inning.

    We get it, you obviously are in the camp among those who really dislike him. That viewpoint is all well and good. I just thought I’d provide a counter point and one not coming from a guy who thinks Homer Bailey is an ace pitcher. He’s solid though and I’m glad he’s a Red.

    • My reply was in response to a James Dehan post above. Not sure how it got down here but if it seems out of context, that’s why.

      • LW, no hate there – just pointing out that Homer is a .500 pitcher that’s grossly overpaid. Wish he wasn’t with the Reds since I am a big Cueto and Latos fan and IMHO, they would both still be with the Reds the year after next if they hadn’t opened the vault for Homer. Now it doesn’t look that way for either as once that $$ has been spent – it’s been spent. And no its not any of our $$$, but folks we are paying for a product – as this is a business. Pretty sure most of us invest, budget and try to spend our $$ wisely. Just saying – 2 years from now, unless the Reds find another cash cow, this organization could very well be wasting our (where do you think their $$ is coming from) financial resources on broken down and obsolete products. And in the long run, as Reds fans, it does not bode well for the organization – and those of us who have bought the product.

    • LW, I’m not getting the hate for our own guys. I’m not HB’s biggest fan but I sure want him to perform well each and every time out there. I agree, he was coming on strong and looking better and better. Wish the hating on your least favorite Red would cease. Outside of Chapman, I think Homer has the best stuff and if he gets it all figured out – look out. We can argue about advanced stats, etc, all day long but hating on your own guys is sad.

      If a guy is blowing up, let him have it but by tomorrow morning it’s in the past. Move it on.

      This team has lot to do. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. At this rate, we’ll be Hercules!

      • The hits just keep on coming. It’s been tough. I really hope WJ makes a move to bring in someone. Duda or Smoak both make a lot of sense to me. Not sure how much would be needed to get them into the fold as much as prospects but I hope WJ is at least making calls and seeing what the Mets and M’s want for them.

  13. We have the Bruuuuuuuuuuce chant. I am ready to add the Duuuuuuuuuuuuude chant. Or Du-Da, Du-Da, Du-Da.
    C’mon Walt, pull the trigger. Your seat is getting hotter by the hour!!!

  14. I’m glad the rest if the Redleg nation has faith in Walt to do some something (ANYTHING!!!) – I have seen absolutely nothing from him in the last 7 months or so to make me believe otherwise – remember , we got JACK FOR THIS !

    • Maybe WJ wasn’t wrong to be so inactive. The injuries have been far worse than anyone would have sanely predicted, and without them–or with a normal number of them–the Reds would be formidable, as in fact they have been lately. The problem with going after serious help is the cost. Might be worth somebody good to get a long-term solution for LF, but paying high for a temporary fix at 2nd or 1rst would leave them with a surplus when Votto and BP return, and a hole someplace else because you don’t get something for nothing.

    • Tampa is back in the race, they will not make that move any more than they will trade Price. That is unless the Reds want to trade them some of our prospects who are pitchers, then maybe you can get Zobrist, but I doubt it.

  15. Just saw that 3-2 pitch in the bottom of 8th that Heisey struck out on. It would have been a hard pitch to take, since it was a slider or splitter, but it ended up at the ankles, which would have been ball 4, and the Reds would have probably won, with Chapman now saving the 9th inning.

    • Chris seems like a super nice guy – just sorry that he is really not that much of a hitter. As been said many times, maybe Chris will eventually face the same plight as A.J. Pierzynski did today. Probably great guys – just not much as ML baseball players. Well, there’s always the Sunday beer softball leagues.

    • Given the kind of day Heisey was having, I think the gutty out of the box thing to do would have been from 3-0 to keep flashing him the take sign till he was walked or Ked. Think about it. From 3-0 or even 3-2 with two outs, which is more likely for Heisey, a walk if he takes or an out if he swings?

      • I hit the post sign too quickly above. The clincher on my statement above was that if he takes his way into a walk, it means Chapman is on for the save with at least a 1 run lead.

        • I think if I’m the catcher and he’s taken 3-0, and 3-1, then I may not have called for the 3-2 slider. He swung 3-1 and was not too far off hitting that fastball, therefore the 3-2 slider came. It was a bold, bold pitch and would have been even more bold had that 3-1 strike been a take instead of a swing. I think he would have gotten another fastball.

      • That would have been totally emasculating to Chris (sending him the message that the Reds have no faith in him at all) – instead, if Chris Heisey had come through with a base knock, we would be raising posters of Chris at the Stadium on Friday night – trying to build his confidence.

        • It was a very special circumstance, The guy has just walked Meso on 4 pitches (OK last was intentional after the WP). He is 3-0 to Heisey. He’s got to throw three strikes (and he doesn’t know the guy is talking all the way) or the Reds score a run and Chapman is on for the win.

          It is pretty clear over the last month Heisey has sank to the 24th/ 25th man on the roster in the eyes of his manager. He’d already struck out twice today. Hard to imagine getting the don’t swing sign was going to deflate him any more.

    • That would require a 40-man roster move in order to claim him and WJ just doesn’t seem inclined to make 40-man roster moves.

      Robinson would be a good pickup, especially right now, since the Reds will desperately need a top of the order bat who can get on base for Frazier, Bruce and Mesoraco.

  16. Tough to beat anyone five times in a row, and the Reds almost did it to the stupid Cubs with the b team on the field. It would be nice to take two of three this weekend and then heal up, but even one of three wouldn’t be bad – what with all the hurts.

    I think Walt should dial up Philly and get Utley and Mayberry Jr. They won’t be cheap, but if this team is to stay in the hunt, a MAJOR move needs to be made. BP and Joey must be replaced by capable players.

    Lastly, what a punk Anthony Rizzo is. Classless. It’s funny how putting on a Cubs uniform transforms any player into a worse version of himself.

  17. Next Cubs game, there better be a high heater up the side of Rizzo’s head or there is No pride on this pitching staff. What team lets a mouthy last place first baseman throw off his hat and glove and walk towards the Reds dugout yelling and challenging anyone and let him get away with it??
    The Big Pasta came out of the dugout first, but wanted to play peacemaker instead of punching Rizzo right in the nose. I lost any respect I had for Simon right there. The pitching staff and Chapman ought to be pissed with Simon. Sit home for the All Star break Big Pasta Wus. I hope Jocketty trades Simon for whatever help he can get before the wheels fall off him.
    There is NO leadership in that Reds dugout.

    • There hasn’t been payback for ANYTHING since 2009. I think it’s an organizational philosophy. Rizzo gets to keep on being a Cub. That might be punishment enough.

      • Haha. +1.

        Seriously I understand the frustration and Chapman DEFINITELY fueled the fire, but Rizzo risked a suspension and was clearly so abrasive that he turned Simon from a peace keeper to a fighter right quick. Honestly, I enjoyed the drama and I think the Cubs could benefit from an actual personality in their dugout. I look forward to booing Anthony Rizzo for years to come.

    • This is a joke, right? It’s good to find a laugh after a tough loss. If you were serious, have you considered the suspensions that would have resulted? Bad enough that the Reds have everybody on the DL.

    • I am generally opposed to hitting anyone on purpose… I am particularly opposed to throwing at someone’s head. More classless than anything that Rizzo did yesterday.

    • And the last thing I want a pitcher doing is throwing a punch!!! If he had, it had better been with his left hand. Come on WVRedlegs! The Reds were maybe on the way to taking 5 of 5 from these guys. If you’re in that situation as a player, you laugh at Rizzo and call him a baby and tell him to get back in his loser dugout. If he keeps yapping, all you do is tell him “Hey, I’m right here if you want to throw down. Swing away.” Make him instigate throw the first one. He was almost there anyway and it means his suspension would have been much worse than yours.

      • It also tells us that Alfredo Simon is very willing to stick up for his teammates with out being a hothead. Much different from the impression that WV has/had.

  18. Navarro is known for his superb defense, has progressed nicely through the system. His hitting still leaves a lot to be desired (hitting .323 this season at Louisville) but his glove work is above average (note: above average glove). He will have a shot at starting the season in Omaha and hopefully his hitting continues to develop.

    • Right now, Negron is the better overall player. Navarro would be way over his head in my opinion.

  19. OK folks who or what am I to believe. Fay reports that Reds are saying 6 weeks on Phillip’s. (6:09pm today),
    Fox sports is saying 8 to 12 weeks (season ending) on Philip’s.
    MLB says Brice Harper out for 57 days (8 weeks+) with same injury.
    Is this an example of too many people having access to devices.
    Brandon will be gone for a while
    Put him on the 60 day DL and move on.
    Talking about his value only throws salt on the event. This hole needs to be fixed. There will be a loss of defense no matter who is at second,
    Bailey is short term unless the MRI says different, he may not miss a start. Elis is correct in his math., so this is a non-event. The Reds have been playing without the J. Votto for several weeks (or at least with a Votto impersonator) and they are still 2.5 games within 1st place. The starting staff is in place, the bullpen is better than it was 5 weeks ago so Put Santiago at second and have a long talk with Bruce about plate discipline. August is just 3 weeks away which still leaves 2 months to go. Chill until the dust settles and the market becomes clearer. A mistake now could clearly have negative complications down the road. Just me channeling Bob Howsan (spelling).

    Take a drink of “Jack” relax, the sun will rise and the Pirates’ will be here.

  20. 1) Still not sure why Bruce didn’t start given the rest of the lineup and how he’s been swinging. Can’t help but wonder if he would have accounted for a run somewhere along the way.

    2) So right now the word is Bailey won’t miss a start and 6 weeks for BP. I really hope that’s right for both but it will be interesting to see how that turns out.

    • Molina has basically the same injury and the Cards say 8-12 weeks. Harper missed 57 days. Phillips is effectively gone for the season even if he were able to come back before the season is over, he will have to get back in baseball shape. I think it is wise to project him as gone. Hanrahan is out on a rehab assignment, but I dont know that it will make any difference. I have to believe that anyone willing to trade with the Reds are going to want someone like Stephenson and someone else so the price will be steep. Seems like a difficult decision unless someone is willing to give something away.

      • As someone stated above, Molina’s injury is on his throwing hand and Phillips’ injury is on this glove hand. Big difference there, IMHO and why Phillips’ timeline is much shorter.

        • Hitting is the more pressing issue – Doesn’t matter which hand it’s on, you need both hands to hit effectively. I’d imagine getting the strength back in the thumb to swing the bat well is the last stage of the rehab, so I wouldn’t count on the fact it’s his glove hand being a benefit. It sounds like it’s possibly just not as serious of a tear as Molina’s which accounts for the time difference. That or this is just another case of the Reds perpetually being over-optimistic about injury schedules.

    • Bruce would certainly have accounted for two runs just by making a catch in RF.

      I understand Bryan’s desire to get everyone some rest, but the all star break was only 4 days away and he simply gutted the lineup with both Bruce and Mesoraco on the bench. I can certainly see giving Mesoraco the day off, but Bruce too?

  21. This is a situation really where the Reds having Skip Schumaker should come in handy, as he has been a regular second basemen before. I think he should do ok filling in there for now.

    I kind of hope Ryan Ludwick takes to the challenge of playing first and can pull it off. Considering his age and being a free agent, I think picking up that skill for a mid 30s outfielder is a pretty handy thing to be able to do to keep employed going forward and it would enable the Reds to play Heisey in left. I like Pena as a backup catcher, but I think I would rather see Ludwick and Heisey get the weight of the at bats in this situation.

  22. I love the comments about Walt’s seat being hot. As if this rash of injuries is somehow his fault.

    Folks, we’d all like to see the Reds be able to bring back an impact player to fill in for the next few weeks. But if every time Walt picks up the phone he hears the names Robert Stephenson or Jesse Winker on the other end, I hope he just hangs up on them.

    With the economics of baseball, young cost-controlled stars are the most valuable commodity you can have. As the Reds’ payroll continues to climb with our current players moving into arbitration and free agency, it is clear we cannot keep all of them. The Reds will need young (re: cheap) players like Stephenson and Winker to fill out the roster over the next several years.

    The bottom line is if we gut the farm system just to try to salvage this injury-riddled season, we could be looking at several years of losing seasons as a result. Walt must resist the temptation to do so, no matter how much some fans might scream for it.

    • DocMike,while you are there in Walt’s corner, do us all a favor please. Wake Walt up. Walt’s been sawing too many logs since last July.

      • I love how you equate inaction with sleeping. I mean, it’s in no way possible that he is trying to add a player or two, but that the asking price is simply too high. That’s just a ridiculous notion, right?

        I assume you would trade Stephenson and/or Winker right now in order to save this cursed season, yes? On behalf of Reds fans everywhere, I’m glad you’re not our GM.

    • Agree

      The one guy I would put out there is Broxton. He has good value, would clear room in the payroll, and hopefully could be replaced effectively by Jumbo Diaz. Certainly risky but the other options are untenable as you described the situation very well.

      Hopefully we have learned a valuable lesson about high dollar long-term contracts.

      • Charlotte, I usually agree with you, but not this time. The Reds are far from out of it at this point, and Broxton has been an important reason why. If they were circling the drain, I would agree with you, but they aren’t and the situation (severity and timeline of injuries and efficacy of replacements) too unclear to panic yet.

        • Completely understand and it certainly would be preferable not to trade Broxton. He has been lights out all year. Let me at least layout my logic and if still disagree, I don’t blame you one bit:

          * The return value would be good if not very good
          * The sample size is miniscule of Jumbo but I have no doubt he has the stuff to take his place. Whether he possess the poise is unknown because of SSS. It is a risk I acknowledge
          * The teams that would be looking for prospects are probably going to want to get out from underneath their high priced players or soon to be high priced players. That raises two questions: (1) With a less than prospect packed farm system, do the Reds want to move one, or more, of the ones they do have? (2) Do they have the room in their budget to increase it, for a higher priced return?
          * This leads to my main consideration, given Brox’s salary, 2014: $7M and 2015: $9M; a guy like Duda ($1.9M/2014) is very affordable and leaves room to pick-up someone like Soriano or some team that is basically willing to give away a guy to rid themselves of a bad contract. We would only be interested in the latter player if it was a very short-term contract or a longer one with just a year or so left on it. Just would give us many more options as it would free up payroll restraints if they even exist. For Duda I would even through in a B level prospect or someone like Heisey.

          Thanks for hearing me out.

        • I’m all for trading Broxton for the right return, but I’m not sure where that return would come from. The only teams that would be interested in a guy like Broxton and his contract would be contending teams with shaky closers. That narrows the field a lot – I’m not even sure I can think of any team that describes right now except maybe Pittsburgh, and they aren’t going to do us any favors. And even if you found a trade partner like that, any contender is only going to be looking to give up prospects rather than one of their core offensive players in the middle of a playoff race. It woudl probably be an easy trade to make if we were out of the running and could settle for high end prospects, but as it is Broxton is probably more valuable to us where he is. On the upside, a back 3 of Jumbo, Broxton, and Chapman is exactly what the doctor ordered for the bullpen woes we saw earlier in the season.

        • Probably a contending team. But I could also see a team who was looking for an established closer being interested. At $7 million prorated and $9 million next year, that’s still reasonably priced even in the depressed closer market we saw this year. A team like the Mets. Broxton is a 1.5-year player, not just a rental. Broxton is valuable to the Reds. But the right full-time position player would be worth substantially more — 5 or 10 times more.

        • Tigers, Giants, Angels and Blue Jays to name a few but I get your point in general.

        • Steve when we agree, I’m thinking it has got to be right as all angles are covered.

        • If we could pull off a trade with the Mets for Duda I would be all for it. Doesn’t seem to make much sense for the Mets, but I can see your point that they might go for it. Maybe we could actually get some benefit from the Closer Myth for a change.

    • Good comment, but starting pitching like this comes along very rarely… Prospects are just that – prospects. I’d like to see the Reds actually go all in – getting fill ins for Votto and BP – and see what happens.

      Otherwise, the Reds have a slight chance at the play in game. Getting to the playoffs isn’t enough. Unless you are happy with “being competitive”.

      • Completely agree with this post. We have a legitimate chance right now to make the playoffs and compete without breaking the bank. No one in our division is that great and we have the best starting pitching.

        There is not a single team that wants to get into a 1 game wild card playoff with the Reds or face them in a five game series. We trot out 3 pitchers this year that have a legitimate chance to pitch a shutout or 1 run CG. Who is to say this team will be any more healthy next year?

        I am not saying that we break the farm, but to give up and do nothing at this point seems crazy. Get Votto some rest, stay in it and get Phillips back for a run. If BP can’t come back though there needs to be a legitimate #5-6 hitter to fill the lineup and we really need another bat for the days when Mes isn’t in the lineup.

        Hamilton
        Frazier
        Mes
        Bruce

        They should be able to keep us in it until we can get some more games from Joey.

        • Nice work. The other option is to find a legit #2 hitter so you could spread the lineup out a little. I guess the question then becomes will Frazier, Mes, and Bruce be enough power. It would be great if they could find another position for Mes to play; I think the team needs his bat in there nearly everyday.

        • I am fine with making a deal, as long as it doesn’t involve any of our top prospects. But they players some on here are advocating the Reds trade for (Stanton, Zobrist, etc.) are not going to come cheaply. The other clubs are going to want either Stephenson or Winker, and a small market team like the Reds simply cannot trade guys like them away and hope to compete on a regular basis.

        • I think you might be overvaluing Zobrist just a little. I don’t think he’ll come cheap, per se, but he’s nowhere near what Stanton would cost. They’re not in the same stratosphere.

        • I know Zobrist won’t cost near as much as Stanton, but my point is that I think the asking price for both players will be too high.

    • Nobody’s talking about Stephenson or winker being traded. Getting a decent hitting first baseman or left fielder wouldn’t cost anything near that much. And if Walt doesn’t want to trade anybody, he could still try guys in aaa like Soto, Gotay, or Perez. They couldn’t hit much worse than Pena and Santiago have and there’s a good chance they would be better. I just want to see him try something

      • They may not mention Winker or Stephenson by name, but who do you think it’s going to take to get some of the names being tossed around on here? It looks to be a sellers’ market, and I don’t see the Reds getting an impact bat without giving up a top prospect or two.

        I do think the Reds should be able to get a decent 1st base fill-in relatively cheaply. Someone who is older, and may be platooning or even a backup on another team. A player like that should be able to be had for a lesser prospect or two. I saw Garret Jones mentioned on here recently, someone like that sounds reasonable. He could then play some LF when Votto gets back.

    • Best comment of the day by a long shot. I am not willing to trade away top prospects for rental players in a season in which neither Joey nor Brandon will be playing. It’s time to enjoy baseball, root for the Redlegs, and know that better days are coming.

      There is NO possible way for a mid-market team to compete given the rash of injuries this club has faced. The fact that they are in it at the break speaks highly of Bryan Price, the coaching staff, and character of the club.

  23. OK, a little off beat but we need some humor about now, right?

    Just finished doing cardio and was watching Canada v. USA in the “World Cup of Softball”. Note to Canada, even though the bracket and scoreboard say you are the home team, it is NOT a good thing when the umps show up wearing the same color (some shade of pink) as your opponents’ uniforms :)

  24. Can we get a hide button? Sometimes the unabated Saber condescension and blind conjecture from old dude old schoolers is unbearable. There’s a middle ground between the two.

    I can’t even process have the player comments about because of their overgeneralization and strict adherence to old school dogma.

  25. Why do I keep seeing people in this and other threads repeatedly saying Tampa is “back in the race”? They’re 10 games under .500, 9.5 games out of the AL East, and 8 games out of the wild card race. That’s pretty well out of it, especially for a team with a history of using any excuse necessary to make trades. I really like the idea of Zobrist. He’ll be a lot cheaper this year than he was last year and he would instantly ease the loss of BP. Even if the entire regular starting lineup gets healthy he could still play almost every day rotating around the IF and OF spelling slumping or nicked up guys or just platooning at various spots.

      • There’s no behemoth in that division, but the Rays as an organization value youth and are always looking for ways to get younger and cheaper. Zobrist is 33 and can walk after this year. That’s precisely the kind of player the Rays use to acquire more young talent whenever they get the chance. I promise you they will be sellers this year. Some overly optimistic baseball fans may look at that division and see an opportunity, but the Rays have a negative run differential and are out their best player for the year so I guarantee their front office doesn’t have any World Series aspirations for 2014.

      • While we’re on the topic of Zobrist’s contract and the Rays general front office philosophy, how on earth did Tampa manage to get Zobrist to agree to his current deal in the first place? He signed what amounted to a 6-year deal worth a MAXIMUM of $32 million after a 2009 season where he put up 8.5 WAR. For some reason he only came in 8th in MVP voting that year, presumably because he plays for Tampa. With all this new TV money flying around it’s easy to forget how much cheaper these guys were just a few years ago.

        • I don’t know. There’s going to be a lot of interest in Zobrist and I’m pretty sure he’s still going to cost a lot in the way of talent given up. Rather the Reds get him or someone else, I’m curious to see what it ends up taking to get him. Assuming they want to move him. Tampa’s GM said they don’t plan on making any moves until close to the deadline. He apparently feels they are still in this thing in the AL West. This was from USA Today just a few days ago.

    • I would be ecstatic if the Reds could bring in Zobrist. But not at the cost of Winker, Stephenson, or our other top prospects. I’m not willing to sacrifice the next several seasons just to go all in on this one.

      The question, as always, is what will the other team take? That is the question we may never know the answer to.

      • I wouldn’t give up Stephenson or WInker, either. I imagine they’re as close to untouchable as you can get in this organization. But there’s some other good talent, particularly pitching talent, all over the system.

        • We do seem very well stocked with pitchers in the system, mainly due to the drafting philosophy over the last few years. They can’t all end up on the big club someday, so I wouldn’t mind if a guy like Moscot or Travieso was traded. Maybe Lorenzen for a good return.

  26. If there was anything that came out from yesterday’s game, it should be that Chris Heisey never, ever, ever starts a game again. Mr. Golden Sombrarro himself. Mr. 4 K’s.
    Bottom of the 8th inning with two outs and ducks on the pond, Heisey K’s again.

  27. The theme tonight was: “let’s put the worst team we possibly can on the field and see if we can still win.” I’m surprised Mike Leake wasn’t playing third. Too bad . . . this game was there for the taking and the Reds could have been 1 1/2 out.

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