Titanic Struggle Recap

Reds lose second game in New York

Final R H E
  Cincinnati Reds  (51-46) 1 7 1
  New York Yankees (49-47) 7 9  0 
 W: McCarthy (4-10)     L: Simon (12-4)
 FanGraphs Win Probability |   The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score    |   Game Photos

Help still wanted  The Reds offense struggled for the second day. They struck out 13 times. Billy Hamilton didn’t have a line drive in the series until the Reds were down 7-1 today, when their odds of losing were 99.3%. Jay Bruce is 0-for-7 with the one stinkin’ walk the Reds have worked in two games. Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco have three singles between them. Mesoraco struck out three times today. Chris Heisey and Brayan Peña have hit well in New York, but they’re about the only ones.

Pitching numbers  If you read the series preview or if you look at the right stats, it wouldn’t have surprised you that Brandon McCarthy out-pitched Alfredo Simon. Simon didn’t pitch that poorly over five innings, but with the Reds offense what it is, you’d never know it.

Relief  Solid performances by Carlos Contreras and Jumbo Diaz in their low-leverage innings.

Unlucky, day 2  J.J. Hoover certainly deserved better today. He gave up only one reasonably hard-hit ball – a single – yet because of two pure 100% luck jobs, the squibber off McCann’s bat that stopped next to the pitcher’s mound and Kelly Johnson’s soft roller that stopped a few feet into the outfield, the Yankees scored three runs in Hoover’s inning.

Baseball is a strange game  The Reds played the Pirates in a three-game series just before the All-Star break. On the one hand, the Reds were close to sweeping the series. On the other hand, the Reds two wins were the product of extremely improbable events, otherwise they’d have been swept. More of the same in this series so far, without the magic. If you’re surprised or apprehensive after these two games, you either don’t understand who the Reds are or you’re easily panicked. :-)

121 thoughts on “Reds lose second game in New York

  1. ” If you’re surprised or panicking after these two games, you didn’t understand who the Reds were.”

    Precisely, my dear fellow.

  2. This team has came back time and time again from bad series-games. This will be no different. They will wake up and suck everyone back in!!!

  3. If Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco don’t lead the hitting charge, the team isn’t going to score enough runs. Period.

    • Steve, at the beginning of the season it would have been safe to say the following,” If Votto, Phillips, and Bruce don’t hit, the team isn’t going to score enough runs. Period” The first two are DL’ed. Now its two other guys and Bruce. While Bruce had or has injury issues, his results are not an indication that he is going to hit enough to help carry the club. He looks worse than Votto did before they DL’ed him.
      If Bruce isn’t injured and swinging the way he is, the long awaited hot streak may not appear. Should a fan expect JV and BP to return and hit .400 through September, Really!. Acquiring another bat isn’t going to cause Bruce to hit and Devin and Todd to continue performing way above expectations. If healthy, Bruce needs to “get it together”, if still injured the Reds medical staff has struck again. Just a fan sharing what he sees and all season I haven’t seen Bruce look like Bruce. The pitching and defense have put the Reds in contention, the hitting has been spotty all season so any fan who expects the hitting to change with only 65 games left needs to put down the bottle and start injecting to ease the pain.

  4. Oh it’s just two games. I’m just glad Marty was off today because the Yankees announcers are horrible.

  5. Hopefully somebody noted for future reference that all four batted balls resulting in RBI’s off of Simon came on that laaaazzy curve thrown in (or too close to in Jeter’s case) the strike zone. This was a classic example of getting beaten on his third (or fourth best pitch) when ahead in the count thrice and even in the count once.

    Two point to pout forward here. It was bad pitch selection or placement by the Reds; and secondly when was the last time the Reds hitters exploited a weakness like this in a guy who was virtually unhittable otherwise.

    • His curve normally has good movement and this can be viewed in Fangrafhs PitchFx pitch movement charts. It is a credit to Simon that he used it rarely after Beltran smashed that hanger for a no-doubt HR.

      • But you’re right every run was scored on a curve and all hits came on a curve but one. By my count, he only threw 10 in the game, only two were called balls. Good work Jim and great eye.

    • He didn’t pitch poorly and Mr. Mancuso points that out. He does claim that he was out pitched.

      From my POV, the Yanks outhit and fielded better then the Reds. A guy that has a velocity range of 91 to 94 should be hit hard and that is reflected in McCarthy’s WHIP 1.30 lifetime.and 9.4 hits/IN. If he had good movement, he would be better pitcher but he doesn’t and so he isn’t. I doubt the Reds would have hit Josh Collmenter better than Brandon McCarthy today. Just a difference of opinion.

      • Sell at the deadline, keep prospects. This team does not have a playoff caliber look. Stand pat or sell. Do not trade ANY PITCHING.

        • Disagree with the sell aspect , but agree with not trading away pitcher prospect such as Stephenson – ain’t ready to throw in the towel yet- too much ball left to play

    • Only comments critical of other commenters or writers. Obviously, you’re welcome to disagree about the Reds. Just look at most every comment disagreeing with someone or another. This is well detailed in our commenting guidelines. If you can’t resist criticizing other people, this isn’t the blog for you. Plenty of others.

      Example of difference –

      OK: Jay Bruce’s fly ball drop was a big play.
      Not: People here always ignore Jay Bruce’s dropped fly balls.

      This is a blog about the Reds. It is not a blog about the other people here. If you log in just to criticize other people here, don’t bother. Protip: If your comment starts “I’m tired of reading…” that’s not going to be a post about the Reds.

  6. Reds stuck out tooooo much again today. Bruce, Mesoraco, and Ludwick have to step up and hit better, especially the Inconsistent Bruce and the rapidly failing Ludwick. Even when Phillips is healthy and Votto healthy or semi healthy, the Reds are not a big hitting team. I think Ludwick needs to go to the AL where he can DH the next couple years, and then retire. For the 1000th time, I think most people on Redleg Nation and the Media have said, the Reds need a Big Bat, preferably in Left Field. Someone that has power and can drive in runs. I know Marlon Byrd is doing well in Philly with the HR, but not sure now well his defense is?? He was available at the trade deadline last year, and available in the off season as a free agent. The Reds need him (unless his defense is really bad?) or someone like him. Chris Heisey plays okay, but is better coming off the bench as a sub, not an everyday starter. I think the Reds have better starters than the Cardinals, Brewers, and Pirates, therefore getting a big bat at the end of this season, either via free agency or a trade is a must. Ludwick did well a couple years ago when Votto was out for a while, especially in July and the playoffs, but those days for him are over, I believe….Therefore, the Reds need to rethink the above information I advised!

  7. Interesting fact.. since the beginning of June and *not* counting today’s homer, Heisey is hitting .250/.300/.429… over the last 30 days, once again not counting today’s homer, he’s hitting .310/.341/.476.

    Hopefully he can continue to get starts regardless of the availability of the DH and Schumaker coming back. With just 177 PA/320.2 Innings, he’s managed to rack up 1.6 WAR. Votto had like 720 PA last year playing 162 games. I am not sure if WAR can just be multiplied or whatever, but Heisey’s pace this year multiplied by 4 for getting 720 PA would be 6.4 WAR.

    He’s playing some amazing defense with passable offense and decent baserunning.

    • Granted, defense isn’t really the Reds issue, scoring runs is, so I guess I should have said I hope he keeps getting starts unless the Reds bring in a big bat to replace him.

      • Defense is always an issue. Re: 2nd base today.

        Heisey has the bat speed to be an above average hitter if he will start using the whole field more; I believe he would be a force. Why anyone ever pitches this guy middle in, is a great mystery. He can turn on an inside FB with the best of them. Leave him out there and take a chance. I would focus on 1b/lf type with short term emphasis on 1b. BP has left a soft spot in the field, Heisey can help make up for some of this.

        The other risk I’d take is moving Broxton in a trade. The return should be pretty good and with his contract, you release some budget money to not be boxed into a $500 contract in return. No one knows if Jumbo can assume the set up role but nothing ventured, nothing gained. The Reds are not in a position to sit still, IMO.

        • Broxton is just 30 years old and should have at least 3 or 4 years left in that arm. He has be the most reliable reliever this year so i wouldnt move him for a rental player if we can secure a bat under our control for at least 3 years i would say go for it otherwise it isnt worth the loss we would experience over the next few years. Heisey is starting to resurge thanks to Long influence.
          Hoover… Yeah lets move him or release.

        • Problem is I doubt Hoover would give you anything you could use. Reds are not interested “rental” properties. You could make an argument for Choo but I doubt they even looked at that situation as a rental.

          Who would you trade that would bring equal value. I believe the Reds have to risk it and hope that CH can hit better going forward and give him the LF job. To get both a LF and a 1b, may be a bridge too far. To me, the #1 need is a real honest-to-goodness 1b that also can play the corner OF spots. Just my take and as always, appreciate yours

  8. The Reds offense works like a charm when Hamilton is getting on base. The guy they bring in either needs to have the OBP to be put into that second position behind Hamilton to help carry the load when Hamilton is not getting on (did you notice for the Reds the #2 slot led off as many times today as the #1 slot) or he has to be able to carry enough of a OPS load (weighted to slugging) to allow Frazier to move back to #2.

  9. Has anyone else noticed that we seem to talk a lot about “bad luck” following JJ Hoover around like a shadow? And it does seem like he is so often on the verge of escaping unscathed except for flakey things happening to him…..

    Now, I don’t have any researched numbers to prove this but I’m going to guess that he probably doesn’t have much if any more “bad luck” than any other Reds reliever. His issue is most likely that he is working to his ceiling just to skate through when things fall his way. When they don’t fall his way; he doesn’t seem to have that higher gear to kick into to aid in his escape. That’s when we see the bleeder innings like today or the boomer innings with the grand salamis from him in numbers like we don’t see from other Reds relievers.

    • I don’t buy he’s working to his ceiling just to skate through. Nobody “skates through” with a career 9.5 K/9. When he’s on, he’s absolutely dominating. Hence his 26.1 scoreless inning streak last year (another thing people don’t do when they’re at their ceiling to stake through).

      He’s just inconsistent. The problem is his HR/9 went from 0.8 last year to 1.8 this year. His BB/9 also jumped up 1.2 from last year.

      He has all the stuff needed to be dominant. Just needs to put it all together consistently. Kind of like Bailey or Bruce.

      • His inconsistency is that he consistently gets burned in high leverage situations, not to mention that he often walks or hits batters before giving up the big hit(s). After three years of seeing the same thing with the trend toward it being worse, I consider that to be his ceiling.

  10. That was easily the most boring game I’ve ever say through in person. The only highlight was sitting at the right field pole and finally getting to see Billy Hamilton turn the corner and run full speed to leg a single into a double. Otherwise there was literally nothing to talk about. I don’t know how Simon gets off the hook here. He had a terrible game, plain and simple. Couldn’t get anyone out. Couldn’t miss bats. He looked like his advanced numbers suggest he should look. I think the honeymoon might be over.

      • I don’t know. Maybe? Haven’t we been waiting for his luck to run out all year? All of his peripherals have been trending in the wrong direction for a while. He looked today like the pitcher his underlying numbers suggest he actually is. Done? I mean I don’t think his career is over, but I don’t think he’s winning 10 more games this year. I hope we have another option as his arm fatigues more.

        • So his success is based on luck? How about instead of guessing based off some fringe stats we just wait and see..

    • While it certainly wasn’t Simon’s best day, perhaps you are perceiving his start as being worse than it really was. After all, you said were already feeling apprehensive about Simon on your way to Yankee Stadium. Self-fulfilling prophecy?

      • Well the guy gave up 4 runs in 6 innings and he didn’t look good doing it. Don’t know how self fulfilling that is. He still can’t get a strikeout when he needs it and you’re starting to see what happens when balls fall in instead of go right at fielders.

        • Over reacting is too kind. Alfredo has one bad game and all of a sudden the sky is falling. Because of those peripherals……………….

        • Well this wasn’t Simon’s first bad game. And I don’t know why we’re joking about “peripherals” as if they still don’t matter, especially after a game where he gave up 4 runs in 6 innings. Honestly I don’t understand why there is such a die hard constituency on this board devoted to the idea that Alfredo Simon is an elite pitcher. He’s just not. He’s won some games for us this year and that’s FANTASTIC but why are so many people so emotionally invested in convincing everyone that this guy is the next Greg Maddux? He’s just a journeyman pitcher who’s had a good couple of months. Ask RA Dickey what that feels like.

        • Is 2 ERA in 5 innings and allowing 6 baserunners really a bad game??

        • Look, a 5.79 K/9 just isn’t going to cut it in the major leagues in the long term. I’m sorry to have to keep breaking this to you. There hasn’t been a successful pitcher with that low of a K% in decades. Alfredo Simon ain’t going to be the first to prove it wrong. What do you want me to say? Seriously? He went to the All Star game! Good for him! I don’t want him pitching a playoff game, that’s for damn sure. You’re definitely not going to convince me otherwise on that front.

        • What do you consider long term? I could care less what he does in future seasons as all that matters is the next 2.5 months and maybe 11-12 starts for him.

        • I don’t see him winning 5 more games this year. Long term is the rest of 2014. I think his underlying numbers are going to come back to bite him down the stretch. And people will blame arm fatigue and the jump to the starting role, but the truth will be that he hasn’t really pitched all that great. He has pitched well, but just as well as he ever has, only over more innings. I like Alfredo Simon. I just really hope we aren’t relying on him to carry us to the playoffs. Especially since Cueto is also due for a bit of a regression and who knows if Cingrani will be back this year.

        • I’m not concerned about a career. Can he maintain the pace “this” year? 2013:

          Bartolo Colon: K/9 = 5.53, ERA = 2.65
          Joe Kelly: 5.73, 2.69
          Andrew Cashner: 6.58, 3.09
          Travis Wood: 6.48, 3.11
          Bruce Chen: 5.80, 3.27

        • Simon at ASB was something like 12-3 with sub 3 era…that is all that matters. I will be just fine if come the end of the season he is say 18-7 and a mid 3 era. He is your number 4 or 5 starter on this staff. How can you complain about that from him?

    • Help from the Nats is a relative thing since they (or the Bravos) are one of the teams the Reds would have to get past for a WC spot should the Rdds come up short in the division race.

  11. I don’t normally go on Bleacher Report but I did earlier for whatever reason and was looking at the Reds stream on there. I see someone saying the Reds should trade Cingrani, Winker, and Amir Garrett for Starlin Castro and James Russell. This would be a terrible trade for the Reds and this guy was serious. Thiz is why I am a frequent reader of Redlegnation. The posters on here are at least realistic for the most part.

    • Why on earth would the Cubs make that trade? Castro is an All Star who can easily move to 3B and Russell is one of the best SS prospects in a decade. They just gave up two starting pitchers for that guy. Castro, Russell, and Rizzo are the future of the Cubs. They don’t want Cingrani and some OF prospect.

  12. Simon was not at his best but I didn’t see any signs to believe he is on the verge of collapsing.

    The run in the third is 100% on Bruce. By virtue of the error on the lead off batter, Simon ended up throwing essentially an entire inning of high leverage pitches and this doubtlessly help contribute to his early departure. Without the Meso PB, mosty likely only one of the last two runs he allowed (one earned) come in.

    So with normal defensive support I see it as a minimal quality start, 6 innings 2 ER (note that the reason it is not a quality start is that he went only 5 innings as 2 of the 4 runs were officially unearned).

  13. A recent article here pointed out that Heisey has never really been given the chance to start. Since seeing this fact, I am back on the Heisey bandwagon. Other posters have listed many of the reasons why. He has much higher upside than Ludwick.
    I would like Heisey to have as long a leash as Billy had at the beginning of the season.
    He ripped that ball today.

    • Don’t believe every thing you read, even here :)

      Heisey has had several failed chances to win the starting LF job dating back to at least 2011. IMO, a number of people who post here would not pass a reality test where the history of Heisey and the Reds was the subject. This said, I think he is playing better this year and is the best option they have for LF within the organization at this point. However I think they need to go out and get someone else for the job so Heisey can be what he is actually pretty good at, the 4th outfielder and a game changing bat off the bench when well spotted.

        • You are exactly right – those who are aware of his history with this team know that he has had chances in the past to seize that LF position – but make no mistake about it , he is indeed a valuable 4th outfielder – can play multiple outfield positions and plays hard

      • Jim, you actually think they can get a new starting LF and 1b? Let a alone a 2b? Classic case of priority setting.

        I think I can pass any Reds/Heisey history test you want to offer. Not saying Heisey will do it but I hope we can agree he has the tools to do so. Whether he has the skills is another question. His potential upside compared to Schu, Ludwick, Pena, etc. shouldn’t be a serious question. Odds are stacked against him given he is 28 and hasn’t grabbed the brass ring but again priorities have to be set.

        • Not sure how you differentiate between “tools” and “skills”. I’m guessing skills may be a polite way of saying mental approach since you have been pointing out that Heisey is a dead pull hitter and makes a lot of outs trying to pull instead of going with the pitch.

          So, to a large degree we probably agree as much as we disagree on Heisey.

          Up or down the thread somebody is saying (in response to me) that Hoover’s problem is “inconsistency” and not that he is at his ceiling. I said Hoover was at his ceiling because for 3 years he has consistently demonstrated he can’t get a big out in difficult situations without significant damage being done. I don’t really care if his problem is physical or mental, just that he doesn’t seem to be able to put it behind him. I’m at the same place with Heisey. Why should I believe he will change now?

          I’d rather see them get an OF than a 1B because the OF could fit into the plans for the next couple of years till Winkler et al are ready while the 1B would probably be surplus in short order when Votto returns (by) next year.

        • Just a couple of observations about what I am reading:
          1. Denorfia was a valuable 4th OF too, until he was traded and has carved out a decent career since. Now he is being talked about as someone the Padres would trade for prospects. I am not saying go get him, just that Heisey is a better player than Denorfia was when a Red. Maybe you let Heisey play.?
          .2. If Heisey is hitting and Pena is hitting, do you take them out of the lineup? There is a big strong LF/1B on the team but he cant get at bats.
          3. So you want a 2b? With Schumacher coming back soon, do you want to give up anything for a rental? Unless, you think the Reds will need a 2b next year, or plan to trade Phillips in the offseason.
          4. Aren’t lists ridiculous?
          I try hard to figure out what will happen in the future, but I just cant, If the Reds make a move who will it entail? Do you move a Major League player or prospects?
          Much has been said about the lack of prospects in the high minors, but they were players that would either be on this club right now or in AAA. If you want prospects in AAA you cannot trade them away. Therefore, if you think you have future above average players that are a year away, maybe, you keep them, so do not block them on their way up. I have seen Jocketty make moves that seemed to not make sense,when he made them. Many have complained, but for the most part they have worked out. They also have, cost us minor leaguers and they might have helped right now but you wouldn’t have Latos. Jocketty has to make the choices, I am not good enough to do it. I believe he is, and he has a track record.

        • We’ll disagree with what comes first, 1b or LF but I understand your point. By skill, I mean what may be considered a “professional” hitter. To me, this does not describe Heisey. Tools means he has bat speed, balance at the plate, pretty decent eye too. Not really mental approach but the willingness to extend his tools to skills. He has hit all of 3 line drives to LF and 2 to CF this season. That will equate to a .300)? I can’t recall any but I’m sure there are some and that would be lightning speed bat speed or the ability to foul off a ton of outside strikes.

          I think we agree on CH. I’m not optimistic but out of the options now available, he is my clear pick. You shouldn’t believe he’ll change but he is the best out bad options, IMO. I hope we get a 1b/OF combo guy. A Duda. When BP gets back I think we can sacrifice some defense if LF. Without him……jeez I hope Heisey can at least not embarrass himself.

          I think inconsistency is a nice way of saying not too good.

          I’m afraid to think too much about JV’s future. I’m praying more then anything.

        • Jim, my post was butchered. Too many words maybe. Sorry, hopefully you can understand the principle of what I’m getting at.

      • Heisey had a chance at the beginning of 2012. He and Ludwick were splitting time pretty evenly until Ludwick started hitting and won the spot.

        Last year, Heisey was the Reds best right handed hitter after he came back from his injury. From end of June through early August, he had an OBS over .800 with 7 HR in about 120 AB. He was playing about 60% of the time. Then Ludwick came off the DL and Heisey was back on the bench, getting 37 AB in September.

        The earlier article about Heisey never really being handed the job and told to go for it, a la Stubbs or Hamilton is accurate.

        • Spring Training of 2012 was very, very close to the job being handed to Heisey and him blowing it before they even got out of camp

        • OhioJim, you say that in ST 2012, he was very, very close to the job being handed to him. Even if that were true–and I don’t think it was, with Ludwick having been signed–that’s not exactly the same as “several failed chances to win the starting job.” He’s had very few sustained opportunities– I believe another poster earlier this year said the highest number of games he ever started in a month was 18. He’s faster than Schumaker and Ludwick, a far better defender than either of them, has plenty of power, and isn’t exactly competing against two guys who will have .350 OBPs. I say play him, put Schu at 2nd when we’re facing RHP, and try to do something about 1st.

  14. 23 strikeouts in the last 2 games….another 0-4 game for Bruce with 3 K’s, hitting a robust .224, almost 10 points lower than Cozart… wow, let that sink in. I’ve always been a fan of #32, but many of his ABs this year have been brutal to watch. Maybe he was just keeping up with Cozart, who also went 0-4 in the 2 hole. This is a Yankee pitching staff that has given up lots of runs, but proving too much so far for Reds hitters….Disappointing. Hoping they “wake up” tomorrow.

    • The Reds FO have ignored the obvious black hole in LF for years, we passed on Cespedes and Puig who have very team friendly contracts. Don’t get it. We need power in LF, Ludwick looks horrible. Heisey should be the starter full-time. Reds must stop with the Hannahan/Schumaker type signings. We have def made some mistakes contract wise the last few years. They better wake up soon, or this will get ugly quick.

  15. Despite the flak Ryan Ludwick gets around here, these are his numbers on the season:

    .265 .324 .400

    And these are Jay Bruce’s numbers:

    .224 .306 .399

    Yes, I know Bruce has been injured and so on so forth, but you have to produce, bottom line. The record books don’t care if you were injured or not.

    • This team is dead in the water if Bruce can’t turn it around. Between now and the trade deadline there needs to be some serious conversation about if Votto can contribute this year and if Bruce is healthy enough to do the same. If the answer to either is no then we should not be in buyer mode. Zobrist or Willingham or Duda are not enough to replace the production we need from at least one of those guys.

      • Agree. If Votto and Bruce are not going to contribute, nothing they pickup is going to help them make the playoffs.

    • Bruce supplements his poor hitting with good base running and defense (today and their attempts at 1B aside).. Ryan Ludwick’s ONLY positive is his bat. Every other aspect of his game is a huge negative, so his bat has to be an even bigger positive to offset it, which it is not.

      Granted Bruce HAS been horrible, I guess the difference is Ludwick will never get any better at age 36, Bruce can at age 27. So people give Bruce a little less trouble over it?

  16. Don’t look now but Simon’s ERA jumped today from 2.70 to 2.74. WHIP from 1.05 to, eh 1.05. If this is your biggest worry about the Reds, relax. At this rate he could finish with an ERA of 3.00 and a WHIP of, eh 1.05.

    • Setting aside WHIP as a pretty much useless stat, yes Alfredo Simon will likely end up with a low ERA this year. His BABIP will also likely be low. That will not disprove the value of fielding independent metrics. It will mean that without some seriously bad luck in the back half of the season his numbers are sufficiently inflated right now that it will be hard for them to normalize. Think of it as going to a casino and winning 20 straight hands of black jack. Totally possible. And even if you have completely normal luck for the rest of the night you’ll still leave up. Good for you! Enjoy the extra cash. But it doesn’t mean you figured out how to beat black jack.

      • Eric, you and I both know that some folks have been predicting Alfredo’s demise since April. I think those people are not watching him pitch so much as watching the advanced stat spreedsheets. They should go look at something like his pitch location graphs and his pitch speed range. I think this will tell them lot more valuable information than K-rate. He has been the same pitcher for nearly 3 years now and that is a pretty god pitcher. I guess that WHIP is useless but one has to wonder if giving up more hits and walks is a plus.

        • Obviously, I’m not a big believer in luck either. Except maybe we are very lucky Simon pitches for the Cincinnati Reds after Walt picked him up off a junk pile.

        • I just said it above but I’ll say it again :I don’t understand why there is this club on here that is so intent on convincing the rest of us how great Alfredo Simon is. I’m as happy as anyone that he has pulled through for us so far this year the way he has. He didn’t today, and unfortunately the way he didn’t sure seems to point to all of those pesky “peripherals” that you keep ignoring. He sure could have benefitted from the ability to strike out a guy every once in a while in a tough spot and there sure were a couple balls that fell in where they weren’t earlier in the year. What do you want me to say? You won’t convince me Simon’s ERA isn’t lower than it should be and you won’t convince me that we should be relying on him for the rest of the year. He’ll be in the bullpen by September. Bank on it. And that’s not a bad thing! It’s probably what’s best for this team if we really want to compete for the post season.

        • Heck not trying to convince you of anything just sharing the other side of the story. Like 2 ERA’s in 5 innings is not a bad outing. He can’t catch the ball for Bruce and Mesoraco. Incidentally, those are two of the guys that actually had “bad games”.

        • By the way, Homer Bailey would love to have a “bad” ERA of 3.60 (2 ER in 5 innings).

        • Oh I’m not letting Mes or Bruce off the hook for this series. They’ve been terrible. And I said above that this team isn’t going ANYWHERE if Bruce doesn’t get it together, even if Alfredo Simon pitches like Cy Young from here on out. And yes, Bruce made one of the dumbest errors you will ever see a professional baseball player make. The passed ball on Mes, though, could also be half attributed to a sloppy pitch from Simon – I’m not sure what the call was, but catchers always get the brunt of that call. Still, I thought one of your favorite attributes of Simon was his grit and how he pitched himself out of tough situations. He sure didn’t do that today. 2 of those runs may not have been “earned” but go watch that inning again. He did not pitch well once he got in trouble.

        • “Obviously, I’m not a big believer in luck either.,,,,,”
          ****************************************************************
          Might this be because you remember the man who said he would rather be good than lucky because the good create their own luck?

        • Go watch the tape the PB was all on Mes. Hit him right in the mitt. Mes drops a lot of balls, he needs to p laying 1b or the OF starting next year.

        • “Mes drops a lot of balls…”
          ******************************************

          To my eye he just doesn’t have great catcher’s hands to take his defense to the next level. He is clearly a hard worker and all of that. He does the right things to block and box balls but in the end, if your hands are hard instead of soft, you have an issue.

          I anticipate a flurry of disagreement with this viewpoint. Let me suggest the following test. Make a point for several games in different series to compare how Meso catches the ball compared to how the opposition catcher receives it. You’ll see that Meso rarely catches a ball totally cleanly. By that I mean you can see that the ball moves around in his glove as he receives it; and, typically he reaches into the glove to pick the ball out. By contrast, most of the other catchers will be catching the ball and moving it to their throwing hand almost instantly and seamlessly. The catch and transfer for them is essentially a single two handed action and at times it seems almost as if the ball is never even in the glove before it is in their throwing hand.

        • I wanted to comment on your luck post but it wouldnt allow me to do so. The funny thing is that most of the people commenting on luck are those that look at those advanced stat sheets. Luck and stats dont exist in the same world of measured performance. I agree with you that Simon has done a great job for the Reds and he deserved that all star selection. Now where we may disagree at is that I think there is no better time to trade Simon if I am a GM trying to build a long term dynasty type of organization. If I care only for this year then maybe trading Simon isnt such a smooth move. He is 33 years old, our oldest pitcher, under contract just through next year. Does he have a long term future with the Reds? I think not, especially with the pitchers we have waiting at Pensacola. To be fair if Latos was never injured we would never have figured out this guy could be as effective as he has been. Any team in playoff contention would want this guy on their roster. We could easily pick up two or three top prospects and at positions we need filling in the minors. The trade of Simon can only help us long term versus any significant extended negative impact.

          Of course I would say the same about Pena since we have Barnhart and Anderson at AAA and either makes for an adequate backup. His value will not become greater than what it is right now.

          I would dare say that unless we are the most dominant team in the league that we should always trade at the highest value a player is worth. That is not only smart business sense but it is also a way to build the top farm system in baseball which for a small market team with salary restraints is the only way to go.

        • Not wishing to pile-on Mesoraco, who has been one of very few offensive positives for the Reds this year, but ESPN’s Mark Simon produced some interesting stats on catchers, showing Mes is just 43 out of 48 catchers at pitch-framing efficiency.

        • Mes isn’t particularly good defensively, but I don’t think he’s enough of a liability defensively to move him. He’s still a positive dWAR player. Combine that with a big heavy bat that loves to murder baseballs, and his fiery personality, and the only way I move him out of C is only for one reason…. They have another C who is ready to come in and produce and this would allow Mesoraco to start 150 games a year. (But they don’t, and I really don’t want to see Pena or Barnhart get 120 starts behind the plate.)

        • Mes would move to LF probably, and it’s much easier to find a good offensive and decent defensive left fielder than it is to find a good offensive passable defensive catcher.

  17. “He’ll be in the bullpen by September. Bank on it”

    Even money? What are we talking about here? I’m sure we could work something out.

  18. Time for all these sportswriters to let the loss of Votto and B. Phillips go…I personally am tired of this crap…Sorry sportswriters the game will be played regardless of this loss… pick up the pieces and move on…enough already…

  19. With no Bruce or Votto or Phillips this team isnt making the playoffs and none of those three are going to have any major impact over the remaing 2.5 months. So I say just chilax and enjoy the rest of the season for what its worth.

    • Bruce’s production doesn’t APPEAR to be about the injury. He moves great in RF still and it’s not a question of bat speed. He’s just not seeing the ball. I’m not giving up hope that he’ll come around and he’s perfectly capable of putting up a monster month or two. I don’t know if I’d bet on it given what I’ve seen in the last month but Bruce has done this before. BP should be back in time for September and he will at least have a defensive contribution and even if he’s not at 100% will be better than Santiago/Negron. Votto is a question mark, though Price indicated he’s “weeks away” versus “months away” so knock on wood. They need to play .500 ball for the next 5-6 weeks and they’ll still have a shot. Unfortunately, given what we’ve seen the last 2 days that might be asking too much without Walt making a move.

      • I seriously doubt you will see an effective Phillips in September. After being out almost two months, he will be at ST level when he comes back. That is, if he is back this year, as I am not sure he will be back. I doubt that Votto will be effective either.

        • Again, though, compare a BP at 75% to a 100% Kris Negron or Ramon Santiago. I would be seriously surprised if BP was done for the year. Now what he can bring to the table when he’s back is up for debate. The injury was to his left hand so his defense should be fine. Question is if it will effect his bat speed. If he can come back and play his normal defense and put up a wRC+ north of 90 it will be a major improvement over the guys we have filling in right now. I’m much less optimistic about Votto coming back, though if he does I still think he can be very valuable just by getting on base. As bad as he’s been this year nursing this injury he still managed to put up a wRC+ of 127. That’s kind of insane when you think about it. So let’s say he comes back at 7% too. That’s still swapping Pena’s 75 wRC+ for a player closer to 110. That would add up to wins pretty quickly. But it’s all moot if Bruce, Frazier, and Mes keep stinking it up.

  20. Angels just traded 3 of their top 10 prospects including their #1, and a guy in exchange for half a year of an All-Star closer and a guy.

    Wonder how much that’d make Chapman worth considering he still has 2.5 years of team control. If the Reds can go from having a middling farm to a great one in exchange for a guy who’s only going to pitch 60 innings a year? Yes please.

    • Yeah i would have traded chapman for 3 top prospects too. May e not the angels deal though. We need to be talking with Houston and Boston if we are going down the road of adding prospects

    • Actually Street has a pretty affordable $7 million team option for 2015, which the Angels said was the reason they gave up what they did. And for what it’s worth, one of the prospects they gave up was being groomed as a closer anyway. It does make you wonder what you could get for Chapman (a LOT), but with the state of this offense Chapman might be one of the most important players on the roster. Closer myth or not, there have been more than a few games this year that I was damn glad to see Chapman coming in to “save.” I would feel much more comfortable moving Broxton, and I think he could get a similar return to Street’s, provided no one looks at his advanced numbers too closely.

  21. This team has got to be healthy or gritty to win. We were almost healthy then bam its april all over again. The grit and pitching will keep us afloat until health comes our way again and then post season bam it will be april all over again….Gotta love it…they are more fun to watch then last year, and they are contending….Go Reds!!!

    • Schumaker will come back, Hannahan will finish his rehab stint, and you’ll get all the Grit Above Replacement and Cardinal Above Replacement you can handle. I am pretty sure it won’t help them win any games though. Grit doesn’t win games, talent does.

      • So much grit you can taste it!Imagine the infield combination of Santiago, Schumaker, and Hannahan. Don’t think you won’t see it a handful of times.

  22. Everybody’s worried about Walt getting some bats. The fact is, if Frazier, Bruce, Mes, and Hamilton hit like they have the past two days it won’t matter who we add. (Irony alert: we have 3 homeruns in the last two games, and they’ve all come from our 1B and LF!)

    Incidentally, the Yankees have thrown their best remaining starters, and we’ve thrown our #4 and #5. The results shouldn’t be a huge shock. It’s also unfortunate we’re getting the Yankees–an old and creaky team–right after the AS break when they’re well rested. With rare exceptions–like the Giants series in SF–we seem to constantly be playing teams at the wrong time. C’est la vie.

    • That’s why I said it above – Walt needs to keep a close eye on those three guys over the next week. If Bruce’s knee isn’t 100% or it looks like Frazier and Mes are in for a cool down, it might not be worth making a move this year because anything short of Giancarlo Stanton won’t make much of a difference with those guys “hitting” like they are right now. Especially since the Cards have somehow gotten even hotter since Molina went down.

      • Maybe the Cards are experiencing that pull together bump up like the Reds did when JV did little more than fill a spot on the line up sheet for a couple of weeks then went on the DL.

        • Seems that way. I haven’t looked at their box scores to see who’s been scoring the runs but I think they’re something like 7-3 since Molina went on the DL.

    • I see Hamilton as being the a key to the three big bats (Frazier, Bruce, Meso). When he is on base he is a disruptor; and the guys behind him seem to get pitched differently. Also they need to get Cozart out of that #2 spot ASAP, He appears to be in out machine mode when he bats there.

      • Friday they were just grooving fastballs right down the middle to Cozart all game long and he couldn’t put a bat on them. It was hard to watch. I’ve defended Cozart saying that he was bound to come around eventually to his career norms, but it’s looking like we might actually be seeing his career norm right now and that’s of a poor man’s Paul Janish. Still, he plays elite defense and there are much easier positions to find offensive value from on the field.

        • If C and first and second and third and RF and CF produce…I really dont care if my SS does…his main job is definitely defense.

        • It is difficult for me to stay objective about SS because during my lifetime up till Larkin’s retirement, the Reds had essentially had 4 starting SS in 50+ years (McMillan, Cardenas, and Concepcion were the other 3), They all were multiple season All Star selections, McMillan being the least with just 2, the other 3 all with 5 or more AS selections (in McMillan’s defense, Ernie Banks was in his prime at SS during Mac’s run at SS for the Reds). In between these 4 some guys like Ron Oester and Kurt Stillwell, pretty good players in their own rights, were moved out the position and/ or organization because of these guys.

          Cozart’s career to date OPS, because of a much stronger slugging component versus a weaker OBP, actually hangs in with these guys (excluding Larkin) with caveat that they all played approaching two decades and their career OPS include a long decline period probably not yet reflected in Cozart’s.

          This said, Cozart to my eye is not an elite defender. He is very reliable which is very important to a team as dependent on its pitching as the current Reds are; but, he isn’t elite. I would hope that in the next year or two they will find a replacement who is a significant offensive upgrade without having to take much if any of a hit on defense.

        • The Yankees are about to remember what not getting offense from their SS feels like again pretty soon. At least they’ve had a couple for years to start to get used to the idea.

          Have to disagree with you on defense. Again, I think we’re spoiled as Reds fans with our history of SS’s. Cozart is one of the better defensive SS’s in the game. He’s near the top of the NL in my book.

  23. I have a somewhat radical question: Is it time to trade Bruce? Before you go postal, let me say I like the guy, but have we seen enough to know what kind of a player he is? He is wildly inconsistent, has not learned where LF is or that a pitch can be hit there, pulls his shoulder and head off the ball, swings at pitches that are not strikes, and does not make enough contact. Is he going to ever come close to hitting .300? I am not advocating a trade, just throwing it out there.

    • Well we would be trading him at his absolute lowest possible value so I think it’s a non-starter on that alone. But let’s say he was playing light’s out but we were out of the race. I’d still say he’s pretty untouchable given how team friendly his contract is. Assuming Votto is never going to be the power hitter he was in 2010, we need one LH power bat in the lineup and Bruce is very cheap for his value. His inconsistency is frustrating for us to watch game by game, but at the end of the season he makes a big difference. And who cares if he ever hits .300? BA has been pretty thoroughly debunked as a gauge of offensive production.

    • Bruce has earned around 3.5 WAR per year, each of the last four years (that’s an average of FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference). Teams are paying over $6 million per WAR in free agent contracts. That’s one way of saying that Bruce has “earned” around $20 million in value for the Reds the past four years, or about $80 million in value. Over that time, the Reds have paid him about $15 million total. I think that answers your question.

      • You’re absolutely right, but the question can be asked that other teams would also see what a great value his contract is and that would make the return on him even higher. Again, I don’t think that’s a good idea, particularly when he’s in the bottom of a slump and coming off knee surgery, but it’s a valid question.

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