Cold Stove

Jocketty interview on MLB Radio Network

Walt Jocketty was just interviewed on the MLB Radio Network by former major league general managers Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette.

There was only one moment of the interview where Jocketty conspicuously got a little tight with his response. When asked point blank by Jim Bowden if Ben Zobrist wouldn’t be a perfect fit for the Reds since he plays 1B, 2B and LF, Jocketty said:

“That’s a really good name. Heh, heh. That’s all I’ll say.”

Here are few other highlights (paraphrased unless indicated by quotes):

++ This is one of his favorite times of the year because he’s a competitive person. “We all thrive on competition.” “You get the adrenaline going.” “It’s harder to make deals now.”

++ When the team has battled to overcome everything they have you want to show them you support them by bringing in reinforcements. If you could add someone it would “really help boost the morale of the clubhouse.”

++ The second wild card makes trades at this time of year more difficult because “so many teams” feel they have a chance to win and don’t wan to disappoint their fans. They don’t want to send up a white flag saying they are surrendering because they want fans to show up for the games and concern for TV ratings.

++ Lots of teams are looking for the same things.

++ Injuries have set the team back and have continued throughout the year. Bryan Price, staff and the team have done a great job of staying in it. Seems like when one person gets back, another person gets hurt. Had everyone back for less than ten days and that’s when the Reds started making their move back. “Thought we had a very solid club going into the spring.”

++ Timeline for Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips is 4-5 weeks away, hopefully both back by end of August or first part of September. “Still both about five weeks, four-to-five weeks away.” “For the stretch drive.”

++ Know Votto and Phillips will be back, so don’t want to trade for players who “primarily” play 1B or 2B.

++ Trying to “add offense, add pop” someone who will “add a little life” to the lineup that has been “a little flat.” Looking for someone “with power” who will “drive in runs.”

++ Definitely there are “probably a handful” of players in the organization who are off limits. Given the size of the market, have to develop from within and can’t afford to give up our top guys.

++ Robert Stepheson and Jesse Winker (“pretty impressive, aren’t they”) should both finish the year in AA, no sooner than end of 2015 for them to reach the Reds, possibly 2016

++ When discussing honoring Derek Jeter, said he thought Larkin and Concepcion were the only Reds captains ever (this is false, Sparky named Pete Rose the first Captain of the Reds)

++ Will attend the HOF induction ceremony. Asked about LaRussa’s speech, joked “I hope he keeps it short. He likes to talk.” Also said he joked with Joe Torre this morning that if he (Jocketty) hadn’t fired him (Torre) in St. Louis, he may never have gotten to the Yankees.

108 thoughts on “Jocketty interview on MLB Radio Network

  1. When Jocketty talked about how a trade deadline move can boost the morale of the clubhouse, I couldn’t help but think of 2013. Not a single move. Team was lifeless at the end of the year.

      • Huh? In 2006 didn’t they get Lohse and Cormier at the deadline? Of course neither were particularly great.

        • Yeah, that trade didn’t help. I was pretty excited at the time, aside from the fact that I thought Lopez was better than Clayton. The Reds hated his defense though… I agree that no move is better than a bad move. I’m not big on trading starting position players for bullpen help and that’s exactly what happened in that trade. The Reds were desperate for arms out of the pen though.

      • From the moment Ludwick got injured on Opening Day, anyone with even a passing knowledge of shoulder injuries, or even with the slightest memory of Scott Rolen, should have known when he came back he would have absolutely zero power. It’s not exactly rocket science.

  2. Just from the Cliff notes it at least appears that he knows something needs to be done to help out until the team is whole. Let’s hope something can be done without trading away the future. I understand it’s tough because based off of mlbtraderumors.com it appears that a few teams are interested in Zobrist. Although with Uggla and Soriano outright released, it makes you wonder if it’s worth taking one of them on just for the remainder of the year..

    • Uggla cant hit anymore and hasnt for a couple of years. Soriano is seriously considering retiring. He also does not help the clubhouse. As for a 1b or 2b; Schumacher and Santiago can cover 2b and 3b with Frazier on 1b. eOtherwise, you might put Frazier in LF and PLAY Lutz or send him down so he can get AB. Of course teams are interested in Zobrist, do the Reds have enough to get him though. Willingham might like it if he was traded to a team that is in it, A guy with pop that is on a team with no chance to win….I am stumped!

  3. I still find “official” sites that claim Concepcion was named Captain of the Reds in 1973. Sure. A light-hitting shortstop, virtually a rookie, was named captain of a team with Rose, Bench, Morgan, Perez… Not surprising Jocketty got it wrong – it’s probably wrong in the Reds media guide.

    • Exactly what do you want Walt to do if he has been told he cant add payroll and all the teams he talks to want top level guys?

      • I’m getting a bad feeling there are things we don’t know and probably should be happy we don’t. I actually trust Walt to do what is in the best interest of team. The problem could be we have know way of knowing what that is. When the curtain is pulled back, it all might make sense.

    • Well he was on talk radio. Not sure we should have expected him to get the Rays GM on the phone on the air and seal a Zobrist trade.

  4. My question/concern is the comment that he won’t look at somebody whose primary position is at second base or first base, just because Phillips/Votto will be back. What would be so wrong with getting, say, primarily a first baseman who can also play some outfield, for example. (If that type of player is available.)

    Otherwise, what are we looking for, a bullpen arm? Nice, but … Or trying to upgrade our bench/utility players? Just don’t see how much help will be for a team having trouble scoring runs.

  5. By the way, what is the thought about trying to get Martin Prado? He could play second now and left — or third, I guess, sigh, if Frazier is still getting moved to first from time to time after Phillips comes back. …. Prado is under contract at $11 million a year through 2016.

  6. How about Van Slyke? The Dodgers have a real prospect in Pederson and a logjam in the OF. I would think that they would rather unload some of the high priced players so unless they want to pay most of their salary, the Reds probably wont go there.

  7. I’ll believe it when I see it. Actions speak louder than words. No more talk Walt. Get busy. If you are going to get something done, it might be prudent to get someone in before a 3 game series with the division leader.
    I think in a prior life, Jocketty was in charge of getting the re-inforcements for the Alamo.

  8. - “It’s harder to make deals now.”
    - “The second wild card makes trades at this time of year more difficult….”
    - “Lots of teams are looking for the same things.”
    - “Know Votto and Phillips will be back, so don’t want to trade for players who “primarily” play 1B or 2B.”

    I read all of that as… “We’ve got Jack.” and any expectations of a big move? “Expect Jack”. Looks like it’ll be 2013 all over again. Waiting for an old man’s surgically repaired shoulder to solve all their woes.

    • I haven’t been a fan of Walt’s in-season activity the last few years, but he’s just speaking the truth here. I don’t have any doubt that he’s on the phones every day trying to make a deal, but the fact is things HAVE gotten harder with the new WC system. I don’t blame him for tempering expectations even if he does fall on the conservative side of the spectrum in terms of deadline trades. I also don’t read much into the Votto/BP talk. We SHOULDN’T be looking for guys who only play those positions. Zobrist is a great fit because he also plays OF. Willingham is a great fit because he plays LF. I haven’t heard anyone suggesting we go out and get a pure 1B or 2B.

      • Sure things might have gotten harder, but the trades are still happening. Serious teams are still improving. This whole gotten harder thing seems to have only effected Walt. So maybe the Reds need to just get better at GM and maybe then it won’t be so tough?

        It wouldn’t have been hard at all to pick up Byrd last year, or at least stop the Pirates from getting him and going 10-21, 2B, 2 HR, 2 BB against the Reds in 5 regular season and 1 postseason game. No excuse there.

  9. At least he broke radio silence. He’s alive. I was afraid if they opened Jocketty’s office door, they’d find a mumified Walt sitting at his desk.

    This second wild card is going to have to start a new trading paradigm. Instead of the contenders going after the wait until next year teams’ players, that contenders are going to have to play match up with other contending teams and match your team’s strengths and depth to other teams weaknesses and vice versa. Or move the trade deadline back until Aug. 10 or 15 to let those teams teetering between buying and selling a little time to settle on which side they fall.

    • That is funny right there WV

      Why is Winker not ready now but Donald Lutz somehow is ready?

      I would like to see more plate discipline and a guy who gets on base and can play LF

      If no trades are to made, Winker has to be here for August

      He is ready in 2015, August should not be that much of a stretch

      Good players rise to the occasion. I have not been surprised by Billy as I think he could have done this last year. The guy is a gamer who will go thru stretches of learning on the job

      Of course we could leave Winker in the minors…. We would hate to have another player like Mesoraco on our hands….

      • Winker has only been in AA for 21 games. After batting .317 in A+, he’s been struggling a bit since the move up to AA and is only batting .208. Yeah, let’s ignore reality and have him skip AAA altogether and put him in MLB. I hear the competition level in MLB is similar to A+ ball.

        Unfortunately, he’s not a 2014 solution.

        • Earm, the Reds had a situation where they had runner on, 2 outs, bottom of the ninth inning.

          Ramon Santiago had to bat for himself because the only bench choices were Lutz, Soto, and Negron. At that point, it doesn’t really matter if you call up anyone ready or not. It can’t be any worse.

        • Yeah but you also have to think about long term development. You don’t want to shell shock a kid and ruin his confidence. And you don’t want him sitting on the bench for 1 or 2 PH appearances a week when he could be getting 5 a day in the minors.

        • Sorry Eric and Earm,

          I do not believe that you will ruin a kid by giving him a chance to break out. Winker was at the futures game. go back and look at where all those guys end up.

          A small sample size does not mean much to me. the totality of work shows that he knows the strike zone.

          I am not talking about Winker being the only solution. I think a trade is much more viable and yes does allow Winker to continue to develop at AA

          However, if no trade is made, I would hope he is an option over nothing.

          He will be here in 2015

        • I don’t think you’re going to RUIN him, btu I don’t know why you’re so amped to have a guy who has just made a jump to AA skip AAA entirely and come play in the bigs when he hasn’t even adjusted to the level’s he’s at yet. He might be a September callup in 2015 but he’s nowhere near major league ready. Could he be worse than Soto/Luts/Negron? Yes. Absolutely he could be. He could very easily go .000/.000/.000.

  10. needed a right handed power hitter for three years to bat between votto and bruce could have got nelson cruz this year for only eight million dollars wake up wasting to good of pitching and release j. j. hoover

    • I can’t fault them for passing on a known PED user. The guy is probably using again now – not the way I want this team to win.

  11. It seems like there is a market inefficiency we could be exploiting here. If all these teams are buyers and there’s a perceived lack of sellers, wouldn’t it be prudent to be one of the few teams willing to part with players mid-season? I get that you’d take a bigger hit with the fans if you acted now rather than the offseason (when most fans tune out), but the upside could be that you get better players in return. For a mid-market team that aims to contend year over year, it might be foolish for the Reds to take an ‘all-in’ approach in any single year.

  12. The Jocketty interview should allay fears that some have that the Reds would trade their top prospects at the trade deadline. Jocketty was absolutely clear that he wouldn’t do that. Nor would it be necessary to get some of the players being discussed. No one is talking about moving Stephenson or Winker.

    • I’ve always assumed Stephenson and Winker were untouchable the same way Hamilton was the last few years.

  13. This is always crazy season for Reds fans. Everyone assumes that because Walt doesn’t allow reporters into his office to monitor all of his phone calls that he isn’t doing anything. It’s not like there’s a flurry of trades happening around the league right now. These things usually come down to the last week or so. The guys we all want and that it sounds liek Walt wants are on borderline competitive teams. The A’s were able to swing their mega trade because the Cubs were already out of it early. Same with the Angels and Padres. If we really have our hearts set on Zobrist, odds are we’re all going to have to put on our big boy pants and keep it together until July 31st because the Rays are probably going to wait that long just to see if they can still climb back into it in the ALE.

  14. I think we need to come to the realization that this year, due to the injuries and lack of depth both on the major league level and minors, this is not going to be a playoff team this year. I think it would be unwise at this point to even consider making any trades. Would any of the possible trades we think might happen turn this club into a top 8 team in ML baseball? I don’t think so. SO, put both Votto and Phillips on the 60 day DL and tell them this season is over for them to just relax and get ready for 2015. Give players like Lutz and Soto and others some considerable playing time and see what happens. I would be talking with our Big three pitchers yet to be signed and see which two we are going to keep and look at what is the makret value on the one is and see what can be done to replinish the minors with needed position players.

    • You can’t close the book on this season yet. Not even close. Now, get swept by Milwaukee this week and we might be having another conversation, but 3.5 games out and it’s not even August is not a time to pack it in. That’s giving up WAY too easily. Cincinnati sports fandom talking.

      • Sorry but you do when you look at the overall condition of this team right now. What is more important, A season or the next 3-5 seasons? Votto should not see the field anymore this year, to do so would be almost criminal. Phillips won’t see the field anymore this season if the Reds are smart. So right there you have removed two top players that no trade will replace. For whatever reason Bruce isn’t performing this season on even a somewhat consistant basis. So there is your third bat down. LF is a black hole and there is no real solution this season. Why kid your fans, be up front and honost with them. Right now the Reds are not even a top 5 team in the NL, let alone all of baseball. It’s best to do what is best long term.

        • You keep saying these things as if they’re facts. And I’ll reply the way I keep replying to you: I would be SHOCKED if BP was done for the year and a little surprised if Votto was, too. You are just making pessimistic assumptions based on absolutely nothing. I don’t want Walt to trade the farm for a stop gap player to help this year, but there is a big difference between trading a couple minor league pitchers who aren’t named Stephenson for a guy like Ben Zobrist who fills holes both this year and next. Even with the state of this team, they are still 3.5 games out of first place. They could end this week IN first place – that’s really not that improbable of a scenario. We all feel a little brow beaten after this weekend, but you seem to be going off the deep end more than most around here. Liek I said, let’s see what happens with the rest of this week. I’m assuming last week at this time you weren’t throwing in the towel. It’s just 3 games. Keep it together.

        • There is no way Phillips is back to even close to 100% by the end of the season. Look how long it took the kid from Washington to return, how long the Cards are saying their catcher will be out. This is not a simple injury to return from and is KEY in hitting. As for votto, why bring back damaged goods? It has been stated that only rest will solve his problem and we saw what happened after his last “short term” rest. Neither of these players have any business on the field again in 2014 and it would be criminal if they were. Can you honostly look at this team right now knowing what you know about the injuries and their long term impact and the lack of production from LF and SS and RF and tell me this is a top 8 team in baseball or even top 5 in the NL? Why make a trade for a player who isn’t going to be a player that puts you in the area of top 5 team in the NL. Will adding a player like Zorbist make the Reds better then LA or SF or Brewers or Washington or Atlanta or Cards?

        • I don’t know what to say to you. Turn that frown upside down? Let a smile be your umbrella? This team isn’t out of the race and a few moves could help and guys will get healthier. You can either believe that or not. Do I think the Reds are the best team in the NL this year? No way. Does that mean they can’t win it all? Of course it doesn’t. Get to the playoffs and anything can happen.

        • You’re way off on both the injuries. What is smart about holding BP out once he’s ready to return? Lots of players return from that injury. Same with Votto’s quad strain. It’s not like a knee injury where he’s risking long term damage. It may be the case that Votto won’t be 100% effective, but hardly “criminal” to play him. The Reds just need to figure out a way to stay close the rest of July and most of August. Not an easy thing to do. But not impossible. You’ve presented no evidence or reasoning why there is a trade-off between bringing BP and JV back and the long-term interest of the team.

        • The injury to the thumb is a long term issue, that will take weeks, as we have seen from other players, more then 6+ weeks at best and even then their abilities are highly impared. Someone much younger whose body is going to heal faster (Harper) still isn’t 100% and his numbers reflect the impact. Sure Brandon will say he is ready I bet within the next 3-4 weeks, and so they bring him back and hit him 4th and he is horrible and what will everyone here say…WTH are the Reds doing and so on. With Votto we say a “short term” rest doesn’t get it done, and what were we all saying, god hope it doesn’t cause injury to something else with him trying to compensate for the bad leg. Playing either of them anymore this season is just foolish, they won’t be anywhere near 100% and could risk further injury or be harmful to the team. Us being 3.5 back is a mirage, we need to see that and do what is best long term for this franchise.

        • It’s a fair point that both Phillips and Votto will be rusty when they come back. The Reds doctors (not Phillips) have been saying that BP will be back closer to four weeks than the 8-9 weeks the other players (Harper, Hamilton, Monlina) have been out. That’s based on the injury not being as serious and the hand that’s involved. I guess I’m willing to believe the doctor who actually performed the surgery on his hand.

          The obvious point is the Reds don’t need to make these decisions right now. When Phillips and Votto are ready to come back, if the Reds are ten games out of first place, which you seem to think is likely and is definitely possible, they can make a different decision about BP and JV than if they are still 2.5 games back.

          That’s obvious, right? Even you would agree that if it’s the first of September and BP and JV can come back and the doctors say it won’t risk further injury and the team is 2.5 games back, that the Reds should play them, right?

        • Well there is simply no reason continuing this line of conversation. Apparently you have access to medical records on both of these guys that none of us have that show that both injuries are absolutely identical to the other injuries you are citing. You’ve clearly made up your mind. I’m tempted to go back to some posts just before the break and see what your opinion on this team’s 2014 outlook was. My guess is it was much sunnier. If 3 games can convince you the season is done then you’ve picked the wrong sport to follow.

        • A) I ahve zero faith in the Reds medical staff, as I think most here would agree. When have they ever been right.

          B) Playing an injured player is just not smart. In votto’s case, he may not hurt the leg any more but what’s to say his overcompensating for the bag leg doesn’t lead to another injury.

          C) We could be 4-5 games out come the return of both of them and agian I say, this team is not a WS contending team this season. I also don’t see any trade out there that Walt could pull off that puts us in that position so why not just play the young kids, see what they can do and allow both Votto and Phillips to heal to 100%.

  15. Brandon Phillips has gotta be close to securing his 10 and 5 rights, yes? Too bad he’s injured, because that contract would be something I’d look to move. If I were GM, I’d be looking to firm up the Reds long term outlook financially while maintaining the production on the field. To that end, I think we could still compete this year and beyond by—

    trading Chapman to Seattle for Nick Franklin and one of their stable of cost controlled MLB relievers.
    trade Phillips to whomever would take on the contract or most of it.
    acquire Zobrist for a Moscot/Lively/Guillon type.

    • I think this offseason showed that BP is pretty much unmovable with his contract. He was playing well the past few months so maybe if he hadn’t gotten hurt we could make a move, but if he hadn’t gotten hurt we wouldn’t be looking to trade our starting 2B in the middle of a pennant race. I think Nick Franklin is untouchable in Seattle the same way Stephenson and Winker are for us. I certainly don’t think Chapman alone would get him. And I’d be much more interested in trading Broxton than Chapman – way too much money to be spending on a setup man and Jumbo looks like he can do the job just fine. Chapman’s still relatively cheap and, as much as I’d like to see him used more, is a pretty special weapon to have in our bullpen.

    • Nick Franklin could be had from the M’s. But one that isn’t mentioned much but might even be better for Cincinnati would be the M’s SS Chris Taylor at AAA with Franklin. Chris Taylor could be a steal and could also be moved to 2B. The M’s have Brad Miller at SS and have a few SS at AA and lower that are highly regarded. Franklin and Taylor are just 23 and Miler is 24. All 3 excelled at AAA, but Miller and Franklin can’t seem to get over the hump at the ML level. Franklin was drafted in the 1st round, Miller is a 2nd rounder and Taylor is a 5th rounder. Seattle might be more reluctant to trade Franklin because of that 1st round label he has.

  16. I read somewhere that the whole front office is on the road with the team. I assume that is Williams, Miller and the younger Castellini. If the Cards can reel in David Price, the Reds may be countering by going for Tulowitski. Cozart would go to 2B.

        • Why would Bob spend monies from his own account? It has been stated there is no room in the budget, so what leads you to believe he will dip into his own personal monies to pay what I have to believe is a pretty decent size contract on Tulo.

        • You know it all comes from his account, don’t you? When he raises payroll from $82 million to $112 million, that comes from his account. The money owners spend on their teams comes from their personal wealth. Where else do you think it comes from?

        • Where has it “been stated that there is no room in the budget” for anything? Where are you getting all of these “facts” you keep throwing out?

  17. I’m not saying that Tulowitzki is the person, but I wouldn’t rule out the Reds making a big offensive acquisition. I don’t think that’s likely, but listening to Jocketty yesterday, it was obviously on his mind. When discussing a major bat – something he brought up himself – he said, that payroll was something “we’d have to be careful with” instead of “we don’t have the money for that.” He returned several times to the idea of getting a big bat, each time he volunteered that himself. He said something like he didn’t want “to limit” the realm of possibilities.

    Again, I don’t think it’s likely to happen. But I don’t think that money will be the issue. If in the end, the baseball part of it makes sense and the Reds can acquire a “big bat in the middle of the lineup” (Jocketty’s words), I don’t think the owner would say no for financial reasons. Just speculation, of course.

    • If monies is not an issue, then there should be no reason not to make a trade. Loss of prospects should never ever be the reason for making a deal to better the major league club. The sole purpose of prospects is to make the major league club better, either via trade bait or playing.

      • Prospects are just that: prospects. Until they can contribute to the big league club, you always have to be open to the idea of moving them if the price is right. There are a couple of guys who are basically untouchable in our system, but if you think we don’t have guys who could be moved for a fair return then you must be a pretty big Wahoos fan. What you’re basically saying is that you should NEVER trade prospects to improve the big league club. That’s just silly. How are the issues of the big league payroll and farm system depth connected? If you want to use money to pay the expensive players, you have to find a way to get them away from the clubs that currently control them. This isn’t rocket science.

        • Who in our system is “untouchable”? I can’t find one prospect in our systems that I would not deal tomorrow for the right return.

        • Stephenson and probably Winker. The return would have to be massive. I only use the term because it is the same term that Walt used to describe Billy Hamilton for the last 2 years.

        • I guess we differ on the value of the Reds minor leaguers at this point. I would trade either one or both of those you listed today if it brought me the right return. Are you saying that no matter the return both are untouchable?

        • I’m saying I doubt any team would give up enough for either one at this point to make it worth it. I could be proven wrong – I would trade both of those guys for, say, Tulowitzki in a heartbeat.

      • There’s a difference between saying the Reds can afford to take on another $15 million in salary and saying money isn’t an issue. So you can’t just trade a player like Alonso or Grandal without considering if they could help the team both on the field and financially. But I agree with the general sentiment that prospects should be traded for established major league players.

    • The real question is.. who’d be the one making the big offseason move? Isn’t Walt’s contract up after this season? Who becomes the new GM of the Reds?

    • The Reds and Rockies are talking. They have 2 big bats that could possibly be had. Tulowitski and Carlos Gonzalez. CarGo has about 1/2 the years and 1/2 the money that is owed to Tulo. Cargo is signed thru 2017 at about $11M per year, quite affordable.
      I think we can eliminate SD as a possible match. Same with the Cubs.
      Arizona visits GABP just before the deadline. Gerardo Parra is about the only match there. And that is barely a match.
      In the NL East, Philly and Miami aren’t very good matches. The Mets are, but are they in or out?
      In the AL it is most likely the WhiteSox, Twins, Astros, and Rangers. From that the only ones probably are WS’s Dayan Viciedo (25 years old), Ranger’s Alex Rios (33), Astro’s Dexter Fowler (28), and the Twin’s Josh Willingham (35). Willingham is struggling mightily right now. Fowler is on the DL with a back injury. Viceido has 2 years of arbitration left, but is struggling this year at sub-Ludwick numbers of .241/.293. That pretty much leaves Rios.
      In the NL, it is the Mets or Rockies that match up best so far. If Jocketty is going to go big or go home, it might have to be with the Rockies.

      • Tulo might be a pipe dream but wow what a pickup that would be. Not just this year but for the next few years. I never thought it was serious possibility. Same with CarGo. I would be thrilled with either of those moves, almost regardless of what they cost in trade, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

      • I don’t see how the Mets are a good match. I’d say a poor match. Both teams have pitching, but are desperate for MLB hitting.

        Am I overlooking something?

      • Cargo has only played in 58 games this year, has he been hurt?

        Does that explain his diminished productivity this year?

        As an aside, he’s affordability is largely in the past.

        ’14 = 10.5 Mil
        ’15 = 16.0 MIl
        ’16 = 17.0 Mil
        ’17 = 20.0 Mil

        • H had some kind of hand injury. He just came off the DL right before the All Star break. Not sure how he hurt his hand.

        • Maybe the hand injury, and his diminished production this year, will provide a slight discount to buyers (yet, cause there are so many buyers this year, probably not). Yeah, getting him ain’t gonna come cheap.

          Still, his bat would look real good in the middle of the Reds batting order. Real good.

  18. Walt is one of those guys who specialize in the nebulous comment. We can try to read into things all we want, but the “really help boost the morale of the clubhouse” quote can mean anything from adding Tulo, to bringing in a new mascot. But here we are, as rabid fans are likely to do, dissecting the un-dissectable.

    Have we been hurt by injuries; sure. But that is a likely scenario anywhere. The Yankees lost 4/5 of their starters from the opening day roster. Yeah, they have money, but that is devastating. They put together enough to sweep us though, huh? Time to go get someone before this season slips away.

        • Yeah we’re definitely not short on mascots and they all seem to be quality ones at that. Although I think I’ve noticed that with the addition of Rosie, Gapper has seemed to have taken a bit of a back seat. I’m starting to think the organization is trying to push both Mr. Red and Gapper out.

        • Aw, why do you hate Gapper? I think he’s a nice mascot for the little ones since he’s red and furry. I personally would rather have a baby snuggle with a stuffed Gapper than a Mr. Redlegs, Mr. Red, or Rosie doll.

        • I expect to bring in a middle relief mascot and an old Cardinal costume at the break.

    • Yes I was very relieved to hear that. He would be a major downgrade. It’s also good news in that the Giants are now out of the running for Zobrist.

        • Hi Steve. I was in Vegas last week, competing in a pro/am ballroom/Latin dance competition. I’m the “am” of course. How did I do ? Let’s leave that in Vegas.

      • Wouldn’t get your hopes up there. They signed him to a minor league contract and I’m sure an incentive-based contract. As per MLB Rumors: “It seems unlikely that the Giants will cease looking for additional help at the keystone, but Uggla serves as a reasonable enough buy-low option for GM Brian Sabean”

  19. The Reds called up Lutz from AA earlier this year. Why haven’t I heard anything about Seth Mejias-Brean? He’s not listed as a Top-20 prospect for the Reds on the MLB.com prospect watch. What he does have is a very high OBP so he’s an improvement over Lutz or anyone like that at 1B, and he actually PLAYS first base (79 games last year), so he’s an improvement over Bruce/Pena/etc.

    He has a .384 OBP this year, plays first base, and isn’t a top prospect so there’s no risk in “ruining him” like some people think might happen with Winker. Of course it’d be better to actually trade and get someone you know can produce, but since Walt is Walt, this wouldn’t be the worst move to make

      • We already do bring up AA players…. that is not really the question since Lutz was brought up last year.

        that has been proven because we do not trade for impact.

        Now it is a question about which AA players to bring up.

        We also may be slow playing our guys in the minors. not that everyone needs to be on the fast track, but Billy should have been here last year over Lutz,

        guess it depends on if you want to win games or not. Walt keeps waiting to draw that card for the inside straight flush. He may get it, but it will be hard to bluff our way to winning the NL Central

        • We brought up Lutz. I can’t think of the last player before Lutz we brought directly from AA to the bigs. So if anything I would think the argument would be “Let’s see if this one guy can hit” before we start making a list of other guys to start experimenting with. It’s not like Lutz has gotten a lot of opportunities yet. And I strongly disagree on Hamilton. He showed nothing in AAA last year that showed he should have been brought up sooner.

          We all want to win games, but treating your big league roster as a primetime tryout for mid level prospects is what teams who are already out of the race and don’t care about their records do.

        • Also as for Hamilton, there is every reason to believe that the added time playing every day he got in Louisville last year is why he is playing so well this year. If we had brought him up in May last year he would have spent most of his time on the bench and pinch running. When exactly was he going to learn how to play CF? When was he going to get his AB’s? We were all ranting about Mes not being given enough playing time by Dusty – It wasn’t because we thought he would instantly come in and blow Hannigan out of the water, but because we knew he was never going to fully develop if he was playing 1 day a week.

        • there were 2 logical reasons not to bring up Billy last year, one of them was to learn to play CF, which for a center infielder (ss, 2nd baseman) doesn’t take that long. The other was about when his clock starts for arbitration.

          Since they brought him up in Sept, item #2 is not an issue. Billy was ready last year. Sometime bypassing guys when they are ready does more to hurt their development than help. Billy slumped some last year because he had a great spring and did not make the club

          Mesoraco and Billy Hamilton are both examples of waiting too long on a position of need.

          The next 2 who are ready for the Bigs are Winker and Stephenson, who could have pitched in the league last year.

          Guys who hit to all fields and have great walk to strike our ratios are going to star in the league. Guys who can hit are what everyone is looking for at the break.

          This is not a guy who you are worried about strike outs or going the other way. it is built into who he is.

          And again, this comment is about IF they make no trade to improve the team. Whether Billy was on the team last year in September or August really doesn’t matter except that his manager did not know how to use him.

          it would not surprise me to see Winker called up in September this year

        • There are too many assumptions in that post to dissect them all. Let me just say that I will be positively shocked if Winker is called up this September and Walt just said exactly that. I’d be a LITTLE less shocked to see Stephenson, though it would be in a relief role and I don’t think we need more relievers barring injury.

  20. There are a lot of “Walt’s just talking and won’t do anything” comments. Of course he’s “just talking” until he makes a move, and when he does talk he can’t say anything substantial anyway, for a number of reasons.

    But his tone is very different from last year. Last year it was just about “we have someone (Ludwick) coming back.” This year he’s talked about wanting a bat for the middle of the order, he said no such thing last year. He’s also willing to talk more this year, last year he was very tight-lipped as he didn’t plan to do anything.

    It didn’t get much attention, but after the miserable ending to last season, WJ said that he’d “made mistakes” at the trade deadline. The big one was obviously not even bothering to block Marlon Byrd from getting picked up by the Pirates on a wavier deal.

    None of us knows what will happen, but I would bet on WJ making a significant move this time.

    Another point: WJ can’t do anything major without Bob C. giving the go-ahead. I predict that Bob C. gives the go-ahead this year.

  21. Holy crap…

    Hamilton, CF
    Schumaker, RF
    Frazier, 3B
    Mesoraco, C
    Lutz, 1B
    Heisey, LF
    Santiago, 2B
    Cozart, SS
    Latos, P

    That might be bordering on the worst offensive group I have ever seen trot out there before. This might be an ugly ugly game to watch…. of course now that I have said that, I am sure Lutz will hit like two homers and Schumaker and Santiago will be all gritty.

    • I guess Bruce is getting a “mental day off”. Price said yesterday how he’s pressing.
      Latos had better be very good tonight.

      • All I know is, if that’s the lineup you put out there against your division leader right after getting swept by the Yankees, then the GM *NEEDS* to make not just a move, but moves if you actually expect to do anything in October. Regardless of if it’s “hard” to make moves now.

      • via Sheldon ….

        “I think he had a tough series there in New York,” Price said. “I just think it’s a good opportunity to get Lutzy in there and to utilize our bench a little bit – which is tougher. We’ve got some young, inexperienced guys on our bench. We’re in contention but they have to be able to contribute as well. I think just the way things line up, Jay will be in there the next two games for sure and obviously, going back home. He’s our right fielder. He’s going to play almost every day. Today is one of those days he’s not.”

    • Grit Above Replacement Toddalmighy… Grit Above Replacement…

      Yeah, that lineup is… Yeah… Well… Hmmm… Against the first place Brewers? Hmmm… Yeah… “Hope the back feels good Mat. You’re gonna probably need to throw a shutout or a 1-run game.”

    • It beats playing everybody out of position. I have the evening off, so I look forward to listening to the game and having RLN close by. Here’s hoping for positive comments…..

      • I won’t be on the game thread but you can bet I’ll be watching the game. I hope Latos’ back is alright and he gives the Reds a strong start. That would be some positive news no matter if the Reds win or lose.

        • I actually prayed once to see if it was OK. God was stone cold silent. I decided it was best for me to leave the topic alone. If it was an open roof, I would pray for rain in the fourth if we were being blown out. Don’t see anything wrong with that.

    • We have to get used to Bruce getting more days off than we’re used to seeing. He’s 6 weeks since knee surgery. I’m guessing Price wanted to give him yesterday off but was trying to avoid the sweep (especially since he was presumably strong armed into sitting Mes). Bruce was likely going to miss one of these Brewers games. Doesn’t really matter which one unless it’s against a LHP.

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