Titanic Struggle Recap

Game 102: Slip Sliding Away?

Final R H E
Washington Nationals (56-44)
4 12 0
Cincinnati Reds (51-51)
1 4 1
W: T. Roark (10-6)   L: A. Simon (12-5)   S: R. Soriano (24)
Box Score | Stats | Depth Chart | FanGraphs Win Probability

Has Alfredo Simon hit the wall? Is he regressing to the mean? He didn’t have it tonight, but in his previous five starts, he has a 1.91 ERA. He continues to defy his peripherals. His FIP during those five games is 3.99. His BABIP during this recent stretch is a ridiculous .202. So, I’m not sure I take any dire warnings from tonight. The metrics say he will turn into a pumpkin.

Hasn’t happened yet. And I’m not sure it will. He continues to defy the numbers.

This is a bad time for a wounded offense to have to face the best pitching staff in the National League (as measured by WAR, ERA and FIP). The Nationals completely dominated this lineup.

Carlos Contreras looked like a stud tonight. He just came right after the hitters in the 9th.

J.J. Hoover relieved Simon in the 5th and was impressive getting out of a first and third jam with one out, getting a pop out and a strikeout. But, an inning later he gave up a run (1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K)

The pessimist in me says this is the beginning of the end. But, I don’t believe in the Brewers or the Pirates. And the Cardinals have lost 4 straight. If the Reds didn’t have such a good bunch of starters, if they weren’t getting shutdown innings from Broxton and Chapman, none of that would matter. But the fact remains, this division is up for grabs. If the front office thinks Votto will be truly productive when he comes back, then a trade could be worth the gamble. If they make a trade, that tells me they think Votto will come back strong, if not 100%. If they don’t, it means the quad is not getting substantially better.

Everybody’s talking about GAMES BACK. It’s still too early for that. If we leaned nothing else from the days before the the All Star break, we learned a big lead can disappear in a week.

Trending: Lucas Duda has just hit a 2-run HR to give the Mets a 3-2 lead over the Bernie Brewers in the top of the ninth.

60 games left. Talk amongst yourselves.

124 thoughts on “Game 102: Slip Sliding Away?

  1. WE HAVE NO OFFENSE. We have 4 bench players starting, unacceptable. IMHO,it would be absolutely stupid to trade top prospects for rental players. Call up some AAA guys and see what they have. Navarro, Soto, Felix Perex, Gotay, ANYONE. If they can acquire Duda and Murphy from NYM without giving up any of our Top 5 prospects, then do it. The Reds are horrific to watch.

  2. “…a big lead can disappear in a week” You know what, for now that statement is enough to keep this diehard Reds fan high hopes alive and well. Go Reds!

    • Mat Latos pitched a great game, it’s not his fault Heisey misplayed two different balls that turned into doubles and runs, and Santiago can’t throw to third base without bouncing it into the runner, or Lutz can’t field a ground ball, or Hamilton lets a pitcher tag up and advance to third on a ball to left center.. That’s probably three runs right there.

      The Reds play anything close to their normal defense and Latos probably goes 8 innings, 1 earned run. Heisey’s two “non-errors” still count as earned runs, because it’s ridiculously hard for OF to get errors, apparently.

    • Not that it matters, because they all know they have to pitch perfectly for the Reds to win. 13 runs in 7 games, and I think only like 10 of those are earned runs. Can’t win games if you don’t score runs. Fact.

  3. Simon may or may not have hit the wall. He may or may not have been lucky this year. But he was definitely lucky to have not given up at least 6 runs tonight. 9 hits, 2 walks, 1 hbp in 4.1 innings.

    Please don’t tell me he knows how to pitch out of trouble. That’s utterly preposterous. Why would a pitcher who could at will get out of trouble allow himself to get in it every inning?

    It’s not the games behind that’s the issue. It’s never been about the game behind (although soon). It’s about seeing clearly what another month of playing without Votto and Phillips looks like.

    If Jocketty had signed a real left fielder this offseason and had a legitimate backup first baseman who could hit, this lineup would have a different feel to it. Probably still not enough to weather the storm of injuries, but better.

    He was on the radio the other day saying that making a trade would improve the team and boost the morale, showing that the front office is working as hard as the players themselves. Leaving aside what that says about the job he did in 2013, he’s waited too long to do something this year, too. By his own statement, not mine.

    • Well, the Reds paid a bunch of money to Ludwick to play LF and I’m guessing that Castellini doesn’t want to flush all that money. So instead on constantly blaming Jocketty, perhaps you can aim your ire at the owner for a change.

      As for backups, even the Reds bench has been injured this year. Again, tell me who is out there to play backup to Votto that Castellini is wiling to pay?

      • “So instead on constantly blaming Jocketty, perhaps you can aim your ire at the owner for a change.”

        Good point. Casttellini really makes me long for the days of the Banana Man.

        • Well, that doesn’t work either. Frankly, Castellini has done everything you want an owner of a small market team to do. My point to Steve is simply that it’s not Walt’s fault the payroll isn’t there to make up for the mistake that was Ludwick. They paid him a bunch of money. He got hurt. He hasn’t been the same since. This idea that the Reds have been delinquent because there isn’t a backup for Hannahan who can spell Votto and help carry the offense is ridiculous. Nobody is baseball has that kind of depth.

        • Hannahan has been hurt for how long? Backups need to be healthy to be effective backups.

      • I don’t blame the owner because I don’t see the owner failing at his responsibility. Bob Castellini understands the concept of sunk costs. He’s also shown a willingness to raise payroll. There’s no reason to assume he wouldn’t have sprung for a LF. The Reds did make a substantial offer to Shin-Soo Choo, though it wasn’t enough. So there was money.

        You’ve spent many words as apologist for Jocketty. How about offering a few with your ideas about what steps the Reds should take this week? Or are you just going to wait and see what happens and accept Jocketty’s party line that whatever happened, it was the right move? Or wait, there’s Jack Hannahan. I forgot. Never mind.

        • There’s plenty of reason to assume Castellini has drawn a line in the sand when it comes to payroll. In fact, John Fay has said it numerous times, Steve. How about offering some information yourself since you think there’s money available and Walt is simply refusing to spend it? Share with me the inside scoop. Because if what you say is true, I’ll stop being an apologist for Jocketty and bow down to your expertise on the matter.

          Otherwise, your take on this just doesn’t pass the smell test.

          When the Reds signed Bailey, Castellini said the signing wouldn’t stop him from signing another pitcher, which is why it’s a good bet that the money set aside for Choo is earmarked for either Latos, Cueto or Leake. Which would explain why Jocketty can’t take on the contract of Rios, or even the contract of Kemp, no matter how much money the Dodgers would eat.

          So, yeah, I’ll just accept the party line, as you call it, because I don’t have any other information to the contrary.

          It’s so easy to play the role of the cynic. And it plays so well to the crowd when things are going bad.

          I’ll have none of it. That game is all yours.

      • Jocketty is the one who signed ludwick to his ridiculous deal, Richard. He got lucky with a former cardinal who looked washed up after 2011. Walt signed him for 2012 and ludwick made him look good. But Walt couldn’t leave it at that. He had to sign him to a 2 year deal with an option year that has a buyout so expensive that it is essentially a 3 year deal. A mid 30′s, slow footed left fielder who is a liability in the field and whose bat had been mediocre or worse in every year of his career except 2007 and 2012. And he absolutely will not replace him no matter how poorly he performs. He wouldn’t even try to find someone to play leftfield when ludwick was hurt last year. The left field situation can’t be blamed on anybody but jocketty.

        • Ryan Ludwick had an OPS+ of 130 in 2012. Then he wrecked his shoulder. I agree with you, it wasn’t a great deal. But the injury couldn’t have been anticipated, and that made it worse than it otherwise should have been.

          But here’s my point: Blame Jocketty for sticking us with Ludwick if you must. But you can’t double down and say it’s his fault all over again for not getting someone else when Castellini likely wasn’t up for eating all that money and then sinking more money in another guy. Can you imagine the Reds making a move for Carlos Beltran and being stuck with his production this year (88 OPS+) for $45M?

          And if not a high profile guy like Beltran, who exactly out there could Jocketty have gotten who would have made a difference?

          This GM stuff is easy, isn’t it?

        • RE: Richard’s comment
          My real gripe with Jocketty is that he seems to have such a rigid set piece approach. He sets the table over the winter and that’s that. He just doesn’t seem to move well and adjust on the fly to situations that develop over the season.

          At one time before players starting opting out, he had put together quite a cast of AAAA guys/ fringe bench players at Louisville this year. These guys for the most part were all in the 25-30 year old age range, certainly viable MLB bench player candidates if no longer real prospects. However, apparently they couldn’t be brought up because the org had too many too precious prospects on the 40 man roster to risk losing one in order to get one of these AAAA guys onto the 40 man.

          This feeds the second phase of my discomfort with Jocketty. Except for Barnhart, among position players, not a single prospect was at AAA. In fact there was a huge gap all the way back to Bakersfield before one could find any really touted position player prospects (maybe Lutz would be the exception).

          So, for going on three weeks in the midst of a playoff race and now struggling for dear life to hang in, the Reds have played a pitcher long and position player short because (admittedly) they have no one to bring up on the position side. If they had made a trade this past offseason which heavily drained the top levels of the farm; or, if they had suffered injuries on the farm or previously brought up folks to cover MLB injuries, this would be more palatable. But they haven’t which makes the situation unconscionable.

        • Ludwick had a 130 OPS+ at the age of 33, when his previous three seasons were 90 OPS+ and -0.5 WAR, 104 OPS+ and 1.9 WAR, 105 OPS+ and 1.3 WAR. There was pretty darn good odds that 2012 was a blip. Heck, even with a 130 OPS+ he only had 2.0 WAR. He was the bare minimum level of WAR to be a legit starter despite being 30% better than league average offensively.

          Never a good idea to pay for a guy who’s sole positive value is power, when he’ll be 34 in the first year of that contract.

      • Blaming Castellini for the state of the Reds roster seems a bit misplaced. Money has been spent but not too wisely and I blame that on the GM. No greater indicator of just how weak the roster is than having Ludwick as the clean-up hitter against a right handed pitcher.

        The fact the minor league system is so deplete of talent is also an indictment of the GM.

        I do agree with you in there isn’t much need to make a trade if Votto is not going to be a productive hitter this year. I actually worry about Votto next year and beyond.

        • And no, the minor leagues are not depleted. Two or three years ago, they had the #7 or #8 rated system. Baseball America had them rated #16 and trending up this year. What they don’t have is players at the positions the Reds are currently weak in. But that’s because the Reds have relied on their farm system to populate the major league roster. Frazier, Cozart, Mesoraco, Bruce, Votto, Hamilton, Bailey, Leake, Cueto, Heisey, Cingrani–all home grown. Plus, they traded players for Latos and Choo. You can’t keep harvesting every season without time to let the crops grow again.

          Can’t we be reasonable in our expectations?

        • Frazier, Cozart, Mesoraco, Bruce, Votto, Hamilton, Bailey, Leake, Cueto, Heisey, Cingrani.. out of all those, which ones have been a Jocketty draft pick? Hamilton, Leake, Cingrani.

          He’s really not done a great job seeing as how he’s in his 7th year. He’s been mostly playing with house money and hasn’t added much of his own.

        • Look at the advanced ages of Frazier, Cozart, and Meso when they got to MLB.There was plenty of time to have had a generation behind them even pushing them. As for Bruce and Votto they are three iterations back down the line.

          Their problem is that they are pitching poor in the sense one might be said to be insurance poor or house poor but at the same time don’t seem to know who they want to keep long term and who they might swap to restock the position player side of the ledger.

        • I didn’t miss your point. Castellini doesn’t want to spend more money and therefore the GM’s hands are tied. I understand.

          I don’t believe the Reds have spent their money wisely. Giving Ludwick the contract he got even though he had struggled mightily in the seasons leading up to 2012, when he was fortunate to have a 3 month or so hot streak after Votto got hurt. He got injured in 2013 but I would argue that he is a 35 plus year old guy who has been on the downside of his career for sometime, who parlayed a good half of a season into a sweet multi-year contract. There are other contracts I question but there’s no point in rambling on.

          I blame the mismanagement of the money on the GM because he is the one responsible for working within a budget given to him by ownership and while the owner obviously approves contracts they are presented to him by the GM.

          With regard to the farm system most of the home grown talent you refer to was drafted before Walt came to Cincinnati. Latos, Leake, Chapman and Hamilton are all products of Walt’s work. Other than those players there isn’t much to get excited about. Only time will tell if the guys in the lower end of the system pan out.

        • Wayne Krivsky’s hands were always tied by the same budget constraint and yet he was constantly churning the Josh Hamilton, Brandon Phillips type deals improving the roster incrementally at each move.

          Walt does not do that. He does not have a good eye for marginal major league talent that might win you a few games in august.

          He has an eye for frontline major league talent and for marginal AAA talent. They guys he invests in for Louisville would have been 4th and 5 th guys on Krivsky’s bench…Johnny Gomes, Lance Nix. Krivsky was trading our bench talent at the all star break because he had it. Walt’s attempts at bench talent have been swings and misses

          What Krivsky did not have was pitching

        • Walt Jocketty doesn’t have the eye for marginal major league talent?

          Of all the criticisms I’ve ever heard, that’s the richest.

          So, Hoover for Juan Francisco wasn’t a win?
          So he missed on evaluating the marginal career of Alfredo Simon.
          Or Manny Para?
          Or Zach Duke, who some people are blasting for letting get away?
          And Brayan Pena?
          How about all the big money teams that passed on Chapman because they thought he was marginal talent not worthy of the price?

          Good grief, people.

        • Yes Richard Walt does,

          Your list includes one guy with a bat in Pena who I like.

          But the rest can’t hit a lick and we have needed hitters his whole time here. But you helped me focus…Walt doesn’t know hitting

          I like Simon and loved the Parra pick up.

          But that is not Brandon Phillips or Josh Hamilton. Seriously Richard, you are going to compare zack duke to Johnny Gomes or Lanc Nix?

          Maybe Walt knows pitching but he does not know hitting. Hanrahan anyone?

    • He can talk on the radio all he wants. His time would be better served figuring out how to clean up the mess he made.

    • In regard to Simon: “Please don’t tell me he knows how to pitch out of trouble…..”
      *****************************************************************************************************

      My take is that is a matter of the old saw about giving 110% which of course means trying harder than one thinks they were capable of trying. And we even have a hot movie trailer playing now about this very concept.

      The physical and mental strain of pitching at the MLB level is such that a starting pitcher simply cannot give 100% on every pitch to every batter and long endure. He has to throttle up and down within a very high range based on the situation and hitter. So maybe he cuts it too close to one guy; another guy gets lucky; or, the pitcher makes a mistake pitch which results in a hit. Now he is in a dangerous situation which requires absolutely 100% both physical and mental effort to escape.

      Whether it is because Simon has extensive relief experience or is just part of his make up, I think he is a person who can effectively dial it up a notch or two both mentally and physically for a batter or two in such situations. Does he really “know to pitch out of trouble”. I’d say no but he does know how to hit the turbo charger button and pitch better in a burst that he couldn’t maintain over an entire inning, let alone 6 or 7.

    • To some degree the future was mortgaged with the Votto, BP and Homer contracts. Doesn’t mean it won’t pay but it isn’t paying right now. All three of these contracts probably have a lot more to do with BC than WJ. This certainly is not the Cardinal way. I think Mr. C. is reevaluating those signings and going to spend his money accordingly. Short run, it’s a bitter pill to swallow; long run, it’s absolutely the right thing to do.

      At the end of the year if HB’s ERA is above 4.00, I’m dealing him just to get away from the dollars sunk in a bad investment. Looking like a horrible deal as it stands today.

      If Bob is playing only to the ASG next year, he is screwing up big time and the team will deserve what it gets.. No more old timers and that means Zobrist.. Thanks, but no!

      Guys that get married to players should never be the ones making the personnel decisions. They are totally unqualified. These need to be heartless decisions. We haven’t even discussed Votto yet.

      • Making decisions about pitchers based on their ERA is short-sighted. One statistic. Imperfect. Leads to undervaluing some pitchers and overvaluing others. You’d have traded for Travis Wood last year. You’d have never traded for Brandon McCarthy at the trade deadline.

        You’re concerned about dispassionate decision making, but yet you have no concern over whether the statistics you use are any good at predicting future performance. Repeating the same mistake, over and over.

  4. We were all so happy at the All Star break, except of course for the injuries. Not saying it is all over now. Can’t say that. Just going to give them some room to work it out without fretting or paying a lot of attention at game time. In other words sometimes normal behavior :)

  5. Last time I checked the AS break was only 4 days, someone wake these guys up. I’m going to the game tomorrow, I’d love to see a win

  6. Jocketty’s biggest mistake would be making a trade using prospects. Sell, Sell and if all else fails, sell…….

  7. The Reds are in a very tough place. On the radio today Sheldon said the Reds want to be buyers BC next year they host the All Star game and need the revenue. If they sell now, people will stop showing up in 2014 and it will hurt their pocket book and then with selling away the team this year, we won’t be able to compete in 2015.

    • Which is exactly what I said yesterday:

      As if to complicate matters further, the Reds probably won’t give up on this season with the All Star Game in Cincinnati now just a handful of calendar pages away. Bob Castellini isn’t going to allow this club to look like the Little Engine that Couldn’t in front of all of America. Which means selling off chunks of the team would seem to be out of the question. And the Reds need to keep the revenue flowing. Like the wheels on the bus, the Reds need the aforementioned turnstiles to keep going round-and-round.

    • I would argue that if the pitching is anything less than outstanding the roster the Reds have will do no better in 2015. The starting eight even with Votto and Phillips just isn’t that good. (and Votto just may a chronic injury that will not allow him to ever be the player he was.)A solid right handed hitter in left field has been needed for more than a couple years and the team’s solution for that gaping hole was to sign a guy who had one three month hot streak in the last 5 years to a multi year deal.

  8. As some have already said, it seems like the smart business move would be to trade Simon quick while his value is as high as it’s going to be. I could be wrong and I like Simon, but it is not looking good this year, despite how the other teams in the division look (speaking of which, I just don’t see how we look like we could be just as good as the Brewers. The Brewers are putting out better players at every single position right now. SP and 3B are debatable, I guess). I would love for this team to make a huge turnaround and I know the season is far from over, but even if they turned things around and won a WC game or even the division, the odds of them not getting completely shut down by this Nats team or the Giants or the Dodgers or the Braves are just so small.
    Also, the Rays have won 8 in a row so we’re not getting Zobrist. Is Daniel Murphy going to save this team?
    I hate to say get ‘em next year, but if Simon could bring is back anyone that might help us next year, I think that’s a smart risk to take.

    • Sorry , I understand what you are saying but I’m not worried about next year right now – I’m worrying bout what’s in front for the rest of this year – don’t look good right now , but I’m tired of the sell, sell , sell mantra

        • I agree. Not saying sell sell sell. I’d love these guys to turn it around. I want Simon and everyone else except maybe Ludwick to stay on this team and succeed. But like Steve said a few days ago, Broxton and Simon are the ones with high values right now that we might not be able to make the most of except by getting something we need for them in a trade. I of course don’t want to wait until April to see meaningful Reds games again either. But if this team is going anywhere, the offense is going to have to completely pick it up. If that happens, maybe whoever replaced Simon could be semi-ok. Anyway, I agree with you, it just seems like the smarter non-emotional business move right now. If they win their next 5 I’ll probably feel differently. Maybe

  9. Not sure what hosting the All Star game has to do with a future plan. Did America give a hoot (or even realize) that the Twins are terrible?

    • It’s not about what America thinks. It’s about what the owner thinks. He wants the city of Cincinnati and the history of the franchise to shine.

      So, he’s not bailing on 2015.

      • If the Reds don’t do something to improve the roster either now or in the off-season they are already writing off 2015.

      • But you’re the one who wrote: “Bob Castellini isn’t going to allow this club to look like the Little Engine that Couldn’t in front of all of America.”

        Hate to break it to you and/or Bob but America couldn’t find Cincinnati on a map. And hosting the All Star game isn’t going to change that.

        • Hate to break it to you, but you continue to miss the point. It’s less about how the rest of the country views Cincinnati, and more about how we view ourselves. It’s very important to Mr. Castellini and dare I say it to most Cincinnatians, that we show ourselves in the best possible light to the rest of the nation.

          And the self-hating remark that “America couldn’t find Cincy on a map” is further proof of my point.

          And if, in the process, a good showing next year reminded the commissioner and the rest of Baseball of the Reds rich history as Baseball’s 1st professional team, perhaps those at the top in NY might even be moved to let Cincinnati throw out the FIRST ball on Opening Day, the way it used to be.

          And that would be a good thing indeed.

  10. This team is now mathematically eliminated. They are 51-51 with exactly 60 games left and this team is not going 39-21 the rest of the way to get the 90 wins necessary to make the playoffs. Walt has done nothing ( beginning with not getting Marlon Byrd off waivers last year ) and now can only decide to sell parts to begin a rebuild.

    Not that the Reds have anything any other team would want but,,, I think it’s time to sell at the trade deadline and blow this team up. Shame that the window of opportunity to win has closed and was wasted with Dusty at the helm. It may be 5 years now before this team contends again. Bruce looks done. BP is declining and Votto may never be Votto again.

    Castellini has only himself to blame for insisting on tying up all of his payroll in so few players.

    • Agree 100%. “This team is now mathematically eliminated. They are 51-51 with exactly 60 games left and this team is not going 39-21 the rest of the way to get the 90 wins necessary to make the playoffs.”

      There is no wild-card team coming out of the scuffling NL Central this year, and the Reds are at least 3 bats short of playing .650 ball the rest of the way in 2014.

      Limited sell this weekend please…..

  11. I would think another wrinkle in our 2014 and 2015 motivations is the fact that our talent pool is bundled up in Pensacola and not in Louisville. They are just not quite ready yet. Well…. I suppose we could see a massive fire sale right after the all star game next year?

  12. I know it’s mostly in low leverage situations for Carlos, but Carlos and Jumbo have been really impressing me. They’re throwing strikes, attacking, and getting outs. It makes me both happy and a little upset. Happy because I enjoy the Reds doing well in any fashion. Upset because I had to sit through half a season of Ondrusek/Christiani/Bell/Parra/Marshall before they finally called up two people and they both succeeded. Obviously the two don’t have an effect on winning games now with the offense being nonexistant, but how many more games would the Reds have won earlier in the season with them in the bullpen rather than people who were blowing leads, getting lit up, and losing games?

  13. AS far as blaming Castelini for anything, Reds have the highest Pay roll in the Division, 12th highest in baseball. If you’re looking for scapegoats, I think the owner is pretty far down the list.

    How about blaming some of the players for a change?

    • That’s a good point about the players and it can get lost among the fury of pointing fingers at the GM, manager and owner. It should go without saying that the players are the primary reason the Reds are struggling now. Not Price, not Jocketty and not Castellini. It’s the players.

      • Kudos. Mediocre pitching, horrible hitting (has anyone looked at Jay’s recent numbers), bad defense, no focus. It would have been nice if Walt could have picked up Byrd or one of those other PED guys (is that what we wanted?) but that’s not the main problem here.

      • Sure the players are responsible, but if your gm is expecting unrealistic things out of them then I don’t think you can blame the players. You can’t blame Bryan Pena for being a below average hitter, because that’s what he’s always been. That’s fine as backup catcher. But if you make him your starting first baseman, you can’t get mad that he’s not putting up votto like numbers because you knew, or should have known, who he was. Same thing for Santiago. He’s a light hitting backup infielder. He’s playing to the best of his ability, but the management is putting him in a situation he shouldn’t be in. The only guys that I think are really underachieving are bruce, cozart, and Hoover. You could make a case for bailey too, but his poor start could have been because of injury and I think he’s been a tad unlucky as well.

        • The only guy who hasn’t underachieved since the break is Hamilton. This losing streak is not due to having to play Pena or Santiago. The stars are not getting their job done.

        • You don’t think playing Pena, a guy with a career wRc+ of 74, at first base has nothing to do with the reds losing? And Santiago has a nice looking obp but he’s a career wRC+ 75 hitter. You think having both of these guys in the lineup on a regular basis isn’t hurting the reds offense? Bruce and cozart are underachieving, but meso, hamilton, and Frazier are all out performing their projections. You can’t blame it on those 3.

  14. Why do we have to blame anyone? Jocketty did some good things for the team… and some bad. Same with ownership Castellini opened up the pocket books a few times for this team over the past few years, and he has withdrawn his hands from other expenses such as international player. Price has been a decent first year manager, he got a bunch of nobodys hot and up to 1.5 games out of first with just about half the starting lineup beat up. Price has made some bonehead mistakes as well.
    Nobody needs to be fired over this season. Where would we be right now if we never had any of the injuries that we have suffered through? Quite possibly in first place. Let us blame the injuries it is the one sure fire thing that is keeping us out of the playoffs this year.

    • True. But Jay is not getting the job done. Leake and Homer are not getting the job done. Roco has two hits since the break. The team was an embarrassment in New York. I think some blame is in order.

      • “he has withdrawn his hands from other expenses such as international player.”

        ??? What’s Chappie?

        • I was talking about the international draft. The Reds were virtually absent from signing international players this year during the international draft session.

  15. The Reds offense is worse than the San Diego Padres offense. And they were talking about how historically bad SD’s offense was before the all star break. Let that sink in for a moment.
    Nero Jocketty just keeps fiddling away. The ashes are piling up like snow.

  16. come on. Big Bob can take on a prorated salary this season and figure out a way to slide it into next years payroll by some off season dealing. I think ownership and management has given up on the season.

  17. I still remember Dusty saying last year that just maybe the organization had overrated their talent.They are solid defensively, have decent, but not great pitching and are very weak at the plate and on the bases.

    Talk about selling seems a bit misplaced unless the organization wants to admit it is writing off the next couple of seasons. Trading Simon or Cueto or Chapman or Broxton for prospects that are likely going to be 2 or 3 years from being ready to contribute means you’ve weakened the team so much they can’t possibly compete in 2015 or 16 and then you’ve got contracts running out and decisions to make about payroll.

    • In a backhanded sort of way one reason I think they need to stay in the race as an organization as long as the players will keep them there is to find out just what they’ve go in this current group of players.

      They need to see who if anybody is going to rise to the occasion in the heat of a race. Is Frazier really an elite player; or is he a journeyman. Same with Bruce. To truly be “Dunn with defense”, he needs to get the OPS up; will he? And is the “real Meso” the guy we saw the past two years and last several weeks or the guy we saw setting the world on fire for 6 weeks earlier. Cozart? Well I think we already know he is a luxury (on defense) this team can’t afford on offense unless they really fix the other weak spots in the .line up.

      The one guy I’m not really concerned about long term is Hamilton. He’s a gamer. Hopefully he will outgrow the streakiness he has shone thus far in his rookie year; but, regardless he’s a gamer.

  18. I honestly feel there is an extreme bias against Simon because he has lived well beyond something called ‘periphials’. Are we comparing him to the Simon who pitched in Baltimore? I watched that Simon. This guy is not him. Alfredo Simon of 2014 is far stronger and I think he has been sitting under better pitching instruction than he got in that train wreck that was the basement dwelling Orioles. I’ve said this for a while, but 2014 Simon can throw as many or more innings than anyone on this staff. Will there be some regression (God, I hate that word when this topic comes up)? Well, yeah, even if his last name was Koufax it would be improbable for him to keep up the run he had early in the season. It seems to me that there is a group of people that need Simon to fail so they can justify the way they evaluate players. There are starters who receive passes like: “just two bad pitches”, or “victim of bad luck” when a similar start by Simon yields: “See, I was right and he’s regressing. Hurry up and sell, sell, sell.” Obviously those are direct quotes, but it doesn’t invalidate the point. What if Simon isn’t an illusion? Say he has 3 more seasons like this in him. What’s that really worth? I think someone needs to look at that possibility. I think there is a chance of that. I really do. Yeah, I know how old he is. Yeah, I understand that on periphials he’s not this good. But surely if someone can find a outlier stat that says Jay Bruce is near the top of the lead in hard hit balls (have to admit that was a new one on me. Chuckled some too) then I’m sure some outlier periphials on Simon can indicate he is decent and knows what he’s doing out there. Surely we can find something on someone having a good season if we can find it on someone who looks like he belongs in Dayton at the moment. Maybe we are looking at trading the wrong guy? Probably not, but I think that perspective is refreshing compared with waiting for the fail.

    • It’s sell Simon because Simon is hot. Hot = Value.

      Now Bruce, on the other hand, sell him is you could. Problem is, you can’t. Who would want him, he is truly terrible. His 250 lifetime hitting is even taking a beating this year. Bruce is being out hit by, well, everybody but the pitcher. Why this guy is still lionized, let alone not riding the pine, is a mystery.

    • Homer Bailey is the opposite of Simon on here. We always hear how Simon is not as good as the results and Homer is better than the results, over and over and over again.

      • Homer Bailey is the opposite of Alfredo Simon. Anyone who bothers to look beyond ERA knows that.

      • Here is an analogy that might tell the tale:

        You employ two salespeople: Bailey & Simon.

        Bailey is technically a great salesman, all his piers think so, people in the company think so, and for pure talent he should get “The Salesman of The Year” nearly all years. He has all the skills and it is a marvel to watch him work his craft. He brings in average to below average business every year.

        Simon, on the other hand, is an enigma. Bad breath, doesn’t shave on many mornings, butchers the English language, shows up late for appointments, etc. On paper, this guy is toast. But business is not necessarily generated by skills. Most the time? Yes, certainly. Simon can sell ice to Eskimos. He is one of the top dogs at bringing home the bacon.

        As the one responsible for the well being and growth of the Company, who do you choose? On top of it, Simon is costing you a pittance compared to Bailey. If you are married to Baily, you pick Bailey but if you’re not…………..

        • You think this analogy “tells the tale”? The entire point about Simon comes down to whether you think he’s benefitting from a huge amount of luck. Somehow, that factor is conveniently left out of your little analogy. Luck is a gigantic part of baseball, whether you want to admit it or not.

          Suppose you didn’t have to just look at your two employees sales figures. Suppose the sharp guys that worked for you had a way to isolate whether your employees were actually talented at selling or whether he’d just been lucky. Suppose they really could do that. Then suppose they came to you and said, “Boss, this Simon guy has just really been lucky so far. Nothing we can count on to continue. If you choose him, going forward you’ll likely end up with worse sales.”

          I guess you could tell them you don’t believe in luck and to get off your lawn.

        • Not a big luck guy and to be honest with you, the successful people I personally know are not either. You throw all this into the luck barrel. My instinct tells me that I’m missing something in evaluating the “skills” of both spokespeople: Simon & Bailey. Bottom line Simon moves a lot more product than Bailey. All this (both my posts) is answering Annapolis questioning why Bailey gets cut a lot of slack and Simon doesn’t get any. In fact, Simon gets the opposite of slack. Mostly derision.

        • Since May 26:

          Bailey – 5-2, 3.36 ERA, 1.12 WHIP
          Simon – 6-3, 3.33 ERA, 1.18 WHIP

          Your stats, not mine.

        • Just not a relevant analogy. When an easy out turns into a ball in left field because the ball hit the edge of the infield and took an unexpected bounce–that’s luck. When a ball is hit hard, but right at the fielder–that’s bad luck. Or a ball lost in the lights. Or a pitcher that puts his glove up quickly in nothing more than self-defense and finds the ball in his glove.

          One could go on and on.

          Metrics tell you that this luck–in the form of balls put in play–happen at a certain rate on average. And every pitcher has his own average depending upon his skillset. When a pitcher defies his own averages, that’s where the luck can be found and measured.

        • Of course it is but we just see things very differently, You’re a big luck guy and I’m not. You made my point. Simon produces better. Period, no smoke and mirrors.

        • My money is on a missed data point(s). To each his own. IMO, Simon > Bailey in 2014.

  19. Keep telling yourself the division is up for grabs for the Reds and you’ll continue to believe it right up until the day the magic number eliminates us. By the way that will happen before Joey returns.

  20. Price will either learn that he can’t worry about if the players consider him “one of the guys” in letting that influence his managing decisions, or his managing career will be short lived. Many a manager has failed to succeed because they wanted the players to consider them one of the them. You have to cut the link of being one of the guys if you expect to be looked at as a manager. You don’t have to be a tyrant, but you can’t worry about being buds with everyone either.

  21. I’m not sure how it’s possible for anyone to really know what kind of offensive talent this team actually has. The main problem we’re seeing on a daily basis is a conscious decision to swing at pitches that could (and usually should) be taken. Cozart is dealing with a hand injury, he hasn’t exactly been tearing it up at the plate even when healthy, and he pops up a borderline 3-1 pitch in a scoreless game in the 3rd inning. Is that something we should label a lack of talent, or is it something else? Guys up and down the lineup are swinging at balls in the dirt, swinging when logic dictates taking at least a pitch or two, attempting to pull pitches three inches outside, almost never adjusting their swings in any situations, getting picked off, running into outs for no good reason, etc. Does this demonstrate a lack of talent, or a fundamentally flawed (but completely correctable) approach to the game? I’m not suggesting they all have Hall of Fame potential, but I don’t know how anyone can accurately judge the team’s raw talent when most of these guys seem to go out of their way to undermine their own physical abilities. If Cozart takes the 3-1 pitch for a strike and then walks on the 3-2 pitch, he’s exactly the same guy with exactly the same talent, but by standing motionless for two pitches he’s suddenly become an offensive asset. Simon can then bunt him over (making Simon more of an asset) and then Hamilton’s single drives in a run (as opposed to the zero runs it actually drove in), and suddenly Hamilton has also become more of an asset. Same guys, same talent, but a run is produced by Cozart taking two more pitches. So I really have to question the assertion that this team doesn’t have enough physical talent to score a sufficient number of runs. Unless they actually make an attempt to maximize the skills they do have, how can we possibly know what their true potential is?

    • Problem is that even the “young” players aside from Hamilton aren’t really that young any more both in age and MLB service time which equates to growing costs.

      At some point if they haven’t quit swinging at the wrong pitches (and conversely taking the wrong ones which this group does a lot too) and rolling over into harmless grounders or popping up excessively, the org has to draw the conclusion that whether the issue is mental or physical it isn’t going away so it is time for the org to cut the cord and move on.

  22. It’s obvious the main problem the Reds have faced this year is the onslaught of injuries. Not to make light of that, because it has been devastating, but a lot of things went right for the Reds in the first half of the season.

    No matter the peripherals, Simon’s results have been terrific. One could argue that the Reds record is better in games he started than it would have been if Ci9ngrani was pitching. Hamilton has proven to be an exceptional outfielder and has hit well beyond expectations. Frazier and Mes both hit like all-stars. Pena has hit beyond expectations and is now filling in two positions, 1B and C. The rest of the back-ups delivered right before the break. Cueto, who is a very good pitcher no matter what, was having his best season – pitching like a CY Young candidate.

    Other than Hamilton, the rest of the group appears to be experiencing some regression. The additions of Diaz and Contreras have stabilized the bullpen. Outside of that, the Reds look lo be out of magic bullets. Thus the injuries are finally taking their toll.

    It’s too bad it’s happening this year. With the Cardinals experiencing their own bout of injuries, the NL Central certainly looks winnable. He may be able to get some help on the fringe, but it’s doubtful Walt can find reasonably priced help (reasonable in both trade chips and money) to rescue the season.

    The Reds are going to end up trying to hang in the race until Votto and Phillips return and hope they bring the magic back with them…. and maybe bring Bruce back, too. If this is the course they end up taking, it’s not giving up on the season. It’s not wasting minor league talent on questionable fixes.

    It does not look promising right now, but the team may be able to stay close over the next month. There is a lot of head to head division games left and the Brewers haven’t had their rounds with SF and LA yet. So there is still a possibility the Reds could still end up in the hunt.

    • Great post. I especially like: “With the Cardinals experiencing their own bout of injuries, the NL Central certainly looks winnable.”

      • I meant to say more than that ! The Cardinals are having serious problems this year. We know about the injuries, Including Wacha and Yadi, and also the walking wounded like Matt Holiday, who’s slugging pct. is just barely above .400. Matt Carpenter is slugging below .400, Craig is slugging .350. The bullpen has blown a lot of leads. They’re looking for a starting pitcher.

        The Brewers are Pirates are beatable. The issue of course is that the Reds at the moment can’t beat anyone, and we’re looking at a depressing lineup every day. One can look to improve the team’s offense for 2015 and make a trade to help 2014 at the same time. That’s what WJ is looking for, but if the asking price is ridiculous, what can he do ?

        It’s just a shame, this season has been uniquely frustrating. And this post-All Star collapse reminds me so much of 1991.

        • The difference is the Cardinals will have no problem adding players with a much deeper and more talented farm system as pieces to trade. As much as I dislike them, they know how to evaluate, draft and develop talent in their farm system. When they call players up to the parent club, most times they step up and are strong contributors. The Cardinals will have no problem going after pitching or catching help, or anything else they need.

  23. I don’t believe Jocketty is to blame at this point. Maybe he was a bit sentimental/optimistic when signing Ludwick, maybe he spends too much on the bullpen, and his view of what is needed for a productive bench seems dubious. However, one could make a reasonable (at the time) argument for each move. Also, without the many, many injuries of this year, I believe the good guys would be in first place right now, given the starting pitching as well as the pleasant surprises (Hamilton, Frazier, and Mesaraco) among the position players. Folks, 2014 is fate’s fault.

    However, I do believe that the front office will be to blame if they do not handle the next week correctly. There are several options for them, but the one truly stupid one would be to deal away prospects, in what is perhaps the most extreme example of a seller’s market I can remember, for some short-term help. The limited sell and the big sell are both justifiable, but the buy would be silly, silly, silly. There are simply not enough parts to add to this mix to make them a playoff team or a playoff team with anywhere to go once they get to the playoffs.

    Personally, I would like to see a hard sell moving Cueto, Simon, Broxton, and Chapman. However, suppose that 2015 is a big deal for Bob and he is worried about being competitive the year that the Reds host the ASG. Here are some thing that could be done:

    *Move Cueto for Francisco Lindor and Cleveland’s competitive balance (A) pick for next year’s draft. Starting shortstop and plus defender, check. Twenty years old and cost controlled, check. Much more offensive potential than Cozart, check. Sticking this kid in the lineup in April of 2015 would be little risk, as he is already very good defensively and cannot possibly be worse offensively than Cozart has been.

    *Move Simon and Broxton for Dylan Bundy. Bundy is already rehabbing off of Tommy John and has looked good. Twenty one years old and cost controlled, check. Potential #1 who is considered a better prospect than Stephenson, check.

    *With the $20 million in payroll saved, use some of it to sign Yasmani Tomas and plug him in LF. He is a plus defender, 23 years old, and has serious power from the right side of the dish.

    *Use the other dollars in payroll saved to do two things. First, get a couple of cheap veteran pieces for the bullpen. Second, keep it in pocket for payroll flexibility for next year.

    This plan would fill the gaping holes, (LF, SS), create one gaping hole (in the rotation), and save some money. Here is where it gets bold.

    For the sake of all that his holy in this world and beyond, it is time to move Chapman to the rotation! . . . Install Cingrani as a piece in the bullpen. I want to see how his fastball looks when he really cuts it loose. Let’s get really bold and say that Price is going to be a trailblazer and make some heads explode when he states in February, “We are not going to have a closer.”

    So, the potential starters include Chapman, Bailey, Latos, Leake, Bundy, Iglesias, Stephenson, and Lorenzen. The bullpen would include some combination of Cingrani, Lecure, Diaz, Contreras, Ondrusek, Parra, Howard, Partch, Hoover, Christiani, and veterany-free agent guys.

    The lineup?

    Hamilton, CF
    Frazier, 3B
    Votto, 1B
    Tomas, LF
    Mesoraco, C
    Bruce, RF
    Phillips, 2B
    Lindor, SS

    This club competes in 2015 and beyond . . . . . unless everyone hurts their quad, knee, hamstring, thumb, back, etc.

  24. I hate seeing Richard and Steve argue!

    As a mid market team this team has payroll in all the wrong places: aging LF, 8th inning P, 9th inning P, aging 2nd baseman, and giant career contract for former MVP. So I blame Walt to an extent and Bob for letting him build this way.

    That being said ‘injuries makes cowards of us all’ to paraphrase WC. Everyone deserves some blame outside of a couple starting pitchers and some rookie types but at the same time they don’t bc it’s kinda beyond their control.

    • Maybe this year is the Reds turn to be on the backside of the “you don’t pick the years you contend” coin. As has been noted by many folks here, what would the Reds record be and what would the standings table look like if everyone else had played the same but the Reds had not been seemingly overwhelmed by injury.

      And another one those of us in the midwest are all too familiar with is the axiom that a hard winter finds every weakness in the systems of our cars and homes and bodies, even those we did know existed. So, a “hard winter” of injuries brings to light the marginal and perhaps outright poor contractual and planning decisions that were made, many of which would have gone unnoticed or not seriously questioned without the illumination of the harsh light of the injury crisis.

      • The business world has a similar phrase “sales cover a multitude of sins”. With the team ten games over 500 Reds fans would be buying play-off tickets Mancuso would be signing the phrases of ownership and how brilliant WJ is (probably not) The hard times in business and sports define ownership, management and employees (players). So far the Reds are at .500 after losing 7 straight and it can be directly attributed to 4 healthy players who are not performing, Bruce, Frazier, Mes, and Hamilton. All things (pitching, fielding) being equal those guys hit, REDS win. Scoring runs hides a multitude of sins (bad contracts, weak pitching peripherals, Etc.).Santiago, Schu. and Pena are doing what they can do, those other 4 are collectively not performing. I have not included Luds because his optics diminish any of his results. The season starts today and the next 60 games will be the answer to any and all hopes or fears.

        • Interesting that you used the sales example here and up the thread CharlotteRedsFan used it the same way in his comparison of Simon versus Bailey results.

  25. I’m not against trading prospects. It would have to be for players who will help the Reds in 2015 and possibly beyond, not just 2014. Obviously, it would have to be an amazing return to trade Stephenson.

    • But wait, we are buyers:

      Latest On Rusney Castillo
      By Steve Adams [July 25, 2014 at 6:05pm CDT]
      5:33pm: The Reds, too, will join the party, according to a tweet from C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer

    • This is basically where I am at too; but, I can’t help from realizing the irony while we both seem to believe WJ has slipped over that same rainbow Dusty did, this position, that you don’t make a mid season trade to help only for this year, is a long held public tenet of WJ.

      • I give Jocketty a lot of credit for many of the moves he’s made with the Reds and he’s been a successful GM in the past. And obviously there’s a lot that we don’t know from the outside. But there are things we do know.

        We know that despite the World Series championships he brought them, the Cardinals let him go in part because he wasn’t adopting modern views about baseball. We know he still holds many old-school baseball outlooks, because he says them out loud. We know he’s been unable to find a way to improve the Reds for over a year.

        Jocketty may well make a trade at the deadline that helps the Reds in 2015, too. And I’d support that, depending on the particulars.

        • Where we disagree is that I believe WJ’s biggest mistake for 2014 (to date) was hiring an absolutely rookie as manager for a team that was expected and primed to compete beyond the first round of the playoffs. And “absolutely rookie” means zero professional management experience at any level. This has nothing to do with Price personally. I just believe there are things a person cannot be truly prepared for until they have walked a mile or two in those shoes somewhere and managing a professional baseball team is one of them. And the Reds situation for 2014 was clearly not one for OJT.

          Also, specifically to Price’s situation, as a GM, I would have been at least a little concerned that in 20 years of coaching, Price had never taken that step anywhere, at any level or location, into the manager’s office. It would make me wonder if this was something he really wanted to do or whether perhaps he saw himself at the apex of one career path and felt he needed to change the path to climb higher.

          I would have liked to seen them think a little out of the box and offered Price a position that was organizational pitching Czar at the money they are paying him now and reporting directly to the GM with total control over pitching (including selection of the coaches) in the entire org. Then they could have gone about the job of finding a proper manager for very complex and supercharged situation.

        • Jim, I couldn’t disagree with you more regarding the bona fides of Brian Price. You expressed the view earlier that the GM hasn’t shown the ability to improve the team on the fly–then suggest Price was handed a team primed to contend for the pennant.

          Can’t have it both ways.

          Price has been a terrific manager in the face of all these injuries. The two areas in which he receives criticism–use of the bullpen and lineup construction–are red herrings.

          No Marshall, no Broxton and no Chapman. Lost his three most important pitchers and had his most reliable middle relief guy–Simon moved to the rotation. Plus the few healthy relievers he had (see, i.e., Hoover, LeCure) have underperformed when he needed them most.

          It amazes me that the same people who recognize that lineup construction has little impact upon a season, night after night go apoplectic on Price because Mesoraco is batting 6th or Phillips is batting 3rd. In fact, the drop in production would seem to validate Price’s decisions regarding where Mes should bat.

          Hiring Price was the best move Jocketty made. Apart from the inevitability of losing him to another organization, Price, who has been in the dugout for years watching Bob Melvin and Dusty Baker has done plenty of due diligence in that regard. This idea that there is some hidden knowledge or secret handshake that can only be conferred on a man when the the title of manager is bestowed upon him seems false to me.

          And when you’ve been in the business 20 years, you’re hardly a rookie. That seems a misleading moniker to saddle him with.

          By all accounts, Price is very baseball bright. He’s shown to be flexible. His pitching knowledge is second to none. The idea that he doesn’t know how to manage a bullpen is laughable. Whether he has the nuance or hutzpah to take a radical approach to high leverage situations is another matter entirely.

          The biggest question mark about Price was how he would handle his team inside the clubhouse. Would they respond to him? Could they relate to his managerial style or would he lose them the way Baker did.

          The jury is out on that, but so far, with all the injuries and opportunities for this team to quit, it would seem that Price has been an unqualified success in this regard as well.

        • I’m 100% with Richard on his view of Price. That’s not to say a bunch of other managers couldn’t have done the same thing. But Price isn’t any worse. The jury is still out to see if he’s better, but I’m optimistic.

        • Richard,
          I did not question Price’s technical skill set as it relates to the function of the business. I believe there is an additional psychological component to being the guy alone in the manager’s seat. Even with the technical skill set and knowledge, I believe the only way a person acquires that psychological component is by the experience of being the guy in the manager’s seat. You are no longer the right hand man or one (and perhaps even the most equal) of a committee advising the man, You are the man. Whatever your skills and knowledge, you are a rookie until you have experienced this.

          Price has gotten about the most severe trial by fire a guy in his spot could get. What’s done is done and water under the bridge. Whether with the Reds or somewhere else if things break that way, he will be a better manager for it if he chooses and has the opportunity to keep managing.

          On a note which is probably closer to Steve’s heart than yours, in the last decade a certain football team that wears Maize and Blue has only once defeated their their arch rival which wears Scarlet and Grey. On that occasion the S&G were led to a losing season by the hot young coordinator with no head coaching experience promoted to head man at a time of duress. After the season the S&G brought in a guy who understood and had been through the fires as a head coach, With essentially the same key personnel as the year before, he lead them to an undefeated season.

        • Well, Jim, I would guess there were a myriad of variables and issues going on besides the obvious fact that the former OSU coach was untested and the one who replaced him seasoned. We all look at outcomes, and small sample size outcomes at that, and take from them the lessons we want to take from them to fit our beliefs. Sadly, that doesn’t always make them valid. It’s entirely possible Fickell was a lousy coach and that played far more of a role in OSU losing to Michigan than any mysterious “psychological component” you insist is crucial to the success of a baseball manager.

          And if this psychological piece were so important, the Reds should have never been 7 games over .500. Because the injuries this manager had to deal with easily could have derailed even the most seasoned of managers.

          Like Ron Washington, who has been managing the Rangers for 8 years.

        • I agree with Richard on Price. He does not give up unlike our last experienced manager

          I like the smoke and mirrors he was playing in first half and how he had the team at the top

          Unfortunately our gm has not brought in the player to help the moral and our heros are all alone

          Help coming now that he sees there is a problem will be too little but more importantly too late

  26. Someone inform Ludwick we’re not playing Cricket. If I see him swing at one more pitch in the dirt, I’m going throw up. As for the Reds, simply put: not watchable now.

  27. As bad as it’s seemed the past week, the Reds are still in the top half defensively in the ratio of good plays to bad:

    • Not surprising. The Reds have made some misplays at bad times, but the main problem is obvious: they aren’t scoring runs. And I don’t believe that problem will solve itself.

  28. Above, it was stated…”But he was definitely lucky to have not given up at least 6 runs tonight. 9 hits, 2 walks, 1 hbp in 4.1 innings. ”

    Perhaps not every pitcher (Simon) has the same mental makeup as others (Bailey) when things aren’t going their way.

    • Aside from the assertion that we know anything of the “mental makeup” of either player, two of the runners Simon gave up depended on J.J. Hoover’s “mental makeup” – or does Simon’s amazing “mental makeup” transfer to Hoover, too? And where was Simon’s great mental makeup when he was letting 12 runners on base in four innings?

  29. reds suck. hitting is terrible or non-existent. no passion from players. All of them look like they’re at a funeral service. Who knows, maybe they are.

    • Yes maybe they are, and maybe they know it. Mike Leaks talked publicly about the need for help, like Barry Larkin used to, to Williams’ deaf ear.

  30. Replying to RedsFan06 above:
    Great post. I especially like: “With the Cardinals experiencing their own bout of injuries, the NL Central certainly looks winnable.” Not enough has been said about how winnable the NL Central is this year. Three teams are above .500, but none of them is that good.

    The Cardinals are having serious problems in 2014. We know about the injuries, Including Wacha and Yadi, and also the walking wounded like Matt Holiday, who’s slugging pct. is just barely above .400. Matt Carpenter is slugging below .400, Craig is slugging .350. The bullpen has blown a lot of leads. They’re looking for a starting pitcher.

    The Brewers are Pirates are beatable. The issue of course is that the Reds at the moment can’t beat anyone, and we’re looking at a depressing lineup every day. One can look to improve the team’s offense for 2015 and make a trade to help 2014 at the same time. That’s what WJ is looking for, but if the asking price is ridiculous, what can he do ?
    Hopefully he can find that offensive upgrade, but he won’t overpay for it, and he shouldn’t.

    It’s just a shame, this season has been uniquely frustrating. And this post-All Star collapse reminds me so much of 1991.

  31. This is anything but good news about Tony Cingrani (From Mark Sheldon)

    http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/2014/07/26/saturday-news-and-notes/

    “*LHP Tony Cingrani, who has been on the DL at Louisville because of a shoulder injury, still has not resumed a throwing program.

    [sheldon quoting B.Price]
    “There still is a little bit of soreness and some shoulder impingement, I believe it was the diagnosis is,” Price said. “Other than the strengthening stuff, he hasn’t quite gotten to the point where he’s been cleared to start throwing yet.” “

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