New three-year deal for Walt Jocketty to remain as Reds GM. Here’s hoping he doesn’t sit on his hands again all off-season, refusing to improve the ball club, like he did last year.

Oh, and one more thing: he says Dusty Baker and the entire coaching staff will return next year, as well.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 22 Comments

  1. Why is Jocketty getting a pass from most fans and nearly every single writer that covers the team? Go to the Transaction Tracker at MLB Trade Rumors and look at his record. His bad moves almost outnumber the good moves. His best move — signing Chapman — has been ruined by the organization’s abysmal handling of the guy. Take a look at next year’s projected lineup and rotation and outside of Rolen — who I still don’t think was a great acquisition — and possibly Chapman, the entire team was put together before Jocketty got here. Oh, and he extended Arroyo who now holds the record for most home runs given up by a Reds pitcher. So, he’s got that going for him.

    He had some success several years ago with Cardinals(!) — why does that shield him from any criticism?

  2. “Swing away, Merrill. Swing away…”

    I believe Jacoby’s hitting philosophy is something like that.

  3. @PeterNincompoop: FWIW…. Jocketty said tonight on his TV appearance that K’s were a major problem and he intends meet with Jacoby to devise a plan to cut down on them.

  4. WJ also talked about the situation with BP. He said he would be meeting with BP’s reps in NYC in hopes of getting an extension done. If the extension is not done by the time the option falls due, then the strategy will be the same as with Arroyo last year, they will exercise the option but continue negotiating on an extension.

    I thought WJ may have opened the door just a bit on the possibility that if they cannot get an extension done after exercising the option on BP that they might eventually trade him. His final remark was something like we will continue negotiating and hope BP will stay with us but we do have to be aware of certain budgetary limits. Obviously he could have meant if the situation was not resolved by the this time next year but it could also have been interpreted that the Reds won’t pay $12M for one year to have him then walk.

  5. @OhioJim: Strikeouts are NOT the Reds’ problem. In 2010, they struck out in 19.4% of their plate appearances and won the division. In 2011, they have struck out in 19.6% — nearly identical to last year. Overall, the offense is about where it was last year.

    Their problem all year has been pitching. Look at Volquez’s line tonight against a bad Pirates team. That’s the guy that this franchise thought was good enough to start game one of the NLDS and be the Opening Day starter. Meanwhile, a guy that throws 105 MPH is wasting away in middle relief. This team needs pitching. Worrying about strikeouts is exactly the type of old school baseball idea that I’ve come to expect from Baker and Jocketty.

    • Overall, the offense is about where it was last year.

      I agree with you about SO and most of your post but this statement isn’t true

      last year the Reds had a wRC+ of 105 which was 6th in baseball
      this year the Reds have a wRC+ of 98 which is 11th in baseball

      that’s a significant drop.

      so where has the teams drop in offense come from? lets look

      better production this year
      catcher

      same production this year
      1B
      RF
      LF

      slightly worse production this year
      2B
      CF

      significantly worse production this year
      SS
      3B

      3B and SS production dropped the most. 3B is easy to explain. Rolen didn’t play and when he did he didn’t produce at the plate

      who would have thought that Janish and Renteria would be this much worse than Cabrera and Janish last year?

      The LF situation is an interesting one. It hasn’t been that great this or last year but the point is the production from LF has not dropped off from last year

      Stubbs didn’t improve and even got worse

  6. @Aaron: While I agree a strikeout counts for as many outs as a flyable, in Stubbs case that cheap roller or flare can turn into double after a stolen base. Stubbs isn’t Dunn or Mark Reynolds, he does need to cut his strikeouts drastically to be a better player.

    • @Aaron: While I agree a strikeout counts for as many outs as a flyable, in Stubbs case that cheap roller or flare can turn into double after a stolen base. Stubbs isn’t Dunn or Mark Reynolds, he does need to cut his strikeouts drastically to be a better player.

      I will fight to the death over the issue of whether a K is the same as any other out. There is one occassion and one alone where a K is better than another out, and that is, where a ground ball produces a double play. That’s it. Nothing good can happen if you don’t put the ball in play.

  7. Damn autocorrect, flyable equals fly ball.

  8. @The Mad Hatter: To a certain extent, I agree that a player like Stubbs should cut down on his strikeouts. He doesn’t really hit for enough power to justify 200 Ks. It’s especially troubling that he struck out more this year while his power numbers dropped.

    However, it seems like Baker and Jocketty believe that strikeouts are an issue for the entire team — Baker brought up Votto and Bruce’s strikeout numbers the other day — and that is simply not true. If you were to make a top 10 list of problems for this team, strikeouts wouldn’t make that list. I find it troubling that both Baker and Jocketty can’t see that.

  9. @Aaron: Wow, I just about quit. They bring back dysfunction family Robinson, and the first thing Jocketty talks about is K’s, and the second thing is a probable 5 or 6 year extension for Phillips.

    Maybe next on the list for Jocketty is extending Arroyo’s contract another 5 years, followed by a 7 year extension for Paul Janish.

    • @Aaron: Wow, I just about quit.They bring back dysfunction family Robinson, and the first thing Jocketty talks about is K’s, and the second thing is a probable 5 or 6 year extension for Phillips.

      Maybe next on the list for Jocketty is extending Arroyo’s contract another 5 years, followed by a 7 year extension for Paul Janish.

      Well at least they’re not arresting anybody for 8 pounds of marijuana. In Cincinnati Sports this is progress.

  10. @Aaron: OK, maybe there’s a typo in Jim’s message. Maybe Jocketty meant strikeouts are an issue for his *pitching* staff, which they are—they don’t get enough of them. And Brook Jacoby is going to move to pitching coach next year. Yeah, that’s it.

  11. @Dave Lowenthal: nope. K’s by batter’s. Back on the Titantic struggle or game thread I also mentioned that WJ talked at length about the failure of starting pitching and need to get better there. The comment here was in reply to “swing away, swing away” comment on this thread.

  12. @OhioJim: Maybe the Reds could strive to strike out 100 fewer times next year, which would match the Giants this year. (1190 to 1088 in Ks, with the Reds having 100 more). Oh, the Giants scored 170 fewer runs.

  13. @Dave Lowenthal: I pretty much agree with the comments here. Other than with Stubbs, I don’t see K.s as a big global issue except for what seems like the inordinate number of K’s with a runner on third and less than 2 outs. In those situations most of the time an out other than a K is going to score a run. As for Stubbs, I have already identified that in my opinion Stubbs could be the surprise tradee this off season; and, I don’t think they will stick with him indefinitely next year if his power numbers stay down and his OBP is low and K rate high.

  14. I would not mind trading away Stubbs rather than trying to correct his deficits at age 27… but there’s no obvious candidate to replace him in the OF even if you move Jay Bruce to CF. Heisey? He’s had a much better year than Stubbs but his OBP is .304 and I’m never going to get excited about an OF with a .304 OBP.

    What has happened in 2011 is the team was managed as if every one of the younger players was going to step up from 2010, but the reality is that almost none of the young guys did that. Cueto and Votto produced at the fantastic level that was hoped for (although Cueto missed a lot of games). Alonso has been a real find so far. Everybody else should be blamed for the lack of success.

    Volquez? Sucked. And they should give up on him.
    Wood? Major regression from last year… everything got worse. Not sure what they should do since it’s one year.
    Leake? His ERA+ being 101 is decent, but not “progress” from last year. He’s a guy who you plug in for 2012.
    Bailey? ERA+ is 90, and he’s had three straight years at that level, and I don’t think he’s ever going to be better than that as a Red. The new Brett Tomko? Perhaps. If they’re counting on him and counting on competing for a World Series and he’s not the #5 starter, that’s a mistake.

    Stubbs? His OPS+ is 86, seems to have regressed. Darren Lewis did that at age 26 BTW (OPS+ was 87). Not one of my favorite Reds.
    Jay Bruce? .811 OPS. Underperformed. Got the big contract, didn’t improve. He’s a good player but not a star in 2011.
    None of the other OF candidates except Alonso put up OPS above .800. So the whole lot of ’em didn’t amount to much so far.

    And finally Chapman, who as was discussed has been horribly mismanaged and 1/3 of his contract already wasted without even trying him as a starting pitcher.

    And after all that they award Jocketty three more years?

  15. Every one of you is missing the obvious problem. And that is Dusty Baker. This team is seriously under-managed. Sure, Stubbs can cut down on strikeouts and Arroyo had an off year, and so forth, but those pale in comparison to the massive lack of consistency this team showed due to Bakers constant tinkering with the lineup and mismanagement of the players he has available to him. Is there any question that Renteria cost this team anywhere from 5 to 10 victories this year? Can some of Stubbs troubles be attributed to his being in the leadoff spot most of the year, a place in which he has never excelled? Is there any reason Jay Bruce, Ramon Hernandez, or anyone besides Phillips shouldn’t have been hitting cleanup on this team most of the year? And yes, Chapman has been horribly mismanaged. Paul Daugerty had a great blog yesterday asking why the Cardinals are still in it right now and the Reds aren’t when they clearly aren’t more talented than the Reds. Until Dusty is gone, this team has no chance of winning with any consistency.

  16. @mike: another idea that’s been floating around in my head for a while which cuts Walt some slack if this was his thought process.

    going into this season the Reds had a nice core of young players
    Chapman, Leake, Bruce, Bailey, Cueto, Heisey, Stubbs, Volquez and Votto

    If Walt was going into the season not making many moves because you expected them to improve (which honestly they all should have) and it didn’t happen, you’d end up a worse team than last year. Only Cueto improved.

    • @mike: another idea that’s been floating around in my head for a while which cuts Walt some slack if this was his thought process.

      going into this season the Reds had a nice core of young players
      Chapman, Leake, Bruce, Bailey, Cueto, Heisey, Stubbs, Volquez and Votto

      If Walt was going into the season not making many moves because you expected them to improve (which honestly they all should have) and it didn’t happen, you’d end up a worse team than last year. Only Cueto improved.

      I’m not drinking that kool-aid. The mishandled Chapman regressed. Leake got better. Bruce is a slight decline. Bailey did about the same. Cueto was way better. Heisey was about a bit better. Stubbs was down as should have been expected. Volquez was terrible. Votto was a bit worse as expected.

      I don’t get where there is any sane reasoning to expect that all of these players should have improved.

      Chapman – Who knows what to expect, he has no history and nobody knows what his role will be moving forward. Worst off all, the Reds don’t even know.
      Leake – He improved slightly this year, but do you really expect him to keep improving. I think he’s shown what we can come to expect from him going forward.
      Bruce – Slight fall off this season, but he’s a .850 OPS kind of guy. If you get at OBP/SLG of .350/.500 from him chalk it up as a good season.
      Bailey – The one pitch meltdown guy. Unless he ever figures out how to get over that hump, he’s an average starter at best. He’s one guy I could see as a late bloomer.
      Cueto – Awesome season, but did you really expect that kind of improvement from him this year? Expect a regression back to an ERA in the low to mid 3’s next season. That still makes him a top of the rotation starter.
      Heisey – Odd season, his OBP fell off but his SLG increased. But guess what? Based on what he did in the minors, he’s not going to keep improving. He’s a .330/.440 kind of guy.
      Stubbs – The poster boy for unfounded high expectations. Based on his minor league numbers you should be expecting a good fielding .250/.330/.380 who Ks once every 4 ABs. The only difference in his season this year from last is that his SLG dropped off significantly. That is not a surprise, it should have been completely expected.
      Volquez – His 3.21 ERA 2008 season looks more and more like a fluke, but with the surgery and his physical talent, you’d hope he could at least rebound to being a sub 4.50 pitcher again.
      Votto – Really, did you expect him to improve on a 1.024 OPS, I think his .950 OPS is a nice expectation for him moving forward.

      If anything, Jocketty should be immediately fired if that was his thought process, not cut any slack.

  17. Rolen getting worse was of course entirely predictable.

    Arroyo getting worse was also entirely predictable.

    I just ain’t seeing a reason why Jocketty could be considered to have done a great job in Cincy.

    With the budgetary constraints it’s also not clear how they can turn this team into a World Series contender while Votto is around.

  18. It is real easy for all of us to sit in our lazy boy and play sideline GM. I mean we don’t have all the information available nor the knowledge of what Walt could and couldn’t do. Am I happy with how the team performed this past season..of course not, but without having all the full information available to us, it is impossible to make the claims some make here.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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2011 Reds, 2012 Reds

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