2012 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Choose Your Expletive

Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
New York Mets 9
Cincinnati Reds 4
W: B. Parnell (1-0)
L: L. Ondrusek (3-1)
Box Score

POSITIVES
–Joey Votto can hit a baseball. Two hits today, including a home run. He’s now hitting .317/.466/.595 on the year. That, friends, is serious.

–Brandon Phillips had two hits today as well. He’s pretty much looked like himself lately. Good to see.

–Mat Latos struck out seven.

NEGATIVES
–Though he did strike out plenty, Latos only went 5+. He needs to be more efficient.

–The bullpen was awful. Especially Ondrusek. That was going to happen eventually, but that doesn’t make it hurt less.

–The defense wasn’t any great shakes today either and gave the Mets several runs today.

–A base running gaffe by Votto killed a budding rally and may have changed the outcome of the game. It’s also so strange when Votto screws up. It feels like I’m in the Twilight Zone.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–There are days when everything goes wrong. You don’t win on those days. This was one of those days.

–Chapman sort of gave up a run, but even when the opposing team does something against him, it feels like blind luck. I’m going to throw out a name here and just say that I’ve felt this way about the person who has this name and then I’m going to leave it be. Mariano Rivera.

–The Reds have lost consecutive get away games, now. Though, I don’t know if this counts since they aren’t going anywhere. Yankees tomorrow. Go get ’em, boys.

67 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Choose Your Expletive

  1. Chapman allowed a run but not an earned run
    and Ondrusek allowed his 1st ER

    Ondrusek started the season pitching in 17 games without allowing an ER
    Chapman has started the season pitching in 16 games without allowing an ER

    The Reds record for games not allowing an ER to start the season is 18, held by John Hudek in 1998. During Hudek’s steak to start the season he allowed 4 unearned runs

    The Reds record of not allowing any runs to start the season is…wait for it….Ondrusek who started this season pitching in 17 games not allowing even an unearned run. The record was previously held by our old friend Rhodes who started the 2009 season not allowing a run in his 1st 15 games

  2. I think it’s really starting to be time for some “hitters” on this team to get going or get benched. Look at the Reds OPS leaderboard, it’s freaking RIDICULOUS:

    Over 1.000: Votto, Frazier

    Over .900: Bruce

    Over .800: None

    Over .700: Hanigan

    Over .600: Cairo, Cozart, Phillips, Leake, Heisey, Stubbs, Ludwick

    Over .500: Mesoraco, Rolen, Valdez

    A few things jump out. Hannigan has the 4th highest OPS on the team. Not OBP, OPS.

    Miguel goddarned Cairo is 5th!

    Mike Leake is outhitting 3 out of 4 of our outfielders.

    By the numbers, this is what the Reds lineup should be:

    Hannigan, C
    Frazier, 3b
    Votto, 1b
    Bruce, RF
    Cairo, LF
    Cozart, SS
    Phillips, 2b
    Leake, CF

  3. @al:

    it gets worse…if you start including defense (the Reds haven’t played as good on defense this year as the last couple years)….the Reds have VERY few players contributing.

    The only Reds who have contributed more than .5 WAR this season

    2.1 Votto
    1.5 Bruce
    1.2 Chapman
    1.0 Cueto
    1.0 Cozart
    .8 Arroyo
    .5 Hanigan

    players contributing 0 or few (yes NEGATIVE)
    Bray, Leake, LeCure, Valdez, Heisey, Harris, Rolen, Mesoraco, Costanzo, Cairo, and Ludwick

  4. I’ve preached patience with Stubbs, but my patience is wearing very thin. He may need to get sent down. He only had one season in the minors with a BB% under 10%, and averaged over 11%. Now he’s at 4.6% with 43 ks in 147 AB.

    When you can’t make contact, don’t take walks, and muff plays in the field, what kind of case are you making to stay on the team?

    Josh Fellhauer has a .437 OBP in AA with 13BB and 13Ks. He’s lefthanded and plays leftfield. If this continues I see no reason not to give him a shot.

    • I’ve preached patience with Stubbs, but my patience is wearing very thin.He may need to get sent down.He only had one season in the minors with a BB% under 10%, and averaged over 11%.Now he’s at 4.6% with 43 ks in 147 AB.

      When you can’t make contact, don’t take walks, and muff plays in the field, what kind of case are you making to stay on the team?

      Sending Stubbs to AAA would enforce the reality that he can’t get any coaching in the Reds dugout. Otherwise, what purpose would it serve? That he can learn to hit AAA pitching?

      I can’t see any point in it other than to embarrass the guy. At best, that’s pointless too.

      • Sending Stubbs to AAA would enforce the reality that he can’t get any coaching in the Reds dugout. Otherwise, what purpose would it serve? That he can learn to hit AAA pitching?

        I can’t see any point in it other than to embarrass the guy. At best, that’s pointless too.

        Call it lack of coaching, call it pressing, call it whatever you want, the guy looks like he needs a timeout to me. We sent Austin Kearns down once and he turned it around.

        Stubbs needs to figure out a plate approach, and clearly he’s not doing that at the big league level. He used to walk consistently at every level he played at, and he needs to get back to that. At the very least he should get on base.

        Maybe the MLB coaching staff has just screwed him up with all the different advice, I don’t know. But he isn’t helping the team, so what would be the problem sending him down anyway? He’s earned the demotion with his numbers, and there’s at least a chance that a few weeks away would get his head on straight.

  5. Dusty needs to shore up the #1 and #2 spots, in order to get a consistent offensive output. My suggestion would be to put Brandon back at #1, where he batted well.

    • Dusty needs to shore up the #1 and #2 spots, in order to get a consistent offensive output. My suggestion would be to put Brandon back at #1, where he batted well.

      Dusty’s lineup construction has always been atrocious.

      Here is an interesting look at where each lineup position ranks compared to the rest of the NL in that batting order spot.

      batting
      1st 16th in the NL (dead last)
      2nd 4th in the NL
      3rd 2nd (Go Votto!)
      4th 15th (should be BRUCE! but instead it’s Rolen & Phillips)
      5th 2nd (Go Bruce!)
      6th 12th
      7th 8th
      8th 7th
      9th 5th (our pitchers are hitting:) )

      I think this makes the problem of the lineup OBVIOUS
      1 of 2 spots in front of Votto has been awful
      the spot behind Votto has been awful
      and the spots surrounding Bruce have been awful

      we all know our big hitters are Votto and Bruce
      and Dusty has done almost everything he can do to minimize their run production

  6. It’s hard to figure out what direction this team is heading. Looking at the boxscore, our 1-2 hitters of Cozart and Stubbs hitting at .236 and .238 isn’t too promising. They are young though. I’m curious to see how Cozart, Frazier, Stubbs, Heisey, pan out this year. Will one of those guys break out? I think that is a key. If they don’t the Reds are gonna have to make a big trade at the deadline. Also, it would make me think they have overvalued their own prospects, which I guess most teams do.

    We’re at the same point as last year in many respects. No lead off hitter, and unstable starting pitching. Holding this team together is the bullpen, Joey Votto, Bruce and Phillips. I think there is potential in this team. If Latos improves the rotation should be solid. Hopefully they can take a game or 2 from the Yankees.

  7. @tgarretson82: Absolutely. The 1 and 2 spots had a big goose egg with 5K’s between them. Time to try Hannigan up there. Otherwise the table will remain empty for the best player on the team for said hitting.

  8. I think it’s time to evict Sean Marshall from the closer role and install Logan Ondrusek.

    And Latos didn’t pitch very well. Is it Hanigan’s fault?

  9. Well obviously that just all kinds of sucked, HOWEVER, I did get to play hookie from work and go to the game. AND, as it happens, my seats were directly below the Reds broadcast booth so in between innings I got to chat it up with Chris Welsh and Marty B! And I did get to see Joey Votto straight murder a baseball. So all things considered, not a bad day. Next up Sunday afternoon for Cueto vs. Sabathia!

    • Well obviously that just all kinds of sucked, HOWEVER, I did get to play hookie from work and go to the game. AND, as it happens, my seats were directly below the Reds broadcast booth so in between innings I got to chat it up with Chris Welsh and Marty B! And I did get to see Joey Votto straight murder a baseball. So all things considered, not a bad day. Next up Sunday afternoon for Cueto vs. Sabathia!

      I will be out in NYC come August and have decided to see a game at Yankee stadium..and I will get to see former Red Josh Hamilton and the Rangers take on the Yankees. I am wondering how New Yankee stadium is and how many HR’s Josh might launch…

  10. Moving hitters around in the lineup is like hiding the pea under the thimble.

    Opposing teams just read the charts and adjust accordingly.

  11. I’ve been intrigued with Fellhauer’s potential since they drafted him. Given his relatively few games at AA and how slowly the Reds have moved him through the system, I can’t see them skipping him up to the bigs.

    I think it’s time to evict Sean Marshall from the closer role and install Logan Ondrusek.

    Sarcasm?

  12. So Mat bleepin LaKomatose is given a 4-0 lead in the 5th and can’t freakin get past 5. I expect better. You knew when Chapman finally gave up a run it was going to cost Bailey or LaKomatose a win.

    DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. I’m not going to lie, everyone on the field looked unusually sluggish today. Chapman and Ondrusek were really sloppy with their delivery. The hit before his error, Stubbs had a ball hit to him in shallow center field that he didn’t even attempt to make a play on. He jogged towards it the whole time it was in the air and it finally fell about 5 feet in front of him. If he had even put a moderate effort into it it would have been an easy out, especially for someone with his “wheels.” I made a joke to a friend who was with me in the early innings that it looked like the whole team had gone out partying in NYC last night and wasn’t quite recovered. By the 8th inning I wasn’t entirely sure that’s not just what happened. I hope Dusty has a bed check the rest of this roadtrip.

    • eric nyc: I’m not going to lie, everyone on the field looked unusually sluggish today. The hit before his error, Stubbs had a ball hit to him in shallow center field that he didn’t even attempt to make a play on. He jogged towards it the whole time it was in the air and it finally fell about 5 feet in front of him. If he had even put a moderate effort into it it would have been an easy out, especially for someone with his “wheels.” I made a joke to a friend who was with me in the early innings that it looked like the whole team had gone out partying in NYC last night and wasn’t quite recovered. By the 8th inning I wasn’t entirely sure that’s not just what happened. I hope Dusty has a bed check the rest of this roadtrip.

      Stubbs also pulled up on the blooper off Ondrusek just before Cedeno’s 3 run homer. That was understandable, because Cozart and Ludwick were converging, but Stubbs doesn’t always seem 100% determined to catch the ball. To his credit he made a nice play on the running catch he made on the fly hit to the wall.

  14. Put it this way, Stubbs has put up 2.3 runs over replacement level this year. So in a few weeks, at this pace, he’s likely to contribute 1 extra run over a replacement level player.

    a) some time in the minors might get him back on track.
    b) the player we call up might be better than replacement level.
    c) at worst, we lose 1 run over 3 weeks, and then stubbs comes back and is the same.

    • a) some time in the minors might get him back on track.
      b) the player we call up might be better than replacement level.
      c) at worst, we lose 1 run over 3 weeks, and then stubbs comes back and is the same.

      the thought I’ve had for a couple days since Heisey and Frazier seem to be turning the corner a slight bit and Frazier’s 3B defense doesn’t look that great what if we tried this

      Phillips – 2B
      Hanigan/Mesoraco – C
      Votto – 1B
      Bruce – RF
      Frazier – LF
      Heisey – CF
      Cairo – 3B
      Cozart – SS

      add to that I’d really give up on the Ludwick experiment

      • the thought I’ve had for a couple days since Heisey and Frazier seem to be turning the corner a slight bit and Frazier’s 3B defense doesn’t look that great what if we tried thisPhillips – 2BHanigan/Mesoraco – CVotto – 1BBruce – RFFrazier – LFHeisey – CFCairo – 3BCozart – SSadd to that I’d really give up on the Ludwick experiment

        I don’t think it’s realistic for Cairo to play everyday, but I continue to think that more of Heisey and Frazier and less of Ludwick is a good idea. Was wondering why no Heisey in the starting lineup today?

        • I don’t think it’s realistic for Cairo to play everyday, but I continue to think that more of Heisey and Frazier and less of Ludwick is a good idea. Was wondering why no Heisey in the starting lineup today?

          I agree Cairo isn’t an every day player.
          The idea is that he might produce as well as Stubbs and/or Ludwick
          To be honest if/when Rolen comes back he should probably bat that low in the order so you could just pencil in Rolen in that 7 spot

  15. The thing that irks me about Stubbs (and Baker’s handling of Stubbs) is that nobody seems interested in doing even the easiest and most obvious things to improve his OBP: 1. Stop swinging at first pitches or when you’re ahead in the count unless the pitch is exactly where you want it. 2. Bunt often, even with two strikes. (What’s the risk of bunting with two strikes? Are they afraid he might strike out? That’s a good one.) 3. When you’ve got two strikes, do NOT take a pitch if it’s close. These three simple adjustments could be made overnight if Stubbs or Baker actually cared about OBP. They require no additional coaching, no trips to the minors, no changes in batting stance, no changes in the batting order, etc. All they require is a commitment to reaching base and a little bit of thought. But apparently that’s asking too much.

  16. It is only a small consolation, but I like saying it anyway: Adam “Up Yours” Wainwright and the Cardinals got beat again today.

  17. I think maybe we just need to come to the conclusion this team is what it is, a .500 club that is never going to win a bunch in a row or lose a buch in a row. We are stuck with what we have for the leadoff slot and Bruce will not now or ever be the No. 4 hitter as long as Dusty is in charge. Welcome to Reds baseball 2012…my only question is how will Bob, Walt and Dusty explain to the fans that a team with considerable talent is only able to play .500 ball the entire season?

    • I think maybe we just need to come to the conclusion this team is what it is, a .500 club that is never going to win a bunch in a row or lose a buch in a row.We are stuck with what we have for the leadoff slot and Bruce will not now or ever be the No. 4 hitter as long as Dusty is in charge.Welcome to Reds baseball 2012…my only question is how will Bob, Walt and Dusty explain to the fans that a team with considerable talent is only able to play .500 ball the entire season?

      I was just thinking pretty much exactly this. A .500 club the way it is comprised, managed and coached. The team really did play uncharacteristically poorly today. Problem is, there are enough good teams in the NL that we’ll need a sustained hot streak (with no corresponding cold streak) to make the playoffs. Also can’t see us catching the Cardinals this way.

      • I was just thinking pretty much exactly this. A .500 club the way it is comprised, managed and coached. The team really did play uncharacteristically poorly today. Problem is, there are enough good teams in the NL that we’ll need a sustained hot streak (with no corresponding cold streak) to make the playoffs. Also can’t see us catching the Cardinals this way.

        The Cards are the better overall team, but as we have seen so far, the injury bug has landed and I wonder if it won’t hang around them this season thus lessening their win ability. The Brewers are well playing worse then us and are finding out what losing Prince means, and they to have been bitten by the injury bug. So..I don’t rule out the Reds winning the division, but alot of things the Reds don’t control would have to fall their way with the way the Reds are performing as of Mid May.

    • I think maybe we just need to come to the conclusion this team is what it is, a .500 club that is never going to win a bunch in a row or lose a buch in a row.We are stuck with what we have for the leadoff slot and Bruce will not now or ever be the No. 4 hitter as long as Dusty is in charge.Welcome to Reds baseball 2012…my only question is how will Bob, Walt and Dusty explain to the fans that a team with considerable talent is only able to play .500 ball the entire season?

      i think it’s way too early for defeatist conclusions like this. the reds have played 4 games over .500 over the last month. they got out of the gate pretty slow, but have been decent since, and clearly playing under their potential.

      if they keep up that pace they’ll be in contention the whole year.

      • i think it’s way too early for defeatist conclusions like this.the reds have played 4 games over .500 over the last month.they got out of the gate pretty slow, but have been decent since, and clearly playing under their potential.

        if they keep up that pace they’ll be in contention the whole year.

        I doubt anyone is giving up. Just observing. I’m not really clear, though, why we should ignore the first 12 games. Was someone hurt then?

    • I think maybe we just need to come to the conclusion this team is what it is, a .500 club that is never going to win a bunch in a row or lose a buch in a row.

      I feel much the same… I keep hoping, but with a great team, you don’t have to feel “maybe they can beat this guy, then get that win, but lose that one.” Put it this way, when other teams play the Reds, I wonder what those fans say… “it’s ok to lose 2 of 3 to the Reds” or “they should beat these guys.” Still… way, way, to early to get stuck in grumpiness. Anything can happen.

  18. @zippy: i don’t necessarily agree with everything you have there (the bunting), but this is what i was saying about having an approach at the plate, and that it’s exactly what stubbs needs.

    they have him just hacking away and he looks hopeless. but his numbers in the minors and in his first year in the bigs say that he can get on base.

    if stubbs could play good d, run the bases well, and get on base at a .350 clip, it wouldn’t matter to me if he hit a HR all year.

    i wonder if that first year power surge didn’t affect him the same way it got to phillips.

  19. It is interesting that on this site, one day people think the team is going to win the division and is very good, and the next day people think the team is .500. It shouldn’t vary daily, should it? This team seems to me like an 85 win team, which would not be good enough.

    • Racine Red: It is interesting that on this site, one day people think the team is going to win the division and is very good, and the next day people think the team is .500.It shouldn’t vary daily, should it?This team seems to me like an 85 win team, which would not be good enough.

      85 wins is also about what I would predict at this point. An 85 win kind of team will lead to the day to day changes in how its fans feel. An 85 win team is not much better than a .500 team, and not a whole lot worse than a 90 win team.

  20. I really, really, REALLY believe the issue with Cozart, Stubbs and Phillips can all be helped by moving Phillips to leadoff, Cozart down to two and Stubbs even further, like sixth or seventh.

    Cozart does better seeing the pitches he gets from hitting in front of Votto, BP has proven he can adjust his approach to batting first, and Bruce NEEDS to bat 4th. Heisey, Stubbs and Frazier can go at any point from 5-7.

    In regards to Hanigan, he’s as successful as he is because of the 8-hole. He’s a product of the pitches he receives in the 8-hole. He makes consistent contact, but he gets pitches only the guy in front of the pitcher receives, and the fact he only plays 3 of every five games. Keep him down in the order.

    That is all.

  21. @dn4192: Here’s a problem I see:

    The Reds have always scored a lot of runs. But it seems to me that the Reds have more games where they randomly blow up for 10-16 runs more often than most teams, and that can end up skewing the run totals.

    I think the Cardinals will be brutally hampered by injuries all year, and it will really be their downfall.

    The Reds have Votto and Phillips as their consistent hitters, Bruce is hopefully to that point of consistency, but everyone else are streaky guys, Unless it’s a close game that Votto and/or Bruce and win for us, the Reds need a couple guys hot at the same time in order to have a sustained winning streak. And so far we’ve seen Cozart have a hot start, only matched by Bruce. Even Votto was slow starting(for Votto’s standards). Stubbs had a good couple games in a row, hardly a “streak” and Heisey looks like he’s finally heating up, but everyone not named Votto, Bruce and Phillips are as dead as they can be, and BP’s value is greatly diminished by batting fourth.

    Th pitching is good, though. Latos will get it going and be the Cy Young type pitcher he can be, Cueto will keep being the rock that the Reds’ pitching staff is standing on, Bailey’s been consistently decent, and a good #3-#4 type, Leake’s be awful, but just had a very good start and Bronson is being a dominant #5 guy. And the bullpen has been otherworldly(save for today, of course. Anyone else find it odd that Chapman and Aroldis had bad days on the same day?). The Reds are better than a .500 team. Once the lineup is fixed, we’ll be able to do some damage. Get Phillips on for Votto and Bruce and let the big boys run wild.

    Besides, if the Reds continue to hover around .500 for a couple of weeks, no way the coaching staff sticks around. Silver lining? But then again, the problems with the lineup are DIRECTLY tied to Dusty. Get rid of the problem…

  22. While Dusty’s lineups are usually questionable at best, you can’t throw crap on a canvas and get art. Walt has sat idly by the last few years collecting old rejects from others hoping they will fix the problem. Now, we are seeing his ineptitude.

    Dusty doesn’t help either. The best suited leadoff hitter is BP, but he HAS to hit 4th because you baseball laws forbid back to back lefties. Now you have to bat a rookie who is not really suited for it. Stubbs really has no business hitting above 7th. Neither 1 or 2 can get on base so when Votto does anything, it is limited damage.

    The obvious answer is to put your BEST hitters early in the lineup so you give yourself a chance to maximize your talent and produce runs. However, Dusty is so concerned with what position bats where, a tough matchup against a left handed pitcher that may or may not happen late in the game that it cripples the team.

  23. BP bats first. He changes his approach, hits closer to .290 than .250, gets on base a bunch, scores a butt-ton of runs. He’s voted to the All-Star game is more like the 12 million a year second basemen you paid for.

    Cozart bats second. No one messes around with him, because with the pressure being off his shoulders to begin the inning leading off, he can focus on getting Brandon around. On top of that, not wanting to walk Cozart because of Votto, pitches offer up more strikes of the fastball variety, thus playing into Cozart’s strengths.

    Votto bats third. With consistently getting guys on in front of him. The World makes Sense.

    Bruce fourth. Come on, this is a no-brainer.

    Hesiey, Frazier and Stubbs come next. All three have ridiculous power potential, Heisey and Stubbs both move very well. for that Reason, I’d bat Heisey fifth, Stubbs sixth, and they can set the table for Frazier, and that way neither of them are behind Todd “the Base-clogging fiend from Tom’s River New Jersey” Frazier(we’re working on the nickname).

    Catcher bats eighth, pitcher ninth. I don’t see how this doesn’t work out better on all counts?

  24. @ericnyc: I was at the game also, and I’m so glad you saw the Stubbs play (before the error) the same way I did – he should have made that play. He makes those two plays, it’s a different ball game. I gotta admit – when Bruce hit the popup (practically right in front of where I was sitting) I immediately said “Votto’s gonna score on that!” With the first baseman going out for it, back to the plate, I thought he had a shot. Obviously, we were both wrong. But I was more upset with Brucey popping that pitch up!

    As for Stubbs at the plate – I’ve had it.

    • @ericnyc: I was at the game also, and I’m so glad you saw the Stubbs play (before the error) the same way I did – he should have made that play.He makes those two plays, it’s a different ball game.I gotta admit – when Bruce hit the popup (practically right in front of where I was sitting) I immediately said “Votto’s gonna score on that!” With the first baseman going out for it, back to the plate, I thought he had a shot.Obviously, we were both wrong.But I was more upset with Brucey popping that pitch up!

      Interesting about the popup, I was disappointed with Bruce’s AB too. If Votto doesn’t run, then it’s still 1 out, with Ludwick and Frazer (who was having problems with Dickey) coming up.

  25. My final complaint is this(for this minute):

    The bench can be greatly improved in house.

    Phipps for Ludwick(i know Phipps just went on the DL, relaxxxxxx). Phipps can come in and offer upside off the bench. We’re obviously not developing him to be a starter, so bring him up to the majors now as what he will be- a 4th outfielder. DFA Ludwick, if he decides he’s been disrespected, let him go free.

    Soto for Costanzo. I know They don’t play the same positions, but Soto would rarely be brought in as a defensive replacement any way. Besides, being a former SS, he could theoreticall step in at third, or play the corner outfield spots as well as first. He offers a power potential off the bench that we currently don’t have. Send Costanzo back to AAA.

    Janish for Valdez(I know Janish is on the DL, relaxxxxxx). Janish is a better defender and equal hitter. Valdez may be a better bunter, but the bunt has been a death sentence this year for the Reds. So we actually get better a couple of ways with this move. PLUS Janish can play all of the positions Valdez plays. Straight release Valdez. Then move up DiDi Gregorious to AAA and Hamilton to AA. We all win.

    Once Rolen gets back(if he gets back), send down Soto, but only if Rolen is gonna stay on the bench. If you plan on installing Rolen into the starting lineup, don’t do that, then put him back on the DL and just keep Soto up. Cairo and Meso/Hani keep their spots.

    This is simply the way to go about this. I’m sorry, but Dusty and Walt aren’t doing a better job than what I would be doing. Seriously, I could fix this Reds’ ship in a hurry. Well, me and my friend Tito Francona.

  26. @hermanbates: I think the lineup is best suited like this:

    BP-his approach is so must different hitting leadoff
    Hanigan – he is the best bat handler and gets on base better than anyone named Votto
    Votto
    Bruce
    Frazier
    Heisey
    Cozart – really isn’t suited for #1 or #2 yet
    Stubbs – too much of a liability when it comes to putting the ball in play
    Pitcher

    You have to protect Votto as well as get guys on in front of him. Make the opposing team face him. He is the best hitter and the offense revolves around him.

  27. The offense hasn’t been addressed in 2 years and clearly was going to be a shadow of 2010 just as 2011 was. If you couldn’t understand that before the season started, there’s something wrong with the way you perceive professional sports. Teams must improve in every facet every year or they up their risk considerably of backsliding in that area. Praying Bruce turns into Votto with more power is an unreasonable and foolish amount of pressure to put on the player, the organization and the manager. If you have a guy who isn’t a cleanup because he’s wildly inconsistent and would offer wildly inconsistent protection to the franchise player, you go with the hot hand.

    The Reds were dumb for not overpaying for Beltran and they know it. How many games over .500 are they with Carlos in the #4, set in stone from Opening Day. Offense solved in one move.

    When is Latos gonna hit his stride? This Volquez trade has to pay off, and the Reds having him for four years means nothing until he proves he’s an All-Star pitcher.

    The GM should be on the hot seat because the Reds had at least three glaring needs:

    -Frontline starter
    -Leadoff hitter
    -Protection for Votto

    Walt traded a guy before he could truly evaluate his performance 19 months post-TJ. Petco will be even friendlier to Edinson than it was to Latos if he keeps this up out in San Diego. Not going deep in games? Isn’t that what people hated about Volquez?

    No leadoff hitter in years, just disgraceful work by the GM who has made it his stated priority just about every offseason and one hasn’t stuck yet.

    How could the Reds cry broke when asked about top-tier free agents and then trade two of their own guys to Overpay City? It offended me as a fan of a team with the best hitter in baseball, the best arm in baseball and the best defense in the National League when Heisey isn’t playing. Being afraid to outbid another team for a slugger has been an issue for years. The roster moves and the time he takes to make them are inane.

    Jocketty’s done enough to be fired, it’s a matter of getting to fire Baker and then watching his new hire stumble out the gate and get the Krivsky.

    • The offense hasn’t been addressed in 2 years and clearly was going to be a shadow of 2010 just as 2011 was.If you couldn’t understand that before the season started, there’s something wrong with the way you perceive professional sports.Teams must improve in every facet every year or they up their risk considerably of backsliding in that area.Praying Bruce turns into Votto with more power is an unreasonable and foolish amount of pressure to put on the player, the organization and the manager.If you have a guy who isn’t a cleanup because he’s wildly inconsistent and would offer wildly inconsistent protection to the franchise player, you go with the hot hand.

      The Reds were dumb for not overpaying for Beltran and they know it.How many games over .500 are they with Carlos in the #4, set in stone from Opening Day.Offense solved in one move.

      When is Latos gonna hit his stride?This Volquez trade has to pay off, andthe Reds having him for four years means nothing until he proves he’s an All-Star pitcher.

      The GM should be on the hot seat because the Reds had at least three glaring needs:

      -Frontline starter
      -Leadoff hitter
      -Protection for Votto

      Walt traded a guy before he could truly evaluate his performance 19 months post-TJ.Petco will be even friendlier to Edinson than it was to Latos if he keeps this up out in San Diego.Not going deep in games?Isn’t that what people hated about Volquez?

      No leadoff hitter in years, just disgraceful work by the GM who has made it his stated priority just about every offseason and one hasn’t stuck yet.

      How could the Reds cry broke when asked about top-tier free agents and then trade two of their own guys to Overpay City?It offended me as a fan of a team with the best hitter in baseball, the best arm in baseball and the best defense in the National League when Heisey isn’t playing.Being afraid to outbid another team for a slugger has been an issue for years.The roster moves and the time he takes to make them are inane.

      Jocketty’s done enough to be fired, it’s a matter of getting to fire Baker and then watching his new hire stumble out the gate and get the Krivsky.

      There’s a bit of a whiplash component to this. Why all the complaining about Bruce? I read all kinds of “inconsistent” talk about Bruce, who last year posted .687 and 1.140 OPS numbers in April and May, and this year, so far, it’s .954 and .999. What’s not to like?

      And so, just to make sure we’re clear, you’re saying that a team with the best hitter, best single pitcher, and best defense ought to win the division. Just because of those three things? There are 4 other starters, an entire bullpen, and 7 other position players, I think.

  28. The Reds should move Phillips after this season. BP doesn’t offer protection for Votto, nor is he a true leadoff type. Billy Hamilton can be that leadoff type, and he really is only about a year away, I do believe that. So, at the deadline next year, move Phillips if you haven’t gotten some more protection for Votto and get it with that. Call up Hamilton and have him bat leadoff right away. Or trade Hamilton now and get both a leadoff type and protection.

    Hamilton, Frazier, Soto, and Bailey to the Marlins for Anibal Sanchez, Emilio Bonifacio and Hanley Ramirez.

    • The Reds should move Phillips after this season. BP doesn’t offer protection for Votto, nor is he a true leadoff type. Billy Hamilton can be that leadoff type, and he really is only about a year away, I do believe that. So, at the deadline next year, move Phillips if you haven’t gotten some more protection for Votto and get it with that. Call up Hamilton and have him bat leadoff right away. Or trade Hamilton now and get both a leadoff type and protection.

      Hamilton, Frazier, Soto, and Bailey to the Marlins for Anibal Sanchez, Emilio Bonifacio and Hanley Ramirez.

      At the deadline next year, Brandon Phillips will not be worth twelve million dollars per year for a bit over 4 years.

  29. @secondguessingfanbase: In regards to Volquez vs Latos, Latos is younger, had better away numbers than most Padre pitchers, and Volquez had simply worn out his welcome in Cincy. Volquez will always be a fly ball pitcher. Sure Latos can be hurt by that every now and then, but he’s got better potential than Volquez. Once Latos figures out how to pitch in GABP, and he stops trying to prove he’s worth four prospects, we’ll have an ace, and a top pitcher in all of baseball to boot. YOU, sir second guesser, need to give Latos more time.

  30. Refreshing to read a series of comments that don’t start off with, first we need to move Chapman into the rotation.

    As if that was this team’s problem.

    Cozart and Stubbs are dying on the vine and the Reds don’t seem interested in jettisoning the problem — Brook Jacoby and whoever he works for.

    Yeah, we are a .500 team, maybe a tad over that … not gonna catch the Birds with this approach.

  31. Latos said something interesting: “Sometimes I feel like we fall in love with the same pitch over and over again and you have guys that battle.” After striking out Duda twice with a slider, why did he throw him one fastball after another in the 5th, until Duda hit a double ? He and Hanigan fell in love with his fastball in the 5th, don’t understand why.

  32. Ondrusk admitted that he was upset that he didn’t get a called 3rd strike on Wright. I was listening to Reds radio, and they didn’t even mention a pitch that seemed close to strike 3. And later in the inning they couldn’t identify the pitch he was upset about.

  33. Dusty defended Votto’s trying for home on the foul pop, saying Murphy made a good play. Didn’t seem like a smart thing with no outs, but I must say the Mets broadcasters sounded shocked that Murphy made that play. They said he couldn’t make that kind of play last year when he was an OFer. He did get the throw off quickly considering that he had to turn around.

  34. @Racine Red: I agree with you, Bruce has been consistent this season. He hasn’t been able to protect Votto because the manager won’t bat him cleanup.

  35. @nelly33: I like your proposed lineup, but putting Stubbs 8th would make matters even worse for him. It’s difficult to bat 8th, they usually pitch around you, and Stubbs is not good at taking a walk. Cozart would handle it better I think, so I’d switch those two.

    But this ia all fantasy talk anyway. Hanigan will continue to bat 8th. At least he does it well.

  36. @pinson343: To put it differently, Stubbs seems to be afraid of collisions. He moves very well laterally, not as well coming in and going deep.

  37. Nelly’s lineup is pretty optimal imo.

    Stubbs is the worst hitter on the team and should be batting 8th. He needs to start taking walks or he is completely worthless offensively to the team. Right now they should just be seeking to minimize his ABs. Cozart should be nowhere near the top of the order so #7 makes the most sense. It’s pretty amazing how accurate ZIPS & Bill James’ projections turned out to be. 😥

    Hanigan & Mes @ #2 would improve the offense significantly. Mes’ approach/walk rate has been pretty impressive so far, despite his struggles at the plate. Of course, Dusty will once again remind us what the definition of insanity is tomorrow (seriously, if Hanigan is the #9 hitter tomorrow…)

  38. @CP: I like Nelly’s lineup too, probably not much point to arguing whether 7-8 should be Cozart-Stubbs or the other way around. In short, I think Cozart would handle batting 8th better. Stubbs has looked better to me when batting 7th. I’ll look up his numbers for that.

  39. I agree with folks who see this as an ~85 win team.

    The GM has not come to terms with fact that Rolen is (in baseball terms) an old man. He also hasn’t addressed the issue of protection for Votto. i.e. a left fielder who can hit. These two failures spotlight Stubbs’ offensive short comings and spotlight the fact that as of now Cozart and Mesoraco are essentially just high ceiling ceiling rookies.

    Don’t even get me started on Latos. So far I’ve seen nothing to indicate that pitching in the NL central with GABP as his home park that he is any more (or any less than Homer Baily). A serviceable starter perhaps but not a guy that they should have given the farm (system literally) to get.

  40. @OhioJim: Having said what I just said, I do also get irritated with Dusty’s player usage from time to time. However I think he is essentially shuffling the deck chairs as the water rises.

    Sometimes I wonder if he is playing office politics with his line up card to high light their weaknesses to try and get action from the front office.

  41. @hermanbates: You’re right, Latos deserves more time than a couple months to evaluate him. I still have to wonder if at his peak if he’s more dominant than Volquez at his peak. You make a good point about Edinson wearing out his welcome in a way, but the Padres are awful, they could have traded for Latos mid season if need be with three years of control left and inserted Chapman into the rotation if Volquez wasn’t getting it done. The Reds had options and panicked because the rotation was so suspect in 2011.

  42. @Racine Red: Bruce was looking like Bruce until the end of April when he smelled his favorite month coming. He has looked improved at the plate overall. I don’t hate the guy as some may think, I just don’t like having unrealistic expectations for him. The Reds need to let him develop and work on his swing, that’s it. They keep counting on him to be Votto and that’s not fair to Jay or the other 24 players and the coaching staff who want to win too.

    I subscribe to the philosophy that top-tier talent carries teams. It’s not that the Reds don’t need other good players which they have, but it’s the top guys that make players from other teams look like amateurs. The Reds have a lot of good relievers, but when Chapman comes in, it’s about over for the other team. When you have weapons like Votto, Chapman, excellent defense, the best 2B in the league…you have to build around those guys. Protecting Votto with Beltran, another top talent, would have been building around their talent. Bruce could have stayed in the #5 where Dusty likes him and observed how a true cleanup hitter goes about his business. I’m just disappointed in the way Jocketty manages the talent he has, just as many fans feel about Baker.

  43. I know people like toying with the idea of putting Hanigan at the top of the order but two things:

    1. Hanigan is SLOOOOOOOOOOOOW. I know that his OBP is what everyone’s basing this on, and that obviously getting people on base ahead of Votto is what we’re driving at, but I mean Hanigan is SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW. No knock on him. He’s a catcher in his 30’s. That’s what happens. We already seem to just ignore pushing the running game even when Stubbs or Cozart get on (last in the MLB in steal ATTEMPTS). If we put Hanigan up there we’d might as well just not bother anymore.

    2. So everyone’s done with pushing for giving Mesoraco more playing time. When did that happen? I know he’s not lighting the stat sheet up, but remember how high everyone was on him as lately as 2 weeks ago? I think part of the reason he hasn’t made much of an impact is because we haven’t given him ANY chance to get into a rhythm. He’s got CHris Heisey-itis right now. Whatever you think of Ryan Hanigan and whatever crazy notion you have of Dusty Baker batting him at the top of the order (never ever going to happen), how do you marry that with the notion of giving Mes more playing time? What, do you completely reshuffle the order every single day to accomodate for a 50-50 split by July? That’s not going to help anyone.

    I think Cozart will come back around, and I think he belongs in the 2 hole.

    Phillips
    Cozart
    Votto
    Bruce
    Heisey
    Hanigan
    Stubbs
    Frazier
    Pitcher

    In that order, Heisey, Frazier, and Stubbs could be shuffled pretty much any way, honestly. Unless Heisey really gets in a groove or Frazier turns on the power for real.

  44. Nah, I don’t think people hav given up o Mesoraco getting more playting time. I fron one, will continue making snide comments regarding the matter. 😀

    Hey, does anyone know if Hanigan’s cERA went up yesterday?

    or

    Hanigan is now 1-3 his last 4 starts…has he forgot how to call a good ballgame?!?!?

  45. our 1, 2 hitters are the biggest problem right now. over the last 7 games, they are 8-62 (unless i messed up math), which is .129. i’m too lazy to factor in walks, but i’d say its less than 4 walks.

    Over the last 7 days for Votto, he is 10-23 with 4 HR, 2 2b and 7 RBI. Take away the grand slam which makes it 9-22, 3 hr, 2 2b and 3 RBI. thats 3 homers, 2 2b and 4 singles with a grand total of 3 RBI, all from solo homers.

    3 RBI?! we can’t win games when our best hitter doesn’t have anyone on base for him to drive in.

    Lineup that i want:
    1 Phillips
    2 Cozart
    3 Votto
    4 Bruce
    5 Frazier
    6 Heisey
    7 Stubbs
    Hanigan/Meso (hit and run Stubbs to third)
    Pitcher (if they get good at bunting, squeeze Stubbs in?)

    what should happen, because dusty won’t put bruce 4
    1 Phillips
    2 Cozart
    3 Votto
    4 Frazier (dusty won’t use Frazier there for another few months at least though, hes gotta prove himself..)
    5 Bruce
    6 Heisey
    7 Stubbs
    8 Hanigan
    9 P

    i wouldn’t mind seeing Hanigan 2nd, but the world will end before Dusty will put a catcher at 2.

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