Two Stats. OPS+ and ERA-. Basically, they use basic stats to say how far away from average a players offensive production has been.

100 is average. A 110 OPS+ means ten percent better than average. A 90 ERA- means an ERA ten percent lower than league average.

OPS Plus for the most frequent contributor by position:

C: 97
1B: 154
2B: 94
SS: 74
3B: 103
LF: 97 (Paul)
CF: 144
RF: 120

ERA- for the six most frequent starters in order of IP:


With the exception of shortstop, where the Reds get excellent defense, the Reds are average or above average pretty much everywhere. That’s how you win games, kids.

Also, I think it’s time to keep Devin as a the primary starter at catcher, don’t you?

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing atΒ Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel,Β When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at

Join the conversation! 88 Comments

  1. There is a very close to zero percent chance Mesoraco will be the primary starter. He’ll catch 3 out of 5 while Hanigan is out, and he’ll catch 2 out of 5 with Hanigan back, even if Hanigan is still injured.

  2. If I were the Reds, I’d try to sign Mesoraco to an extension that buys out two or three of his FA seasons at a reasonable rate before he really blows up and posts a great season in the MLB. I’ve been very impressed with his progression on defense, and I’ve always been a believer in his bat. He should be an above average backstop for years to come, and those guys just don’t grow on trees. It’s looking more and more like the Reds made the right decision when they kept Mesoraco and dealt Grandal.

    • @AlphaZero: I’m not convinced of that at all. I don’t see his defense improving, frankly. His offense has certainly improved a lot the last couple weeks, which is great. I hope he plays more going forward, but I think the jury’s still out, that’s all.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: There are certainly still some question marks about his game. He isn’t a sure bet, but I’ve seen enough to start exploring an extension if I think he’ll sign for less than market value. If you wait until every player is completely proven to lock him up, you’re going to pay for it. Such was the case with Votto.

    • @AlphaZero: He isn’t a FA until 2018. What’s the point? I really like Mesoraco, probably was his most outspoken supporter for the last couple seasons here, but are we really going to give him a 6-7 year deal based on a few flashes of offensive brilliance?

      You spend that money on Latos and, in the meantime, collect more reliable data on Mes until 2015 or 2016. Then you start thinking what to do with him.

      • @CP: The points is that the Reds could sign him to an 8-9 year deal for 25-30 million. That is dirt cheap, and they might be able to get him for less. With Latos and Bailey, you’ll be signing them to a 3-4 year deal at 30-40 mil. That’s fairly expensive, and they might get more money and years than that.

        You lock up your young guys early. It gives them stability if they turn out to be busts, but it gives the team a good player for cheap if they turn out well. Look at Longoria as an example. It’s a risk, but its a risk that normally pays off.

        • @rhayex: I can’t think of an example of any player who has ever signed something like a 8-9 year 25-30 million dollar deal. Has that ever happened?

          • @BenL: When Longoria was a rookie, he signed a 6 year deal for $17.5MM with 3 team options that could bring the total value of the deal to $44.5MM over 9 years. So the Rays got 9 years of control of Longoria and only guaranteed him $17.5MM. If he was a bust, they had the choice of declining the option years. So yes, it’s possible to get significant discounts when a guy is very far from FA.

          • @AlphaZero: Although I don’t absolutely hate the idea, I just don’t know comparable the situations are. Devin isn’t as developed as those guys are, so he’s a bigger risk. Catchers themselves pose a bigger risk (although, I must admit, having team options through age 29-32 is attractive for a catcher). Perhaps I spoke too soon :D.

            Plus, the Reds have Dusty. When the Rays bring up a young player, you know he will get every chance to succeed (or fail). Longoria, Zobrist, Moore, Jennings, now Wil Myers…they never had to fight for playing time.

            But then again, the Reds have given some awful contracts out the past couple years. Taking a risk on someone like Mes wouldn’t be lighting money on fire like giving Broxton a 3 year deal (or Cairo, Rolen, and even Hannahan). Small cuts can kill you if you have enough of them….

          • @BenL:

            Tampa’s done it several times:

            Evan Longoria 6 years/17.5M (2008-13), plus 2014-16 club options
            Ben Zobrist 6 years/17.5M (2008-13), plus 2014-16 club options
            Matt Moore 5 years/$14M (2012-16), plus 2017-19 club options

          • @Chris Garber: Plus, those extra years bought the Rays enough time to become competitive, making Longoria very happy. He signed a ridiculous hometown discount. He was the top 3B in the game at that point (with the exception, and possibly including, Cabrera), and he signed something like 6years 100 mil for his prime might’ve been a bit more or less, II forget, but the point is that it’s a good idea to lock up your young guys early. That’s why people made a big deal about possibly locking Trout and Harper up; if they become what’s projected, they could both break records (with inflation).

        • @rhayex: We’re of the same mindset on this one. Give your young studs financial stability and lock them up through their primes at below market value. The team shouldn’t do this with every young guy, but if he looks like a foundational piece, you try to make it happen.

          • @AlphaZero: I am always for looking to the future. It’s part of the reason why I think the Reds should trade Bailey/Cueto and Chapman; the return they could receive for them would likely outstrip their actual value to the Reds. It’s also why, when I see young players on the international market being signed for very little, I get frustrated when the Reds don’t even attempt to sign them.

            I was going to put a comment here about how I don’t get the people who want to trade everything for a stopgap, but I do understand the thinking. If you truly want to win now, then that’s what you do; however, my philosophy towards baseball is to favor the long game. Develop your guys and trade away the ones about to become expensive while locking up your stars, a la Votto. Basically, the Rays run an ideal franchise, in my opinion.

  3. Even if Meso is never better than league average as a defender, if he can turn into a consistent .265/.340/.450 kind of catcher, I’d take that in a heartbeat. And I think those numbers are conservative for his upside. Pitch calling seems fine to me. I just wish he had a slightly better arm down to 2nd. That’s the one thing that might stop me from locking him up now (unless he continues hitting like he has in July).

    • @prjeter: He doesn’t call the pitches (neither does Hanigan). The catchers get to call the second pitches, but that’s it.

      • @CP:

        So. They call pitches. Got it. Thanks.

        • @prjeter: Well, if you want to be loose with your language and spread misinformation throughout fellow Reds’ fans, sure.

          We can create a whole new false narrative. Mesoraco was a terrible gamecaller last year, but now he’s figured it out and surpassed the stodgy, injury-prone Ryan Hanigan. Now Ryan Hanigan isn’t a very good gamecaller. Pitchers love Devin’s intensity and energy, and prefer pitching to him, as evidenced by Devin’s cERA of 3.25 versus Hanigan’s 3.54. All hail Devin!


          • @CP: There is no dumber stat than CERA.

          • @Hank Aarons Teammate: It’s almost entirely reliant on which pitchers a catcher catches and how lucky he is when he plays… so basically, ERA.

          • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I agree completely, but the narrative doesn’t care.

          • @CP: I said “Pitch calling seems fine to me.” What was meant was I see no difference in Hannigan versus Mesoraco regarding their “handling” of a pitching staff. As you noted yourself, the catcher decides to call a fastball or slider, for example, after the pitcher shakes off the curveball call which came from the bench. Even if it’s a small part of the game, it’s there. Take it how you want. I’m not trying to spread mis-information to the Nation, as you so overtly claim. I think you, perhaps, are wound a bit too tightly with semantics, which is why I replied in the manner I did. You confirmed that Reds catcher call pitches, just not all pitches.

          • @LWBlogger: I’ll be honest@prjeter: Relax, take it easy.

            Words do matter. Since Reds fans were force fed the narrative that Hanigan was such an elite game caller last season, I don’t feel like pointing out a sentence that would be misread is really even nitpicking.


            why so serious?

      • @CP: Actually, they call the majority of the pitches. They get signals from the bench on controlling the running game and in certain situations, with certain hitters.

        Personally, I hate when pitch selection is done from the bench. The catcher and pitcher are in a better position to make the calls.

        • @LWBlogger: That isn’t what Doug Gray reported (I don’t know if I’d say reported for a blogger). I know you were a former catcher, but Doug is more tied in than anyone here that I know of. Mes looks over every pitch, as does Hanigan.

          • @CP: Sometimes you look over and no signs are given or there is sometimes a sign for “your call”… While I would be surprised if the bench was calling every pitch, it is certainly not unheard of. I know that as a catcher being put in that situation, I’d be very, very unhappy. This is especially true if the person calling the pitches wasn’t an ex-pitcher or ex-catcher.

            On a different note, I sure as heck hope that if all the calls are coming from the Reds’ bench, that it’s Price and not Baker making those calls.

          • @LWBlogger: I think there is just so much data available on hitters now, I’m wondering if catchers calling games will become completely obsolete. I’d think, with the information available, you might be able to plan every pitch of every at bat based on hard data. The Catcher would still be involved with the planning and have some leeway to make some adjustments based on pitcher’s inability to throw strikes, foul balls, etc. But there is just too much information to retain nowadays.

    • @prjeter: If Mesoraco is putting up an OPS of .800 or so, I’d be pretty happy.

  4. This has been said before, but if the Reds are going to make a move in the second half, they are going to need more contributors on offense. You can hide one or two deadweights (like Cozart), but a championship team needs everyone to pitch in.

    If Frazier can come close to matching his second half from last year and Mesoraco can keep hitting at least close to this level, the Reds suddenly are that much more dangerous.

    Here’s hoping.

    • @CI3J: Overall, Frazier’s second half last year wasn’t that good. OPS 900 first half, 775 second. I’d be happy, though, if he put up 775 this second half.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate:

        I guess what I meant was his July and August last year. I’d like to see him put up one insane month where he hits 5+ HR with a AVG close to .315 and an OBP around .400. That coupled with nonrmal output from Choo, Votto, Phillips and Bruce would make the Reds very tough to beat if the pitching holds.

        And if Mez can continue his recent tear, well, then you are looking at a Reds team with a potential 19 win month on tap, something I think the Reds need to do if they want to have any shot at winning the division.

        • @CI3J: You mean something along the lines of .306/.358/.484 with 6 2B, 1 3B & 1 HR for Frazier? This is exactly what Frazier is hitting (and on an improving trend) so far for the month of July this season.

          • @Shchi Cossack: Nice post & stats.

            Who knows maybe in the end, TF will be the key to the whole thing. I noticed him laying off those low and away pitches in this series. Except that last bat against Romo. Outside of Bruce’s AB, Romo made our guys look bad with nasty slider. Rightys are hitting .193 against him and you can see why.

            If he can improve his ability to lay off those low and out of the zone pitches, he will be something. Guy is strong as an Ox. Looked like he was going to tear the cover off the ball, on some those hits.

          • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: I would also argue that with 2/3 of the season in the books, Todd Frazier has made a good case for a GG at 3B.

            I agree that Frazier has been making a concerted effort to be more selective at the plate and lay off those pesky pitches down and away.

    • @CI3J: I think the offensive boom that came before the current era has skewed people’s idea of what constitutes contributing.

      The league average NL line for non-pichers right now is .258/.322/.405
      Frazier is hitting .251/.339/.413

      I’d say he stacks up pretty well. When you account for park factors, he’s basically average.

      Nearly all good teams have several average hitters. You can almost never field an all-star everywhere.

      If there’s one place the Reds could stand a boost, it’s in LF where defense isn’t a big factor and many teams get significantly above average offensive contributions.

      • @Jason Linden:

        I agree wiht this, Frazier’s been just dandy for a second year player and started to point north again recently. I hope mesoraco continues his upswing as well, but I am hapy with his second season as well.

        the LF combo has exceeded expectations after the injury to ludwick and while heisy was out. heisy has looked good since coming back, perhaps he was hurting prior to going on the DL (wouldn’e be the first time with this team).

        Otherwise, they’ve received contributions from the others.

  5. When you get the 6-7-8 batters contributing like they have lately, good things happen. Frazier and Meso are warming up and Cozart has taken to the #7 spot like a cow to cud.
    With all due respect to Heisey, the Reds still could use a better #2 hitter.
    Even if Ludwick comes back in mid-August, they will still need a #2 hitter. Where will Ludwick bat?? Certainly not 4th. I wouldn’t think it would be 2nd. 6th? Then where does Frazier bat? 2nd? Maybe.
    A returning Ludwick, really doesn’t solve much. One week to go until the trading deadline.

  6. This post could also be titled, “What a Good (Not Great) Offense Looks Like.”

    Having an OPS+ of 97 or 94 is not good. The conclusion of the post seems to be that the Reds have a good offense based on the fact that almost everyone is near average or above. But really, it’s 4 guys below average, and 4 guys above. Or cancel out Frazier and Paul and say 3 guys below average, 3 above, and 2 at 100.

    That doesn’t scream greatness to me.

    • @al: I don’t know how you reach that conclusion. Votto and Choo are way, way, way above average.

      Think about it this way, if you want to play the “cancelling out game”

      If you bring everyone to 100, the Reds have 121 points left from above average players and 38 from below average players. Average it all out and this lineup has an average OPS+ of 110. That’s quite good and decidedly above average.

      Now, obviously, late appearances aren’t accounted for and this is not really a good way to look at things, but your method doesn’t take into account how far players are from average. There’s no real difference between 97 and 100. It’s one good game, basically. Same with 103 and 100.

      But 154 and 100? That’s real.

      • @Jason Linden: Averages for the division:

        Cards: 117.25
        REDS: 110.4
        Pirates: 107.625
        Brewers: 104.5
        Cubs: 96.5

        That is spread out over the entire team.

      • @Jason Linden: And pitching is as follows:

        Pirates: 84.62
        REDS: 86.1
        Cards: 93.8
        Cubs: 97.4
        Brewers: 117

        So, the take away is that the reds are 10% better than average at hitting, and 14% better than average in pitching.

      • @Jason Linden: The Reds are 7th in the NL in OPS+ overall. I’m not saying the Reds aren’t a good team overall, I just felt like the post was cherry picking a little and being pretty lose with what was “good.”

        It was like you put the post together to prove that the Reds are really awesome (“That’s how you win games, kids.”), but when I looked at the numbers I wasn’t actually that excited. If the post had been titled “I don’t think the Reds can win the WS with this team” I think the numbers would have proved the point equally well.

    • @al:

      This post could also be titled, β€œWhat a Good (Not Great) Offense Looks Like.”

      Huh? Having 3/8 positions with above average OPS+ (well above avaerage); 4/8 positions with average OPS+ (90-110) and 1/8 positions with below average OPS+ does not define a good team? Good is exactly what was titled in the post and I would argue that the numbers define a good team. I do not see anything in the post that suggests this is a great team or anything close to a great team. There have been VERY few great teams and those can be counted on the Old Cossack’s knobby fingers.

      I would even argue that this team might be considered a very good team with 2/5 positions listed as average or below average being defensive priority positions with an above average defender playing the position. Very few teams can fill even average offensive players at every position, so only having 1 position player as below average is pretty good.

      What isn’t factored into the discussion is the manager’s impact and there simply isn’t a good measure to use for that impact, but the Reds manager certainly doesn’t appear to enhance the on-field performance which limits the performance as a good or very good team from an offensive analysis.

      • @Shchi Cossack: Excellently articulated. I”d put them at “very good” myself.

      • @Shchi Cossack: I agree with you about the manager’s impact.

        And yeah, I wasn’t really arguing with the idea that they’re good, I just thought the overall conclusion of the post was a little rosy for what the numbers actually looked like to me. They are good, clearly, but not great.

        If the point of the post was to say, the Reds are an above average team, then sure. But they’re record says that just as well.

        The numbers could just as easily have been presented in a post that said that the Reds aren’t a world series caliber team, and the point would have been made just as well. That’s my point.

        • @al: Agreed. I appreciate the clarification regarding you initial comment. I was somewhat confused because I find myself agreeing with the majority of your comments and conclusions. All appears right with the world of Reds baseball again. πŸ˜‰

        • @al: What’s World Series caliber? The Reds are probably the second best team in the NL behind the Cardinals. Maybe even with the Braves.

          They are much better than the Giants team that won the World Series last year. A lot of teams that are only “good” make it to the WS.

          They are currently on pace to win 91 games, but their Pythagorean record would have them on track to win about 95.

          They are very good. Historically great? No. But I think too many of you are looking at the Cardinals and thinking that that is the standard for making or winning the Series. It isn’t.

          • @Jason Linden: I guess what I mean by WOrld Series caliber and what you mean are different. Could the Reds fluke their way into the World Series? Sure. Teams do it all the time.

            What I mean is a team that is arguably one of the two best teams in the game. They are 7th in the NL in OPS+. Both of the teams they are chasing and the other division leaders are ahead of them.

            The pitching has been great. So the question is, when you have a slightly below average offense, and great pitching, are you one of the two or three best teams? I would say no, because there are teams out there that have both.

          • @al: Now who’s cherry picking? The Reds have 97 team OPS+, which is actually ABOVE average for the NL (94 is NL average). The Pirates are at 98. So, you know, that’s not a meaningful difference. The Reds are closer to 4th in NL than 8th.

            Now, pitching. the Reds do have great pitching. And research has been done showing that pitching is more important than hitting in the playoffs. Depending on if you like ERA+ (BBRef) or ERA- (FanGraphs) better the Reds are either the best or second best pitching team in the NL (Pirates are the other team in contention).

            The Cards have an 11 point advantage in OPS+ over the Reds. Reds have an 8 point advantage over Cards in ERA+. That’s not an enormous discrepancy.

            The Reds have the second best run differential in NL. 4th in baseball.

            Baseball Prospectus, which uses very advanced statistics to try to get rid of the luck that looking at run differential doesn’t filter out, thinks the Reds “should” have the best winning percentage in the NL, second only to the Tigers in all of baseball.

            I just noticed that the Reds lineup wasn’t as bad as people were making it out to be, so I posted this.

            However, if you want me to make the case that the Reds are actually one of the very best teams in baseball, I can do that quite easily.

          • @Jason Linden: I guess it’s potato / potato. Sorry, when I see a 97 OPS+, that’s below average to me. As you said, the whole point of that stat is to put average at 100.

            I don’t know what stats you’re talking about that show that the Reds “should” be better than the Cardinals, but that seems highly suspect to me.

            We’re 11th in offensive fWAR, and 9th in pitching fWAR. All the projection systems I’ve seen have us as basically a .500 team for the rest of the season.

            Anyway, I’m certainly not trying to be super negative. If you read the numbers as saying the Reds are the best team in the NL, that’s cool. I don’t, but I hope you’re right.

          • @al: NL teams, in general, tend to be below 100 with OPS+ because of pitchers hitting. OPS+ takes all of ML into account, so AL teams have a built in advantage there.

            Most of the projection systems I’ve seen have them as a couple game over .500. But then, that’s actually pretty good given that there are 60 games left in the season and projection systems tend to bring all teams back toward .500. Look at what those projections say for the Reds and I’ll wager the Cards, Pirates, and Braves are all pretty close to .500, too.

            Sticking just with the NL since I think it’s still pretty hard to compare teams across leagues, the Reds are 3rd in pitching fWAR and 5th in hitting fWAR. The Cards are the only team to rank above them in both categories.

            Look, I wouldn’t actually argue that the Reds are the best team in the league. I think that’s the Cardinals. But I also think the Cardinals have gotten pretty lucky and have a lot of players playing over their heads whereas the only Red playing better than I’d expect is Leake (and several are under performing).

            Given that, I don’t think the gap is as wide as many are making it out to be.

            I also think lots of people think that only truly great teams are worthy of the WS. I don’t know if there is a truly great team in baseball this year. It seems like a weird year to me. I think there are a bunch of good teams any of whom could beat the others on a given day.

          • @al: Oh, and Baseball Pro uses, I believe 3rd order win percentage, which neutralizes hit order.

            That is, it recognizes that though single, single, homer produces three runs and homer, single, single produces run. The order there is mostly random.

            It basically says that the Cards have been a lot luckier than the Reds and sees them as roughly equivalent in terms of how god they are.

          • @Jason Linden:

            …and sees them as roughly equivalent in terms of how god they are.

            Now there’s a Freudian slip!

  7. Mesoraco should have started game 2 last night in Left Field. Don’t know why we would leave a bat like that at home when we go to war.

    I have said a number of times since Ludwick has been down that Devan should be getting ab’s in LF.

    • @reaganspad: I can’t remember who said this before. I think it may have been Big Ed. Normally, I am not a big fan of position changes mid-season but putting Mesoraco out in LF and seeing what he can do is some seriously creative thinking that might be onto something good. Of course for all we know he might be horrible out there. On the other hand, what if he’s decent? You’d have a pretty good LF on days he wasn’t catching. My only concern is that catchers really need to rest their legs more often than other players and LF does require some running. That’s why Posey plays 1B when not catching and Mauer either is either a DH or plays 1B when not catching.

    • @reaganspad: Meso would be better than Yonder Alonso…

  8. We all should be able to agree on one thing: the Reds have been a lot of fun to watch since the ASB.

  9. I was curious, so I ran the OPS+ for some other teams. Here is the Cardinals:

    2B: 149
    1B: 140
    C: 139
    RF: 137
    LF: 121
    3B: 103
    CF: 87
    SS: 62

    Wain: 67
    Miller: 76
    Lynn: 113
    Garcia: 98
    Westbrook: 79
    Lyons (6 starts): 151

    CF: 148
    3B: 123
    LF 120
    C: 115
    1B: 112
    2B: 105
    RF: 79
    SS: 59
    Utility- in 59 games: 100

    Cole: 96
    Gomez: 72
    Liriano: 67
    Locke: 58
    Burnett: 84

    Fill ins: 8 starts or less each: 91, 324, 158

    Based on comparisons using these numbers, I agree that the Reds are good, but would argue they are not elite. That said, I think the Reds are on the upswing as we get guys off the DL. However, both the WLBs and the Pirates have had plenty of injuries.

    As an aside– I’m glad we have Cozart over the other two shortstops from the cards/buccos

    • @Farney: Another comparison– a bad team– the Brewers:

      LF: 134 (now suspended– new LF: 70)
      CF: 130
      SS: 124
      C: 118
      3B: 110
      RF: 99
      2B: 70
      1B: 51

      Peralta: 113
      Lohse: 92
      Gallardo: 120
      Estrada: 140
      Others: 120+

      RF: 125
      1B: 110
      CF: 106
      3B: 104
      LF: 102
      C: 86
      SS: 73
      2B: 66


      Samardija: 100
      Wood: 75
      Jackson: 129
      Feldmen: 89
      Garza: 81
      Villanueva: 107

      The moral of the story is that the teams with good pitching win, in my opinion. The Brewers have great hitting but terrible pitching. The cubs are average in every sense of the word.

  10. Why is it so rare that a team sweeps a double header. I would like to have seen this team push a littler harder in that second game.

  11. While the idea of locking up Mesoraco sounds good, care should be taken to consider the position. You might not want to lock up a young phenom pitcher until he demonstrates some durability, an ability to log lots of innings over successive seasons. Mes is a big strong kid. But, some players show an inability to stay healthy. Catcher is a demanding position. Would be worth the extra money down the road to wait a year or so and make sure he’s not only the real deal, but durable, too.

    • @Richard Fitch: I agree with you in principle. I’m all for waiting to sign a guy if there are durability concerns, particularly with pitchers. Pitcher volatility is an absolutely scary thing.

      But Mesoraco is a position player who was drafted in 2007 and has been with the organization for 6 years. The guy is also just built very solidly. I’d think by now the Reds have a good idea about his durability.

      • @AlphaZero: Plus, look at what happened with Bailey by waiting an extra year. I’d rather take the risk and lock Mes up to a long-term deal now, than wait until he’s had his breakthrough season and either, 1) sign him for a lot more, or 2) be forced to let him walk because all of the money is in the bullpen and starting rotation.

        • @rhayex:

          2) be forced to let him walk because all of the money is in the bullpen…

          Yeah, I get that the bullpen is important, but the Reds (WJ) seems to greatly over-value that importance and certainly seem to overpay for the bullpen. Very frustrating that…

          • @Shchi Cossack: I honestly thought about just saying bullpen and leaving it at that. It’s a joke. I say that the Chapman debacle was mainly Baker’s fault, but part of the blame lies in Jocketty for giving in when they had a clear plan. Of course, he was only trying to give Baker the clear closer he wanted…

            I don’t know. I don’t want to sound bitter about it (though I am). I just think that’s it’s more than one person’s fault (I actually like Jocketty). I don’t think Castellini should have rehired Baker, for instance…

            And now I’m bashing Dusty. Sorry.

    • @Richard Fitch: Hanigan goes to arbitration for the final time next season and looks to be in line for a minimal salary increase at best and probably a backup catching role after next season (hopefully with the Reds) as a 34 year old catcher. Meso doesn’t even become eligible for arbitration until 2015, so he’s in line for another league minimum salary next season. Next season looks like the time to try and negotiate a long-term contract with Meso that includes all years of arbitration and buys out some FA seasons.

      I have serious doubts that the Reds will be able to avoid FA with Bailey or Latos and I also don’t think they should avoid FA with Cueto (way too risky and expensive). I would focus efforts for a pitching extention on Leake unless Bailey or Latos are more open to such a negotiation than they appear.

  12. Re: Frazier.

    He’s 17th in the NL in WAR. This team has some problems but he’s not one of them.

  13. I’d honestly like to see Reynolds get another start as a Red. I think he was just nervous for the first inning, which is completely understandable. Unfortunately, because he is not a veteran, he will likely never again pitch in the majors for the Reds.

  14. I agree per14,

    and you know what, Frazier has been a very good 3rd baseman. He is not Scott Rolen, but I have not felt like I have missed Rolen in the field either.

    I was happy to see Todd’s week begin so strongly. He is a key for the second half.

  15. I would wait a year or so before trying to lock up Mes. When I saw him suffer through the back spasms the other day, it threw up a huge red flag. Back injuries worry me in general and back injuries for catchers worry me in capital letters.

    I’M WORRIED. πŸ™‚

  16. The LAD have finally established themselves at the top of the NLWD after a long, steep climb and should stay in a position to look down in the standings at the D-Backs and Rox. The D-Backs will now provide the primary competition for the 2nd wildcard spot and are 4.5 games behind the Reds. The Phanatics, Nats & Rox are fading longshots for a wildcard spot.

  17. I will admit when I am wrong. The Reds just signed an international prospect, Luis Tejada, a 19 year old pitcher for 600k. Hopefully he turns out to be great.

  18. Can I just say it’s amazing that there are calls to lock up Devin long term when there were concerns about he was already “busted” in April. And I just mean that in the sense it’s amazing there is such a wide variance of opinion on the guy over such a small career to begin with. I hope he becomes the Reds clean-up guy myself.

    • @Matt WI: @From what I’ve seen (I haven’t looked this up, I might be completely wrong), every time Mes has been able to play regularly, he’s gone on a tear. Then Hanigan comes back from injury, or Dusty starts playing the backup more, and he slumps again. I just think he deserves a chance to start for an extended period of time, and I believe the Reds FO do too.

      The calls to extend him (which I am one of), originate from the fact that he was a top prospect for the Reds, and he’s poised to go off at any time. We want to extend him, a la Longoria, before that happens.

    • @Matt WI: I don’t think the people who want to lock him up are the same ones who overreacted to the grand total of 165 ABs that Mesoraco received last year. Mesoraco’s poor looking .212/.288/.352 line masked league average or better BB%, K%, and ISO. His batted ball luck was simply terrible in 2012, and I think many recognized that he’d be significantly better with more ABs and a normalized BABIP. These are the same people who would like to see him extended.

  19. Pedroia’s contract covers 8 years for a $13.75MM per year average and is slightly back loaded with some undisclosed deferred money. Pedrioa will be 38 years old at the completion of his contract.

    Phillips contract covers 6 years for a $12.00MM per year average and is significantly back loaded. Phillips will be 36 years old at the completion of his contract.

    We can only imagine what a 6-8 year contract for Robinson Cano will look like. πŸ™„

  20. I agree Matt WI,

    He looks very comfortable at the plate. Just watch the approach between Devin and Corky. Devin looks like the vet and Corky looks uncomfortable.

    That HR last night was such an easy fluid swing. We have a few of those on this team and their names are Votto, Bruce, Ludwick and Leake.

    I would put Frazier in that category but he has a herky jerky kind of fluid swing

  21. Tonight’s lineup:


    • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Playing Paul in this outfield, with Leake on the mound, is asking for trouble. And Robinson has been much better than X at the plate lately. Dusty trying to give him a few ABs to prove his worth before Ludwick comes back? Hard to justify this on a “best for the team” basis. (Oh, and what’s up with Cozart not playing? He’s hurt from a foul ball before the AS break? The way he’s been hitting since then, maybe he should try fouling a few more off his leg….)

  22. Well, I’m officially addicted to The Killing and Orange Is The New Black. Not sure when I’ll be able to watch another Reds game… πŸ˜₯

  23. Reds lost game 2 of yesterday’s DH when Dusty penciled Izturis in hitting (ha) 2nd. He proceeded to come up in the 4th with men at 1st and 2nd and proceeded to work the count to 2-0. Why in the world let the guy swing at that point with Joey on deck? Guess what JV did – he led off the 5th with nobody on. Didn’t go to bed upset though – as its just the umpteenth example of a Dusty led team. Have the Reds rated at 6.5 out of 10, Pirates at 7.5 and Cards at 8.5. Sometimes good isn’t good enough.

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About Jason Linden

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing atΒ Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel,Β When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at


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