Five games

Last night was tough, to say the least.

Yet, after four losses and the worst stretch of baseball this season, the Reds remain five games out of first place in the division. With two full months to go, including 15 games against St. Louis and Pittsburgh, there’s plenty of opportunity ahead.

So heads up, Nation!

The Pirates and Cardinals play a double-header today and Mat Latos takes the mound tonight for the Reds against Edinson Volquez.

With tomorrow’s deadline, expect a new batch of trade rumors (and maybe some actual trades!).

And reports that Bud Selig might go with the A-Bomb for A-Rod.

Also tomorrow, look for Homer Bailey to pitch the third no-hitter of his career, almost certainly assuring the Reds will win that game!

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 126 Comments

  1. Can we keep Bruce at clean up?

    Time to sweep the Padre’s leg! No mercy!

    • @Zabka84: That sounds like a great idea. How about BP batting second and Bruce hitting #4. I’d slide Mesoraco up to fifth while we’re at it.

      • @Steve Mancuso: well that sounds about as good as the reds can make a batting order. Thumbs up.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Or Mes hitting 6th behind Frazier. Or what about Frazier hitting 2nd and BP hitting 5th or 6th? Baker hates juggling the lineup but that’s four straight “famine games” for the Reds. A shakeup is in order.

        Speaking of “famine” games, I updated my study from earlier in the year. The Reds aren’t looking so bad compared to the rest of the NL. When I raise the floor for a famine game to “3 runs or less”, then they even look better. The update didn’t take into account last night’s game but did take into account the 3 stinkers against the Dodgers.

        • @LWBlogger: One reason I like the idea of moving Frazier to #2 is that he obviously feasts on fastballs and struggles with anything else. Presumably the person hitting in front of Votto and behind Choo will see more fastballs. Overall, Frazier hasn’t inspired much confidence this year. He hasn’t shown any improvement, although it’s certainly possible that I’m not educated enough on the details of hitting to know if he has. But with his bat having the great potential that it does, I don’t agree with Baker’s philosophy of sticking Frazier in one spot and have him hit there over and over and over. Especially when he’s struggling.

  2. July records:
    StL: 13-9
    Pit: 11-12
    Cin: 13-12

    The Reds have actually picked up 1 game on Pit and lost 1 1/2 games to StL this month. I thought it was much uglier than this.
    The report yesterday that WJ and the Reds were inquiring on Hunter Pence was good news. At least WJ is trying to upgrade this team. Thats his job. If he doesn’t improve this team before the deadline, then WJ simply is not doing his job.
    No doubt, the Reds have a Peek-a-boo offense. Sometimes you see it, and sometimes you don’t.

  3. I like your optimistic attitude and I will continue to support our chances.But it must pointed out. We our seven games out in the all important loss column and we have two teams to climb over to avoid the wild card game and about 55 games or so left to go.

    • @littleleo1: And don’t look now, but Arizona is only 4 behind us for that wild card game. The time to put the pedal down is now.

  4. Steve, I appreciate your valiant attempt to rally the troops, but I’m not gonna lie–I’m feeling pretty dejected right now. I hope they can pull it off, and I’ll watch every game no matter how frustrated I get. But last year felt special. This year feels cursed.

  5. The way the Reds have been hitting and playing defense lately, saying that a Bailey no-hitter would “almost certainly” assure a Reds win may be worded too strongly.

    I would go with “give the Reds a slightly greater than 50% chance of winining.”

  6. Except about the ARod thing. I’m not the least bit dejected about that.

  7. I like both of those lineup moves.

    My suggestion: Go to closer by committee, and have Chapman as a first call reliever who can and will go 2-3 innings when needed – kind of the current LeCure role.

    • @RC: nah, just have chapman pitch 3 times a week minimum. He is clearly better when pitching somewhat regularly and is horrible when he pitches once every two weeks. I’m not surprised his control is bad. He never gets a chance to pitch.

    • @RC: I totally agree with closer by committee, I think every team should do it.

      What has this season taught us about closing, if anything? That getting saves doesn’t really have that much to do with being good. By almost any measure, Chapman is still one of the best relievers we have, or in the NL. But every pitcher gives up runs, and if you give up runs at the wrong time (which doesn’t have much to do with skill as far as I can tell) you’ll blow a save.

      To me, understanding this should be the end of save statistic. The goal should be to get your best relievers in often, and when it counts. That means tie games, games when you’re down 1 or 2, and games when you’re up 1 or 2.

      When the two or three run save opportunity comes up, just ignore it, and give it to a decent reliever.

      alfredo simon has given up 3 runs twice all year, and never given up more than that. i would feel totally confident in giving him every 3-run save chance. giving those to him would mean freeing up Chapman to pitch a lot more.

  8. Well, I have to say this has been one of the most frustrating seasons for me as a reds fan– and I’ve been following the team since 1974. It seems that the team is listless and rudderless. I wonder what jocketty is going to do to beef up the offense, which has been atrocious— except for a few games when the team scores early and then generally goes cold. We are in the playoff hunt largely because the reds got fat on some pretty bad teams earlier in the season. As for the reds winning against the padres as bailey tosses a no hitter? The way this team scores, bailey would lose 1-0 on a walk, sac bunt, stolen base, and sac fly.

    • @santa barbara reds fan: I think by Monday, a lot of you are going to be in a “sell” mood rather than a “buy”. Wonder what Arroyo, Choo, XP could bring in prospects? The most depressing thing that happened yesterday was to read about our “top” prospects in the system. I’d like us start the process of restocking the cupboard.

      At this point, I’d “almost” rather see us finish out of the running and look toward 2014. Which must include a new manager. I’m very good with Walt but the milestone (Dusty) must be removed from his neck.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Oh come on. No team ‘sells’ while leading for a playoff spot. The Reds are buyers or are going to stand pat.

        • @Jason1972: Agree. Most don’t sell if they are within sniffing range of a playoff spot. Does anyone think the D-backs are sellers?

          • @LWBlogger: I’m an optimist by nature. But if I have ever witnessed a sinking ship…………….

            They really need to start winning games – NOW. I just can’t see it. Even winning series won’t do it. We have to have a serious run. Just keep your eyes on the Reds’ record since June 1st. I think that is the team we are and maybe a Pence would change that but a Young will not. Not the 2013 version, anyway.

          • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: So you think they should sell because the D-backs are going to make up the 4 games and beat them out for the last wildcard spot or they will just lose the 1-game wildcard game anyway? You may be right but if I were GM, I wouldn’t be selling with a 4-game lead on a playoff spot, even if I conceded I couldn’t catch the Cards. I think the fan-base wouldn’t be too happy if I was to put up the white-flag when fighting for a playoff spot.

          • @LWBlogger: Didn’t say the “fan base” would be thrilled but the studied fans here might be. They need to show something soon or they will get caught from behind. If they play .500 ball the rest of the way, do they get it in? I’m doubting they do play .500 ball the rest of the year, to begin with.

            I keep saying, “wait until Monday”. Not today! I would love to see them turn it around starting tonight but I could see us losing the next 5 in a row. LW, they just can hit the ball right now.

            The only way I see them kick-starting this thing is to put Choo & Votto 1 and 2 in the lineup and I have been saying it for over a month. “Nobody” should be placed between the two of them, not Phillips, Robinson, Frazier, Pence, Young, etc.

          • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Monday is past the non-waiver deadline so it is harder to do trades then. I see where you’re coming from even if I disagree however… As for Votto in the 2-hole, I’m still of the mind that your best hitter should bat 3rd. That said, a lot of lineup construction gurus are putting forth the idea that a team’s best hitter should be batting in the 2-hole. Again, I’m not sure I agree but some of those lineup gurus are friends and peers of mine so you’re in good company when it comes to the Votto in the 2-hole thinking.

          • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Here’s the thing, if you compare the Reds to the 2010 and 2012 Giants, they compare quite favorably. As a staff, their pitching actually surpasses the Giants slightly, and the Reds offense is WAY better than those ball clubs. (There is certainly some truth that the Giants’ staff had an elite pitcher that could carry the team in big games, but the Reds Top 3 is pretty darn good too.)

            If the Reds actually make the playoffs, they have a chance to win. Even during this slide, they’ve been in pretty much every ball game. That’s what great pitching does. It holds the line…you just need a Pablo Sandoval to get hot at the right time and push the team across the finish.

          • @CP: Like your scenario. Hope you are right. They need to start showing soon. Since June 1st this a .500 club, at the very best.

          • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: I actually didn’t mean to reply to you…yeah, this team has warts. Thankfully, they can pitch. I don’t trust Dusty to manage well in the post season at all, which throw a wrench in the works. Teams have very small edges in short game series. The Dusty Tax really hurts them in short series.

        • @Jason1972: Certainly not today but let’s see about Monday.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Oh, I had that bad thought already. Of course, I am the one most vocal about trading Chapman anyway.

        If the Reds seriously believe that they can’t win the division this year AND that they have no shot at signing Choo, then I would at least explore what he could bring. They won’t (and probably shouldn’t) trade him, but it’d be interesting. Unless Jocketty gets an offer that floors him, I don’t see the Reds either selling or buying this year.

        I honestly think that the Reds won’t win the World Series with Baker at the helm. It’s simply luck (29 other teams, after all), combined with a complete lack of game management skill (which makes it harder to make up for bad luck).

        • @rhayex: I’d focus on two teams with Choo: Rangers & Yanks. Also, the Rays might have some serious interest too.

  9. “Also tomorrow, look for Homer Bailey to pitch the third no-hitter of his career, almost certainly assuring the Reds will win that game!”

    “you think you’re funny… don’t you?” – Jim Maloney

  10. It is hard to continue to watch the pitching staff pitch really well and the hitters turn marginal players into all-stars. My concerns go farther than this year though. It seems, barring a total collapse, that this team can make the playoffs. Hopefully, all the injured players will come back and contribute, but I think that is a little dubious. Feels like this team expects Ludwick to come back and be the answer, but he is a notoriously slow starter. In addition, he had shoulder surgery, is that going to make his shoulder stronger? I doubt that. Broxton and Marshall have not really thrown a ball all season and that cannot be good. Cueto has a wind up that sends his back into spasms, are they reworking it and will it sap his effectiveness? Finally, Hanigan has had this hand problem all season, is there something in there that is broken? Now for the guys still playing: Phillips is hurt, it shows and I doubt that getting a day off here and there will help. Cozart is hurt and while there are viable alternatives, he and Frazier are having sophomore slumps. Hopefully, all this sorts itself out this year, but if it does not then this team may have to make some major changes this offseason.

  11. I hope you guys are all wrong about Dusty. He is actually a diabolical genius. When everyone thinks these moves have just been him managing, he has actually been putting the team in a position to lose and tank for several weeks because he knows we need a RH bat to add to the lineup. He is just doing all this to force Jocketty’s hand. Come on guys, he would never make these moves in an intention to win scenario.

  12. You guys remember when the hated Yankees were winning all those WS titles in the late 90’s and early 2000’s their entire lineup would grind out at bats, foul off pitches until they got something to hit, or just take a walk? I wonder if Dusty was angered by that approach?

    • @Zabka84: You would think the “winning all those World Series” part would have been cause for emulation, not avoidance. The Red Sox certainly copied it to two world championships. Baker still has zero, despite all his years and the great teams he’s managed. I’m not saying that’s an important measure of the success of a manager, but if there is something systematic about his approach that makes winning it all more difficult, that’s something to consider.

      • @Steve Mancuso: That is an important measure of success, though. I’d rather have a good manager without the wins but with the titles than Baker.

  13. Man, was that frustrating to see the score this morning. I checked it, 1-0 in the top of 9th. Felt good. Went to bed. Wake up… lame. Certainly 5 games is doable… it’s not time to throw in the towel yet. Trade deadline will be interesting. It’s a lot harder thinking of a move that will spark making up the ground vs. a move that would have helped solidify a team already looking strong down the stretch.

    • @Matt WI: the A’s came back from 5 games down in the last 10 days to win their division last year. I would say the Reds can make up 5 games in two months.

      • @Zabka84: They could, but not if they don’t start scoring more consistently – which doesn’t mean three good offensively games followed by 5 out of 6 bad ones.

  14. Starting with the assumption that Chapman won’t be a starter, I think he needs to stay as the closer. (Some are saying demote/platoon him) He’s fine there as long as he’s used correctly. This means a few things: 1) Bringing him in, at times (not all the time), when there is a high leverage situation in the 8th, and 2) Not letting him go days on end without working. I posted these last night, but wanted to get them in the curent thread. Chapmans only REAL problem (as far as I’m concerned) is that his coaches don’t understand the kind of pitcher he is; which is “one that needs to work.” He is more effective when pitching on shorter rest. I understand he can’t do this all the time, but it should work itself out most of the time where he can rest on days the Reds lose big or win big, so he’ll be available most of the time when the Reds are in close games.

    His batting-against splits for 2013:

    0 Days Rest: .136/.174/.205 (45 batters faced)
    1 Days Rest: .114/.220/.182 (50 batters faced)
    2+ Day Rest: .283/.419/.500 (73 batters faced)

    His career (2010-Now) numbers aren’t as stark, but it’s still there:

    0 Days Rest: .161/.258/.244 (187 batters faced)
    1 Days Rest: .119/.229/.137 (191 batters faced)
    2+ Day Rest: .188/.322/.319 (307 batters faced)

    • @prjeter: This is an important point. But here’s where the problem is. To implement this system, you not only have to pitch Chapman in non-closing situations, you have to be willing to pitch someone else IN closing situations. The reason Baker (and other managers) don’t pitch their closers in high leverage situations, say when the team is down a run or earlier in games with leads, is then someone else has to close. Or, if you commit to pitching Chapman every so often, what if there is a string of save opportunities right after his “work” day? Someone else would have to close.

      I’m totally fine with that. I think Hoover and LeCure could for sure close games. Certainly Broxton and Marshall already have.

      But Baker is notorious for only giving save opportunities to his closer. It’s part of his BFF program.

      • @Steve Mancuso: exactly. look at the numbers for the nasty boys. more than 5 guys got saves that year, because lou used myers and dibble correctly. each pitched about 100 innings, and more than one inning a lot. but they weren’t around for every save, so he gave the easy ones to scrubs.

        • @al: Hey, wasn’t the last time the Reds made any real noise in the playoffs the same time they had Dibble, Charlton and Myers all closing?


          WAKE UP DUSTY!

    • @prjeter: Very interesting. I made a post on the recap thread about Chapman’s horrible road numbers this year, and how little he has pitched on the road (15 2/3 innings).

  15. Here’s something for you to ponder. Barring some kind of setback, Ludwick is probably not far from returning to the club. I know he’s not tearing it up in the minors, but I don’t think they are looking for that, just get in game shape and hope his timing starts to come around. When he returns, does he immediately go to the cleanup spot? Does Phillips move to the 2-hole? Brandon has been pretty good at driving in runs, he has found a way, whether by a hit, ground out, flyball, etc.

    Ludwick is going to be rusty, does a struggling offense lose anything with him at cleanup as soon as he returns? Or does Ludwick at cleanup provide the needed spark for the offense?

    A lot of people have been clamoring for Votto in the 2-hole and I have not been a big fan of that, but maybe when Ludwick comes back the thing to do might be to try that. Put Ludwick in the cleanup spot and shift Phillips and Votto up one spot each. I know Phillips is not your prototypical 3 hitter, but his on base perecentage is not very good for a 2 hitter. But this year he seems to have a knack for driving in runs. Votto’s OBP is out the roof, but, at least this year, he seems to have trouble driving in runs. Just some thoughts, I know I am as frustrated as everyone else is with this team’s offensive stagnation.

  16. I’m one of the optimistic ones who still thinks the division is within reach, but just in case… how big is that 4-game series against Arizona going to be in mid August. Yikes!

  17. All the Reds have to do is make it in. The regular season in the NFL, and MLB has become less relevant due to the top reagular season teams not winning it all. The Cardnials 06 and 11 teams weren’t great in the regular season got in the playoffs won it all. The Giants 10 and 12 teams werent great, they got in playoffs rode great pitching and timely hitting too a pair of championships.

    • @Larry1980: True, but the Reds have somebody those two teams did not. Who would feel better about just getting in, then riding it all the way, with La Russa or Bochy at the helm?

  18. I put this in the game thread but I thought I’d post it again.

    So who goes when Ludwick comes back this weekend (I heard this mentioned on the broadcast)?
    Robinson? He has actually been a pleasant surprise and provides the team with something they are sorely lacking, speed. Still has options. .270/.343/.355
    Paul? He is the only guy on the bench with any power. Out of options. .241/.340/.402
    Heisey? He gives you defense and hustle but has been hurt. Still has options. .216/.267/.410.

    I suspect there will be a trade and one of the 3 will be included.

    • @Hunt4RedsOctober: Funny you say that. I was thinking – OK, fantasizing – about how WJ might pull off an unexpected last minute moves. Then there’s the Pence rumor. In their big park, the Giants like good defensive OFers and small ball guys. So maybe Heisey or Robinson and a mid-level prospect for Hunter Pence ? (Reds pay his salary.)

      Remember how Hunter Pence rallied the Giants against the Reds with football style pre-game pep talks in the Division series last year ? That would have caught Dusty’s notice.

      • @pinson343: Of course a lot depends on how the Reds think Ludwick is swinging the bat. He managed a double last nite, don’t know if it was a “ringing double”.

  19. May I ask, what all did Dusty have to say Chapman? Did any of the media members ask him about Chapman’s recent lack of innings? Or did they fear “the bristle?”

    Regarding “five games,” I’m having a hard team maintaining much enthusiasm. It’s one thing to get waxed, but to give away game after game, just sad.

    • @vegastypo: Of course nobody asked him about it. They’re scared to death of the guy.

    • @vegastypo: Didn’t see it, but judging by video and the pitch by pitch, last nite’s game was given away by the hitters.

      Against a pitcher who is just plain BAD by major league standards and walks 5 guys in his 6 innings, way too many first pitch swings.

      Mes swings at a first pitch way outside slider to ground into a double play.
      Tood Frazier comes up with runners on 2nd and 3rd and pops out on a first pitch changeup. They know you’re a first pitch fastball hitter, Todd. In a key situation like that, where there’s even a base open, please don’t assume a first pitch fastball.

  20. Looks like Michael Young is about to get traded. The Phillies are calling up their top 3rd base prospect from the minors.

    Could be to the Reds?

    Steve, we need a trade deadline thread!

  21. If the Reds actually make a trade, or if the rumors get further along, we’ll start a separate thread. So far it’s just “Reds looking for RH bat, looked into Hunter Pence, apparently no match.”

  22. My concern is this…the Reds have been talking about how they’re going to be “getting healthy”. But article this morning says Hanigan’s wrist is still bothering him, Choo was out yesterday with a bad leg (and with the Reds medical staff, it might fall off today), Marshall was moved to the 60 day with no talk of throwing/rehab anytime soon, Cueto hasn’t begun to throw, Ludwick has looked mediocre (at best) thus far in his rehab, and the good news is Broxton’s starting a rehab assignment.

    So…where exactly is all the help going to come from?

    • @Bill Lack: Not only all of that, but “getting healthy” assumes no one else gets hurt going forward. I’m hoping that “getting healthy” is just a negotiation/expectations strategy.

  23. Here’s the lineup I’d try today, assuming everyone available:


    • @Steve Mancuso: I’d go with that. But Dusty would never deviate from anything he does.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I don’t understand batting Todd second. Guy would be a boat anchor just like Heisey, Zack, BP, etc. Why do we have to bat anyone between Choo & Votto?

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Good fastball hitter. OBP is .337. More people on base for Votto to drive in. If Votto bats second, the only person getting on base in front of him would be Choo.

        • @Steve Mancuso: Can’t drive in what isn’t there to start with. Give me the guy with a OBP 100 point advantage, anytime. If BP, Bruce, Fraz, etc. couldn’t get it done following the on-base likes of Choo & Votto, then we really are beyond salvaging. You put Todd there and in about a week, Todd is the new Zack. Joey’s best value right now is getting on-base. Not his fault its just the make-up of the club, IMO.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: I think Votto should bat 2nd. When Ludwick is back, I’d do this:


      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Both lefties (see Dusty).

    • @Steve Mancuso: Even though Phillips is actually having a down year, I can’t imagine Dusty taking him out of the #4 spot (even when Ludwick returns) because of all the ribeye steaks.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I like it but BP hitting behind Mes would likely make him pretty unhappy. Maybe flip-flopping them would help with the ego-management? I love the idea of Frazier in the 2-hole and BP out of the cleanup spot. The question is how to do it without getting BP too upset about maybe not getting his 100-RBI?

  24. I can’t imagine Pence coming cheap, and the 2013 version of Pence isn’t what what the 2011 version was. He would be an improvement over what we’ve got (assuming Ludwick won’t be the 2012 version)… but considering what we might have to cough up in that deal, I hope it stays dead.

    Plus, it is a well known fact that Hunter Pence throws like a girl.

  25. “Wonder what Arroyo, Choo, XP could bring in prospects?”

    nothing (we do better with the draft pick)

    something (we do better with the draft pick)

    not a lot

    Trade candidates that can bring back a nice trinket to insert into the lineup

    Mike Leake. but as Bill Lack posts above “Cueto hasn’t begun to throw”

    So we are somewhat stuck by our health

    • @reaganspad: If we trade Leake, I quit. Yes we do seem to be doing very well with draft picks. Might better to pick up some prospects that have shwon something if only in the minors.

  26. Accidentally posted this above:

    Here’s the thing, if you compare the Reds to the 2010 and 2012 Giants, they compare quite favorably. As a staff, their pitching actually surpasses the Giants slightly, and the Reds offense is WAY better than those ball clubs. (There is certainly some truth that the Giants’ staff had an elite pitcher that could carry the team in big games, but the Reds Top 3 is pretty darn good too.)

    If the Reds actually make the playoffs, they have a chance to win. Even during this slide, they’ve been in pretty much every ball game. That’s what great pitching does. It holds the line…you just need a Pablo Sandoval to get hot at the right time and push the team across the finish.

    Yeah, it means acknowledging that there is some luck in baseball and that is an issue for a lot of people. But in my mind, anyone that watched Nelson Cruz botch an easy fly ball in the World Series, or Pablo Sandoval/David Freese pick up and carry their teams during the playoffs, and fails to acknowledge that luck is present in these short series is simply denying themselves the truth and can’t be reasoned with.

    This team, in my opinion, could do damage in the playoffs. If I’m WJ, I don’t go crazy trying to get Hunter Pence in a Reds uniform. The cost simply is too high under the new CBA. The Giants don’t have any incentive to trade him. Which means the Reds need to think bigger and more long term if they want to complete a trade that impacts this season.

  27. “If the Brewers make Aramis Ramirez available, the Reds could have interest. In that scenario, Todd Frazier, who has been playing third base, likely plays the outfield.”

    I would do this

  28. Can anyone tell me the last time chapman had a 1-2-3 inning? I know he has the saves, but most of them sure seem to be high stress.

  29. David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com reports that “it sounds like” the White Sox and Pirates are getting close to finishing a trade involving outfielder Alex Rios.
    The Pirates have struggled to get any production out of right field this season, so Rios would be a natural fit. Kaplan hears that the two sides are still haggling over the cash involved and might not find a middle ground. The 32-year-old is under contract for $12.5 million next while his $13.5 million option for 2015 includes a $1 million buyout.

    Pirates are throwing down the gauntlet and making their move.

  30. Pence–no interest. I just don’t see where he fits in our outfield. On top of that, he got totally exposed in the playoffs last year. Let him be all rah-rah for someone else.

    Aramis—I don’t see the point. His OPS is .773 to Frazier’s .741. Meh.

    Let’s face it, the only deal that would improve us would be the BIG deal. To that end, I would target Jose Bautista. Besides being an elite hitter who walks nearly as much as he K’s, he’s on a very reasonable 5yr/$64mil contract, signed thru 2015, which fits our window of opportunity. For him, I’d make everyone but Stephenson available. He’d be the ideal #4 hitter and would finally Dusty-proof the lineup. That lineup with Latos/Bailey/Cueto in a playoff series would be formidable indeed. The Blue Jays shot for the moon and missed. Now they need to collect prospects and build from within.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: Swaff, if we could pull that off then I’m back in the game and off the ledge. Very nice post. A man of reason.

    • @Sultan of Swaff:

      Aramis is career 285/ 845 and this is a down year for him, but I understand your point.

      Frazier could then be super sub again.

      Bautista is an interesting thought.

      it is all about the cost, and I agree that Stephenson is not a trade option

    • @Sultan of Swaff: toronto isn’t selling, and they certainly aren’t moving bautista.

      beyond that, we have ludwick coming back this year and next year.

      beyond that, jocketty has already said that we couldn’t take on soriano’s salary, and the yankees are paying a lot less of that than we would have to pay bautista (all of it).

      great player, but there are a lot more realistic dream scenarios.

    • @Sultan of Swaff: Too bad the Reds prospects list is so limited.

  31. If we just had more games left against the Brewers & Cubs, we would be A-okay.

  32. These next two games are huge. The Reds desperately need a winning road trip to feel better about themselves heading back home to play two strong teams. It’s make or break time for the season.

  33. Looks like the Pirates are close to acquiring Rios. Hmm, acquiring a guy to plug a weakness. What’s that like?

    • @concepcion13: The problem is that they have obvious holes to fill and the ability to fill them. Can you say that about the Reds?

      Who do you replace? Ludwick is coming back, so they won’t get a LF. Cozart? Frazier? Bother were in the running for ROY last year, and are cheap and controlled. I can’t see the Reds cutting bait on either of them right now.

      • @concepcion13: The problem is that they have obvious holes to fill and the ability to fill them. Can you say that about the Reds?Who do you replace? Ludwick is coming back, so they won’t get a LF. Cozart? Frazier? Bother were in the running for ROY last year, and are cheap and controlled. I can’t see the Reds cutting bait on either of them right now.

        Yes, you can. You cut Hannahan and Izturis. Frazier becomes the backup INF. Go get a 3B that can lay off a curveball or slider out of the strike zone. Putting all your eggs in the Ludwick basket for LF is silly at best and ludicrus at worst. Ludwick can play off the bench the rest of the year.
        Now you have a bench of Frazier, Ludwick, Heisey, Paul and the backup C. Much better and a much stroner bench.
        Then WJ calls the LA Angels and makes a trade for OF Peter Bourjos and 2B/3B Howie Kendrick. (Disclaimer: Bourjos is on DL, supposed to be ready next week).

  34. I don’t think WJ is going to do anything at the deadline. I think they are really hoping that Ludwick will make the difference but relying on him scares me. I like Ludwick but I think it is going to take sometime before he is back to himself again.

    I tend to agree that the names available for trade are really not going to help this team much. I don’t want to see WJ give up any good prospects for a player that is not going to make this team significantly better.

  35. Ho-Hum. Cards lose 4 in a row and the Reds follow suit with three runs in the last four games.

  36. I was watching MLB Tonight yesterday, and Ken Rosenthal said that the Reds would not make any trades. He said it had to do with the Reds spening a lot of money already, their lack of prospects, and W.J. view that their injured players are coming back.

  37. Pence would be a nice option. The price would be steep even though Pence would be a FA at the end of this year. He would bring an extra 1st round pick in next years draft, so the price goes up with that. But if the Reds were to make a qualifying offer to Pence, Arroyo and Choo, and none accept the Reds would have 4, count them 4, first round picks in next years draft. And next years draft is supposed to be pretty deep in round 1. So a package for Pence will probably have to include one of the Reds past 1st round picks. Ervin cannot be traded until after one year and Stephenson is out. So that would leave Teivieso. Giants are interested in acquiring pitching. A small breakdown of a deal for Pence. Taking on two months of Pence’s salary won’t be a deal braker.

  38. Man, I am still dreaming of that impossible scenario where we could get Stanton at the deadline.

    Trade Heisey, Chapman, and maybe Corcino. That might not be enough and I doubt the Marlins would move him. But I bet Loria would love to have a Cuban on the team to try and connect any way he can to the fans to get them in the park.

    • @BearcatNation: That’s insane. Try Chapman, Hamilton, Stephenson, Winker, and Ervin. That’s closer to what it’d take to get him.

      • @rhayex: cingrani would have to be a part of it too. but honestly, i don’t think the reds have the players to get him anyway. our top prospects aren’t that good and aren’t that close to the majors. if the marlins made him available, other teams could put together much better offers.

      • @rhayex: Hence, the impossible scenario part. I was merely daydreaming.

  39. I’d offer Choo to the Rangers and see what the Reds could pry away from them. They’re supposedly extremely desperate for hitting.

    This next part is going to be an unpopular post.

    I would dangle Bruce and see (ONLY SEE) what you can get for him. Inflate the price insanely high (two top twenty prospects, plus another two top hundred, plus a high ceiling, low-floor type). If someone wants to overpay drastically, do it. I know he’s a fan favorite and part of the core of this team, BUT. If you can get more than he’s worth, do it.

    I’d like to put a disclaimer here. I would hate for the Reds to trade Bruce. I WOULD HATE FOR THE REDS TO TRADE BRUCE. But, if the right deal presented itself, I don’t see how you could refuse.

    I think it’s more likely the Reds trade Choo, and we all know how unlikely that is.

    • @rhayex: So you’re saying the Reds should become sellers? I don’t get this. You think that a 4 game lead in the wild card is a bad spot to be in? Cash in the chips and play for next year? There are more than 20 teams that would love to be where the Reds are.

      I get that this year has been disappointing, but I really don’t get the idea that the season is over, when we would be in the post-season if the season ended today.

      • @al: No. I think that if you can get guys that are literally major league ready, and virtually no risk, for a guy who’s an all-star and poised for a breakout season, you do it. Anywhere from 4-6 players (at least one, if not two or more, has star potential and likelihood) who will all likely be starters or at least productive major leaguers, for 3-4 years of Bruce is too tempting to pass up. I understand that from a short-term perspective it’s horrible, but from a long term standpoint, it’s well-worth it (to me).

        But I’m not a GM. Heck, Bruce might be worth a lot more than I think. He might also be worth less. The point is, you simply look at what you can get, and if you can drastically improve your team (whether it’s short-term or long-term) for the right price, you do it.

        I told you it’d be an unpopular post. I also said that I thought it would never happen AND that I would hate to trade Bruce.

        • @rhayex: It’s not unpopular to me because you’re suggesting trading Bruce, it’s unpopular because you’re talking about giving up on this season. If there is any young player that is ready to contribute on a playoff team, he’s probably on that team already.

          Think about it. Non-contenders aren’t going to give up MLB ready prospects. If a contender has a guy like Wil Meyers or Profar, they’re already helping the contender and won’t be moved.

          The only way you could move Bruce or Choo right now is for prospects who aren’t ready to play in the big leagues right now from a contender. Could you do that? Yes. But you wouldn’t be able to replace the production you lost with the talent you gained. Thus, you would be selling on this season because you would be making this team worse. That seems silly to me at this stage.

          • @al: If the season continues like this, with several stertches of doldrums on offense, it’s over. I would not roll the dice on the bats going silent for a one game playoff, IF the team gets there.

            The Reds need to improve what they have on offense. Ludwick is a huge question mark, and no stone should be left unturned to find the right mix.

    • @rhayex: C’mon man. My daydreaming scenario above is more realistic than this.

  40. Also, Rangers are trying to trade their shortstop, Elvis Andrus. 24, .250/.310/.289 this year. Which is horrible; however, his career stats are .271/.338/.343, which is a bit better. He was supposed to be a high ceiling player at one time, if I remember correctly. Did I mention he’s 24?

    I’d think it would take a lot to get him, but at the same time, the Rangers are trying to open a spot for Jurickson Profar to step in. Maybe the Reds could offer a decent deal and get him for (relatively) cheap.

    • @rhayex: He’s owed $100 million. The Reds can’t afford him, especially when he’s been about as bad as Cozart this year.

      • @al: I knew how much he was owed. He just signed an eight year deal, after all. That’s part of why I believe he’ll be fairly cheap for the Reds to acquire (in terms of prospects). That, coupled with his upside, makes him valuable even at that salary.

        I’m not saying it would be a good trade, or that I want the Reds to do it, but I wouldn’t be upset if they did (depending on who was involved).

        • @rhayex: If you get Andrus, there’s no way that you can afford Latos and Bailey. I think Cozart and Latos is worth more than Andrus.

    • @rhayex: A .011 higher career OPS than Cozart in exchange for like $120m? Yeah, no thanks. Would rather use part of that money on extending Choo AND Latos.

  41. Never once did I say that the Reds should become “sellers”. If the Reds were to become sellers, they’d be looking to trade Phillips, Votto, Bruce, Choo, Leake, Arroyo, Bailey, Cueto, most of their bullpen, and probably some others I’ve forgotten right now.

    All I said is that if you can get an incredible deal for Bruce, then you do it. The same is true of Choo. Along with Chapman (but for different reason–ones shared with most of those on this site), those are the only ones I would even think of trading this season.

    Remember, the Reds aren’t a large market team, contrary to what many believe. I don’t believe they’ll be able to resign Choo during this offseason. They’ll eventually need to reload at some point, and the sooner they trade CERTAIN players, the more they’ll receive. That’s why a lot of people are convinced the Reds will eventually trade either Cueto, Leake, Bailey, or Latos–they’ll be too expensive to keep.

    My point is, it’s a seller’s market. If you have a good-hitting outfielder, you can steal a team’s top prospects. If you have a Bruce or Stanton, you can steal a team’s entire farm system.

    I have an extremely long-term view. I want the Reds to stay competitive for as long as humanly possible, and then even longer beyond that. If that means they have to trade a fan-favorite and a homegrown star to acquire elite prospects that they can control for much longer, then so be it. The Rays exemplify this system. They have THE best run FO in baseball, in my opinion. That’s why they’ve managed to stay competitive DESPITE their minuscule payroll, and for far longer than they would have been able to using the “conventional” system that almost every other team uses.

    • @rhayex: Can you give an example of when the Rays have traded one of their star players in the middle of a season that they were contending in?

      What you’re talking about isn’t what the Rays do. They Rays trade guys in the offseason, and they usually get major league-ready talent back that they will use the following year.

      That’s the big difference in what you’re saying, because you’re proposing the Reds trade one of their three best hitters on this years team, only for future gains. That would cripple the Reds chances this year, and thus there is no way that they would or should do it. That’s why it would be “selling.” Because the Reds would be selling off their chance at the World Series this year.

      There’s a mile-wide gap between having the guts to trade a fan favorite in the offseason when you can get a Wil Meyers, and trading Jay Bruce in the middle of a pennant race. Long-term views are good, but not when they sacrifice the present and the present is bright.

    • @rhayex: @rhayex: I did a quick check because I was curious. The Rays have actually been very very quiet in July and August when it comes to trades. This was all I could find on their tranactions website.

      2012: Acquired Ben Francisco.
      2010: Acquired Chad Qualls and Mike Folli.
      2009: Acquired Greg Zaun. Traded Winston Abreu (AAA reliever), then re-signed him in August after he got cut by the Indians.

      So I really see no precedent for what you’re talking about. The closes thing I can come up with was when we traded Kearns and Lopez mid-season. But it seemed like you were talking about getting prospects, and that was a trade for major leaguers.

      • @al: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean in the middle of the season in regards to the Rays. What I meant with Bruce is that he’s immensely valuable, and when I reread my comment, I realized that I sounded like I was only talking about during the trade deadline. I meant that I’d shop him during the offseason, much like the D-backs did with Upton.

        ALso, in regards to Andrus: I didn’t compare the two beforehand. I was just throwing it out there; I knew he’d had some good seasons before this. That, coupled with age and “potential”, was what I meant when I said I wouldn’t hate a trade (again, depending on what we give up).

        • @rhayex: Although, I wouldn’t consider trading him to be punting the season. I’d consider it more as a way to bring in quality prospects AND have more money to resign Choo if need be.

          If it brings in Jurickson Profar, then you can expect slightly worse production, but with more upside.

  42. Anybody else see Dusty’s comment to the AP about not playing Brandon last night: “I like to give the guys from the All-Star team a day off even after they get back after the All-Star game.” … Sheesh!

  43. I liked the idea of kicking the tires on Bautista, although I don’t think there is a chance that would happen. Someone I’d be very intrigued by would be Rasmus. This would have been more realistic a few weeks ago before he got hot (but was still just over 100 OPS+- now around 120). I know the Jays were very down on him entering the year and one of their best prospects is a CF. With that said, I haven’t heard Rasmus’ name mentioned at all so I don’t know if their thinking has changed with him.

    From his end, I can’t imagine him staying in Toronto after next season (3rd year of arbitration). He is from a small town in Alabama and does not seem to like it much there. The attitude problems were there in St. Louis and there have been whispers in Toronto so that is a negative but beggars can’t be choosers.

  44. Pirates just topped the Cardinals 2 – 1 in 11 innings, and took over first place. Cards have dropped 5 in a row.

  45. Do you think that the media will ever start talking about Brandon Phillips bad season. .548 OPS in June, .603 OPS in July. That’s a terrible third of a season. He needs to kick butt in August and September.

  46. Worst baserunning team in baseball.

Comments are closed.

About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


2013 Reds, Believe