2014 Reds

Sweep Sunday

 One of last night’s heroes, Zack Cozart discusses the game with Jim Day (click on image to access video).

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For the third consecutive day, Cozart came through with a hit that broke a tie score. Last night, Cozart singled with two outs in the eleventh inning, igniting the decisive, five-run rally. Cozart also contributed with his glove, recording eleven put outs. The night before, Zack had made an important defensive play ranging far to his right to field a ball and throw off-balance to force Hunter Pence at third base. He and Brandon Phillips teamed up for a slick double play.

⇒ In their Sunday Notes, FanGraphs has a nice long write-up on Reds’ minor league player Jesse Winkler (the second part of the article), including several quotes from the young hitter:

The Cincinnati Reds got one of the best hitters in the 2012 draft when they took Jesse Winker 49th overall out of an Orlando, Florida high school. In just over 1,000 professional plate appearances, the left-handed-hitting outfielder is hitting .300/.407/.492. The 20-year-old was promoted to Double-A Pensacola earlier this month.

⇒ Last week, in the aftermath of an extra inning game and The Horror, the Reds added Jumbo Diaz and Carlos Contreras to the relief corps, and sent Tony Cingrani to the minor leagues. That meant the Reds were carrying eight relievers instead of the usual seven, and four bench players instead of five. Now, a week later, with the bullpen in much better shape (Parra and Contreras haven’t pitched in six days, Hoover in five days, Ondrusek in four), the Reds continue to play short-handed on the bench.

Should the Reds add a position player back to the bench, and if so, who should it be?

⇒ Keep on voting for Todd and Devin and other Reds for the All-Star game. Balloting continues until midnight Thursday. Even if Todd Frazier, for instance, doesn’t end up first in the voting for third base, a strong finish could help build the case for his eventual addition. Post your Sweep Sunday vote tally here:

 

20 thoughts on “Sweep Sunday

  1. Ruben Gotay has played himself into a bench spot. AAA success alone never truly indicates how well a player plays in the big leagues, and he’s had his shot in the big leagues (04-05 with KC, 07-08 with NYM), and he’s had some success…in which he had one season where he was exactly replacement level (07). He plays anywhere in the infield and cannot be worse than any of the bench options we have now, even if he may be just as bad.

  2. “he cannot be worse than any of the bench options we have now, even if he may be just as bad.” That’s the kind of thinking that will really help this ball club.

    • Without trading for a bench bat/starting LFer, there isn’t a much different choice. You bring up a guy who has been struggling for AAA, he won’t succeed in the bigs. You bring up a guy who is hitting with confidence, and the boost of being called up, you may catch lightning in a bottle for a few ABs. You can’t roll with 8 pitchers when your bench is this weak. You just can’t do it.

      Trading for a starting LFer is easily the best option. I’m all about Heisey being the starter, but the Reds are not. Making a move for Alex Rios/Seth Smith/Anyone that isn’t Ryan Ludwick or Skip Schumacher is the way to go. But replacing Ludwick doesn’t seem to be a priority for the Reds.

      • Trading for a quality LFer is the answer for now and the future (3-5 years). It may cost 3 players but if they are all on the 25 man roster (a starter, a relief, a position player) it will open up 2 slots to fill with marginal back ups (1st, infielder LHRP) Tony C’s injury status will have a lot to do with any trade unless Walt goes out and gets Price from Tampa.

        • This is the guy who could answer the question.

          Michael Brantley – Cleveland Indians
          Birthdate: 5/15/1987 (27 y, 1 m, 11 d) Bats/Throws: L/L Height/Weight: 6-2/200 Position: OF
          • $25m / 4 Years (2014 – 2017) + 1 Option Years (Edit)
          o signed by Cleveland Indians on 2/10/2014 (Avoided Arbitration)
          o 2014: $1.5M, 2015: $5M, 2016: $6.5M, 2017: $7.5M
          Results MLB
          2012 MLB PA 609, Rbi 60, Avg. .288, wRC+ 106, WAR 2.7
          2013 MLB PA 611, Rbi 73, Avg. .284, wRC+ 104, WAR 1.7
          2014 MLB PA 320, Rbi 53, Avg. .325, wRC+ 162, WAR 2.9

          2008 AA wRC+ 127, Avg. .319, BABIP .332
          2010 AAA wRC+ 127, Avg. .319 BABIP .312
          2014 MLB wRC+ 162, Avg. .325 BABIP .331

  3. Really gladd to see the official scorers reverse his decision on the error he charged to Phillips. Both Phillips and Cozart are having gold glove caliber seasons at critical defensive positions. That would be so rewarding to see both win a gold glove together. Phillips will almost certainly win another gold glove this season, but Cozart will remain a long shot at SS.

  4. Steve ; In 9 games Winkler has had 30 AB’s, has a .197 BA Let’s see how long it takes for the adjustment before we throw the welcome party.

  5. Winker is having a VERY tough start at AA during his 1st 9 games, but he has certainly maintained his plate discipline and profession approach at the plate while he adjusts to the higher caliber pitching at AA. In 41 PA, Winker is slashing .167/.366/.200 with a SO rate of 19.5% and a BB rate of 24.4%. Winker just needs to start making better contact and driving the ball. Interesting the Delino DeShields moved Winker, the best hitting prospect in the organization, out of the #3 hole and down to the #7 hole, while other hitters were more effective.

    • Sorry about the .197 avg., I must have Lutz on my mind. The plate discipline you mention equates to 10 walks. For a 20 year old to “get it” is a promise for the future.

  6. They need to go out and get a journeyman bench player and not expect some kid or career AAA guy to be a significant contributor off the bench.

  7. How great would it be to see Homer really step up big-time today and blank those Giants?

    • There is no reason for Homer to not be able to do it. Simon has shown what can be done by “pitching” and not throwing. Homer is Homers only enemy.

      • Agree on all three points. Homer has the stuff, work ethic, and desire; now all that is left is getting it done. Lord willing, today he will.

        • In the “Hamilton” discussion with Eric, his assessing losses to Billy without mentioning the bullpen crisis seemed a little too one sided as far as assessing blame for losses. AAA is like boot camp you can learn how to shoot but not until you get shot at will you learn about soldiering and how to respond. The Majors may not be the best place to learn the game but it will teach you about survival and Billy looks like he is getting that lesson down.

        • From April 15th to the 30th, here are Hamilton’s numbers: .333/.364/.431.

          If he cost them “any” games in the first half of April, he should have made it up in the second half. Some people won’t let go and I really don’t get it but oh well. Good points, George.

          From April 15th until now, .309/.339/.409. Okay it’s not Mike Trout but it isn’t horrible either (eyes raised to the heavens).

  8. I say the bullpen at eight strong. We are scoring well on offense and our starting pitching is dominating. Why change what isnt broken?

  9. I do not understand the continued call for the Reds to trade for a LF. No they do not have an immediate replacement for Ludwick/Heisey/Schumaker, but several of the team’s best prospects are guys who may be able to move in in the next two years.
    That said, I think the Reds are and should be looking to move a couple of relievers, either out or down. I would bet that Jocketty is looking at LH relievers. Although, if the starters keep doing their jobs, the relief core will not be as important.

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