Final R H E
Milwaukee Brewers (52-36)
1 7 0
Cincinnati Reds (44-42)
0 2 0
W: Matt Garza (6-5)   L: Homer Bailey (8-5)
Box Score | Stats | Depth Chart | FanGraphs Win Probability


The Good

Much like Mat Latos in San Diego the other day, Homer Bailey pitched very, very well–and got zero run support. Homer’s line today: 8.0 IP, 7 H, 1R, 4 BB, 8 K. In Homer’s previous 8 starts heading into today, his ERA was 3.38, xFIP: 3.22, K/9: 8.10 and BB/9: 2.36. This is more like the Homer Bailey we expected this year.

Jumbo Diaz pitched a clean ninth.

Jay Bruce started two relay plays that resulted in outs at the plate, keeping the Reds in the game. As always, the defense shines.


The Bad

None of the above was enough.

The Ugly

This Offense. It’s offensive. The Reds have been shut out 3 times this week.

Not so random thoughts …

The Reds could really have jump-started things with a sweep of the Brewers, but all is not lost. I’ll take a series win tomorrow and some serious beating up of the Cubs over the following 4 days. If the Reds can cut a couple of more games off this lead by the All Star break, that would be ideal.

As Joey’s quad continues to betray him, it’s going to be interesting to see what the front office’s timeline is for putting the former MVP on the DL. Do they make a trade for another bat that can plug the hole in the offense while Votto rests and hope a few weeks of convalescence can get Votto healthy in time for a September run? Second, what are the Reds willing to give up to bring in a bat that can make a difference, if anything?

One thing is sure: the Reds cannot sit and wait too much longer. This offense is killing any chance of a prolonged winning streak.

115 Responses

  1. Kurt Frost

    Call Todd Helton and beg him to come back.

    • Redsfan48

      While that will never happen, the Reds could and should make a serious run at acquiring another Colorado Rockie-shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Colorado has seemed open to trading Tulo and Tulowitzki himself basically said yesterday that he would like to be traded to a contender. Sure, the Reds would have to give up a lot, but they have some minor league prospects that could really tempt Colorado. Think of a trade structured around Jesse Winker and Robert Stephenson. They could even kill 2 birds with one stone and ship Cozart to Colorado as a throw-in so Colorado would have a new shortstop.

      • Redsfan48

        Tulowitzki? The best shortstop in the game? Well worth it.

      • Redsfan48

        Plus, do you know how much money the Reds will earn from hosting the All Star game next year? A lot. Invest that into good players

  2. Larry1980

    They need to do something. It feels like they take 2 steps forward they take 2 steps back. This looks like the offense of April and May this week.

  3. jcredlegs

    Reds now firmly ensconced in 4th place. I truly believe the thing to do is start to break this core up. Trading Bruce, Cueto and Chapman before August 1st would bring back quite a haul of MLB ready and near-MLB ready talent. Time to pull the trigger and do something to shake this thing up Walt!

    • drew

      Aint happening as you dont have to win the division to make the playoffs.

      • jcredlegs

        I’d still do it because the team as currently constructed (including the incompetent manager) is going nowhere fast.

    • Eric NYC

      June blew that chance. It is the smart option but instead they’ll hold out hopes to scrape into the playoffs this year. This team is dangerously close to a black hole of half a decade. Tough decisions looming. The next week could well determine the next 10 years.

      • eric nyc

        How is what? This team is looking at a huge crossroads over the next 2 years in terms of how it is going to use its resources. Cueto, Latos, and Leake all looking at free agency. Bruce’s contract coming up. Votto’s big money years looming. Little to no organizational depth. This year’s trade deadline could be, in retrospect a few years from now, enormously important to how this team is constructed. It’s looking more and more likely that at the deadline this year we will be hovering somewhere around the lower levels of possibly contending for a wild card play-in game. The way Bud Selig wants it, we’d go all in for the chance to play that one stupid coin toss of a game. If we were smart, we’d be looking at the next 5 years and realize Cueto, Latos, Bruce, and Chapman could land us a gold mine of prospect talent.

      • jessecuster44

        Prospects are just that. Prospects. I think the Reds should go all in and try to win the Division this year, because given the reality you predict, the next few yrs for this team are going to be lean.

      • eric nyc

        We’re not winning the division this year. The math just doesn’t add up. A sweep this weekend would have made it more likely, but as of now we’ll be going into the break down half a dozen games and I just don’t see where we make that up without Votto and a half-productive Bruce at best.

    • Redsfan48

      This is not a team in a rebuilding stage. If they acquire a new left fielder or solid shortstop (see above), they could still not only make a run at the playoffs, but go deep into the playoffs. Their chance to win is now. Don’t give it up for some minor league prospects

  4. drew

    There is no chance Walt makes any move to cover the issue of first base. They will patch with what they have in house.

    • jessecuster44

      There is NOTHING of value in house.

      • drew

        You dont think cuteo or simon or Broxton or champan have no value?

      • jessecuster44

        Not as an offensive replacement for Votto. I like the trade idea… Simon or Chapman, or both.

  5. Tae Yun

    Cubs aren’t a walk over if we continue this offense that is non-existent

  6. ToddAlmighty

    Trade? We don’t need no stinkin trade! All praise the eventual return of Jack Hannahan! Salvation of Redleg baseball.

  7. BigRedMike

    The Reds main Left Fielders have a combined negative WAR

    Hamilton has a higher slugging % than todays 4 and 5 hitters and the “power” bat of Ludwick

    Not sure what the Reds can do, no help in the minors

  8. Eric NYC

    All throughout the big June surge I’ve been worried that the smoke and mirrors wins this team has been putting up couldn’t be sustained. Look at the batting lines for all of the key players and it’s amazing we’re only as far back as we are. How Walt thinks this team can win games with an ineffective Votto and Bruce because somehow Skip Schumaker is going to grit it out and Billy Hamilton is going to be the best rookie leadoff hitter ever is beyond me. There are all of TWO everyday players with a wRC+ of over 100 if you exclude Votto. The offense is a mess and there really aren’t any trade scenarios that make sense for immediate relief. Where do these guys think wins are going to come from? Jack Hannahan? Yikes.

  9. RedAlert

    Man, he sure has fooled us all in
    the redleg nation with his so- called “GM prowess”

    • drew

      Yankees designate Alfonso Soriono….Reds new LF?

  10. WVRedlegs

    Man, that Chicago Cubs-Oakland A’s trade is good for the Reds. They don’t have to face Smardijian and Hammels in those 5 upcoming games. Timing was very fortunate. With the Reds offense stuck in non-production mode, every little bit helps.

  11. 666wolverine

    Bailey had an excellent outing!!! 2 great plays at the plate!! Just got out pitched today. This happens in this game.

    • Eric NYC

      No. Getting 2 hit by Matt Garza does not just “happen” in this game. This offense is running in fumes while we continue to pretend that Votto is healthy enough to hit and Bruce can bounce back from surgery. Up and down the lineup is a graveyard of terrible slash lines. Getting shut out three times in a week is no statistical anomaly, we just have a terrible offensive baseball team right now. And I would be shocked if Walt did anything about it. If anything we’ll find a way to get another reliever.

      • 666wolverine

        Reds have been making bums look like Cy Young all year long. I’m to the point now to just accept it as the norm now with this team! Yes I know it’s not the norm in this game w most other mlb clubs but with this offense it is the norm to make chumps look like Cy Young.

      • jessecuster44

        Reds have been making bums look like Cy Young for going on three years now.

  12. droomac

    Here is my fear of fears. . . The Reds stay close enough in the hunt to tempt Walt into making a fooling “buyer’s” move. To me, a few things seem clear:

    1. Frazier, Hamilton, and Mesoraco are what we hoped they would be and should continue to be in the years to come.
    2. Votto and Bruce, key to any true playoff hopes the Reds have, are not themselves and will not be so until ’15.
    3. The Reds could bring a veritable haul with a couple of trades. Judging from what the Cubs just got from the A’s, the Reds could get rich quick when it comes to young talent.

    As much as I hate to say it, I am halfway hoping for a ten game losing streak to convince Walt to send Cueto, Simon, Chapman, Broxton, and Phillips packing. BP and Broxton won’t bring much, but the salary relief would be nice and the other three could give the Reds top level, low cost prospects.

    • drew

      Sorry but that is just sad view in my opinion. ..

      • renbutler

        Yep. Anybody who hopes for a ten-game losing streak (full or half hope) has no business posting on that team’s fan site.

      • 666wolverine

        reds starting pitching is too good for any such losing streak thank goodness!!!!!

      • RedAlert

        Yep – can’t agree with that view – certainly don’t want a 10 game losing streak as a prelude to a fire sale -I am as frustrated as everyone else with this team but will always root for then to win and remain in contention

      • ohiojimw

        The starting pitching won’t be too good for anything if the slash and burners had their way…..

        Why would anyone want to blow the team up when what they need to compete for the playoffs this year is one good bat. Yes, they would still have a bunch of sad bats even with one additional good one but the so called smoke and mirrors of June happened in large part because they had a week to 10 days of pretty good Votto and another couple of weeks of OK Votto. Sadly that tank is now empty.

    • jessecuster44

      And then what? “Rebuild” for a couple of years? did you enjoy 2004-2008, after the last fire sale?

      • jcredlegs

        This bunch has been stuck in 2nd gear since Game 3 of the 2012 NLDS. It’s time to break up the core and freshen things up.

      • jessecuster44

        You can break up the core without rebuilding.

    • sezwhom

      Anything is possible since the Reds can’t hit but with Cueto, Leake, Latos, Simon and Bailey, then Brox and Chap on the back end, highly unlikely we’d experience a 10-game losing streak. The sad fact is it’s painful to watch Votto bat. Wish and hope he gets better probably won’t mask the truth: he’s hurting the team. Well, that and Bruce in a deep funk too.

  13. Long Distance Reds Fan

    The offense is, has been, and will be a disaster until something significant is done. I know, I know, Walt Jocketty is asleep at the wheel, but maybe, just maybe he’s got a big time deal in the works. Article on Yahoo Sports talks about how Troy Tulowitzki wants to play for a team with a chance at making the playoffs every year. Who better than the Reds?

    Move Cozart/SP (and recall Cingrani)/Bruce or Chapman for Tulo and a mid-level prospect.

    I know people on here love Bruce, but he is what he is (a very good hitter when he’s hot, and an 0 for train when he’s not.


    That lineup is undeniably a significant upgrade.

    • 666wolverine

      I would love this line-up but Walt isn’t going to do a thing for this club!!!

    • jessecuster44

      You didn’t mention Bruce’s defense. Anyone else think is has slipped over the last few years?

      • eric nyc

        Did you see him today? Bruce is an elite defensive RF. I wish he was hitting better, but his recovery from this surgery has been phenomenal. Any of us would still be on crutches. He’s playing GG caliber major league baseball.

      • jessecuster44

        Did not see him today. So his defense is why he’s valuable – like Cozart. With this management, they won’t move players who can defend.

      • jcredlegs

        None of us are world-class athletes either. He’s healthy. I think Bruce has become what he’s going to be and it’s not good enough. Trade him now while he still has some value to someone.

      • Long Distance Reds Fan

        I am not saying Bruce is not a good player, even a Gold Glove caliber RFer and will be for a long time to come. But offensively he is what he is, and this lineup can’t afford for one of its cornerstone players to be so inconsistent. I would wish Bruce nothing but the best, but I think he may be a guy that needs to be replaced if the Reds are going to get past their offensive woes.

      • eric nyc

        Bruce had the exact same injury and procedure that Votto had. Everyone recognized when Votto came back that he wouldn’t be whole for months. For some reason Bruce doesn’t get that same benefit of the doubt? He’s not going to hit for his usual power the rest of this year and right now he’s adjusting and still basically rehabbing on the job. It’s not ideal, but he has to do it. It was naive for anyone to think he was going to come back right away and not have any cold spells. You’re right – Bruce is what he is. And what he is is one of the more productive offensive OF’ers in the NL and easily one of the best defensive ones. He’s never going to be the MVP caliber player he was hyped as a prospect, but he’s good for 2-3 WAR every year and at the moment we’re not even paying him THAT much. Any team in baseball would love to have Jay Bruce at his current price. Injuries happen – give him a little time.

        Oh, and comparing him to Cozart? Not as crazy as you’d think. They both end up being worth about the same WAR even though Cozart’s wRC+ is a good 40 points lower. That’s how good Cozart’s defense is and how valuable defense is to the SS position. In terms of value, Cozart might be the biggest steal on the team in the long term, assuming Frazier gets a fat raise. Arbitrators don’t tend to give guys much credit for defense.

    • ToddAlmighty

      -First off, that’s a disgusting outfield.
      -Secondly, that’s an old roster (only Hamilton and Mesoraco under 28).
      -Thirdly, Tulo is hitting .265/.367/.463 on the road and .441/.522/.765 at home. Outside of Coors, he’s a good, but certainly not great hitter this year. Ridiculous home split skews his season.

  14. 666wolverine

    If they lose tomorrow and lose 2 or get swept by P then I say we are going to be sellers. Put Votto on the DL now since he’s hurting himself and the team now w his injury issues. Walt isn’t going to do a single thing I fear…..

  15. Whoa Bundy!

    Votto and BP need to bat in different places. Votto is too hurt to bat third and no is In a decline.

  16. Big Red Ghost in this Machine

    Find someone who can up with a reasonable plan for 2015.

  17. eric nyc

    There was something in the latest Fay article that really struck home with me in regards to Walt. It’s something I haven’t been able to quite put my finger on until now but seems pretty palpable in recent weeks.

    “I made my baseball decisions. I am a smart baseball mind. Therefore, my baseball decisions must be sound and I will wait until they start paying off.”

    I can’t imagine any other rationale for running Votto out until he can’t walk anymore just to wait for Jack Hannahan to come to the rescue with his 83 career OPS+. I can’t understand spending every last trade chip, draft pick, and FA dollar over the last 5 years on pitchers when we consistently struggle to score runs. Odds are we will miss the playoffs this year, sadly, and as this sad season unwinds I think Bob will have a similar reaction to Walt’s ineptitude as he had to Dusty’s wildcard performance last fall. This division isn’t going to get any easier when over the next few years as the Cubs grow into their new TV contract…

    • drew

      Walt can point to all injuries as to why they didn’t make the playoffs. …

      • jcredlegs

        Nearly every team can point to injury problems.

      • eric nyc

        Point at them to who? Bob is getting impatient. That was clear after the Dusty firing. He wasn’t going to clear house with his manager and GM in one offseason, but if this team’s inept lack of depth leads to them missing the playoffs this year I don’t think he hesitates for a second firing Walt.

      • jcredlegs

        I’m pretty sure WJ is gone in any case. His contract is done and I suspect Big Bob will not offer him again unless the Reds make a WS appearance. So, essentially, we are dealing with a lame duck GM.

      • drew

        No chance. Given the payroll structure and injuries Bob will see what Walt is selling and understand seasons like this happen.

    • jessecuster44

      … Like the decision to wait for Ludwick last year? Few of WJ’s in season decisions have been sound.

      • eric nyc

        I’m just some idiot baseball fan posting on the internet, but watching Moneyball it occured to me that in-season trades are simply REALLY REALLY HARD because of the tight window while offseason trades are substantially easier to negotiate. It’s almost as if it takes someone with a tangible skill to pull off in-season trades (Billy Beane, Theo Epstien) while pretty much anyone with a MLB owner’s checkbook can scrum their way through an offseason negotiation.

  18. jessecuster44

    last year it was fire Dusty. This year it is fire Walt. What will it be next year… Fire sale?

    Given the look on Big Bob’s face last October, I really don’t understand how what is happening is being allowed to happen.

    Joey Votto may seriously injure himself if he keeps playing – he has to be shut down. It is clear that with or without Votto, the Reds need more offense, and have a surplus of pitching – so logically they should trade some of that pitching for a better bat.

    Yet there is no indication that either of these two things will happen.

    This team is so close to being great… But it’s like management won’t take the last step to realize it.

    How many more 1-0 losses will it take?

    • eric nyc

      What he said.

      For the last 5 years this team’s mantra has been “Acquire great pitching.” Well we did that at the expense of making sure we had any kind of offensive depth and now here we are in the heat of summer losing games 1-0 to a divisional rival. It’s almost like statistics matter and logical outcomes end up coming to pass. In fairness to Walt, the Joey they signed should be breaking batting records and Jay Bruce should be pushing 40 HR’s so it’s not entirely his fault that we are where we are, but this bullheaded insistence on not trying to fix the problems that bad luck have created make him look like like an idiot.

      • drew

        You are assuming they are not trying.

      • jessecuster44

        They may be trying, but not hard enough for me. Maybe hard enough for them.

      • Eric nyc

        Well Walt just said that they aren’t looking for any alternatives at 1B because that’s what he signed Jack Hannahan for. Replacing the most important hitter in your lineup with a journeyman defensive replacement with a career OPS+ of 83 just because he’s already on the payroll sure sounds like not trying to me. Improving your OF offensive production by giving Skip Schumaker more starts sure sounds like not trying to me.

    • ohiojimw

      Yes, we can hope but having held this high powered Brewers offense to 3 runs over two games, they’ve got to feel their prospects for putting multiple innings of crooked numbers on the board is pretty good too.

  19. ohiojimw

    I read over the comments and was thinking what there might remain for a person to add without just piling on. I think it is this. Three losses in a five game span where the winning teams have averaged less than 2 runs per game fairly shout out that the Reds offense is in need of a boost (to say the least); but that’s not really news.

    Going a step further, In light of these three shutouts in 5 games, I think if the organization expects to maintain the confidence and support of the fans, the time has come for the org to make a move or explain to the fans why they choose not to make a move and what the long term plan is to solve the problem.

    • 666wolverine

      The organization just needs to come clean w us fans!!! Just say “hey fanbase we’re a small market club and we’re never going to be ws contenders and all of our money is tied up w injured and aging players that nobody else wants. Sorry we traded off our farm system for this pitching revolution that we tried like past teams did w success. Sorry but luck isn’t on our side! Please continue to buy the product that we’re selling you!” P.S. At least Mike Brown isn’t in the reds office also!!!!

      • Eric nyc

        Alonzo, Gregorious, Grandal, Stubbs. That’s just off the top of my head. Any of those guys would be invaluable depth for this team right now if not upgrades to starters. Beyond that, the huge money we committed to relief pitching over the past 5 years is money that couldn’t be spent on bolstering offensive depth.

      • drew

        Hasnt one been suspended a couple of times another a strike out machine another stuck in the minors and the final being just average. Sorry but none of those names makes me upset we traded them given what we got in return.

      • eric nyc

        We have ZERO depth right now. Stubbs > Schumaker. Grandal > Pena. Alonzo > Hannahan. Gregorious > Santiago (and probably Cozart). You can’t just say “Well none of those guys would be starting so they’re worthless to us.” We traded all of our depth and young offensive prospects and now we are stuck with what we’re looking at now. Those two things are connected. It’s not a controversial statement that this organization has put a premium on acquiring pitching over the last 5 years. Walt wouldn’t argue with that statement at all. It was a deliberate tactic that succeeded in assembling a fantastic starting rotation, but a marginal and vastly overpaid bullpen. It is also a tactic that left us incredibly vulnerable if any of our cornerstone offensive players was injured or became ineffective. And in the last 2 years we’ve seen massive losses in production from Votto, Bruce, Ludwick, and BP. So basically Walt gambled. He put his money on pitching knowing it left him exposed if he had some bad luck offensively. And it looks like he’s losing that bet right now.

  20. Jake

    This team has been extremely frustrating this year. Mostly great pitching, and when the bats are alive watch out. Then we turn around and lose with a few hits while making the pitcher look like Cy Young

  21. 666wolverine

    If Walt actually makes a trade it will be for another utility player like we need another one of these!!!!! Ugh!!!

  22. charlottencredsfan

    Is anyone else reminded of Kirk Gibson but without the HR when watching JV? Hard to imagine he isn’t damaging his leg further by playing but apparently the experts are saying, “no problem”.

    • ohiojimw

      Maybe from Votto’s point of view, the no problem is that the contract is guaranteed and he figures if they want to spend their $200M plus to have him stagger around on one leg till he breaks something else, it is their money and their choice.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Yes but it affects all of our happiness and the Reds would be very wise to take this into consideration. For those that believe Bob C’s budget is a bottomless pit, this is not a problem. To the realist, this is a mega-disaster in the making. If the Reds end up holding a $200M contract that has little value, oh boy. Got to believe he will be shut-down sooner than later as it is borderline ludicrous.

        Let the guy try recovery until ST and let’s see what he has in the tank. If he shows anything of value, I’m dealing him. Wonder how well Bob & Walt are sleeping?

      • ohiojimw

        I think I’ve always figured that at some point JV would end up back home (Toronto) as a DH even though he does live the life of an ex-pat now by wintering in Florida just like a lot of other Canadians who can also afford to do so.

        If he is really healthy next spring, I think he is money in the bank to be held on to. If not then it might be time to call the Jays and see what bad contract they might want to swap for him.

      • charlottencredsfan

        That is a very big bet and given his recent health issues, one I wouldn’t be willing to make. At best, he could be a great #2 hitter with a bad glove and zero speed. Not a total loss but worth the large slice of the team’s total salary that he is going to be paid?

        If we are sunk at the ASB, Simon should be put on the market to see what he could bring; probably Broxton as well. Cubs seem to have a decent game plan and it is not far fetched to see the current Reds, next season, as the 5th best team in the division as well as the oldest and highest paid – this would not be a pretty picture.

      • eric nyc

        Well they can’t MAKE him play. If he felt he was in too much physical pain to play he could say that and they wouldn’t send him out there. If anything I think we’re just seeing Joey being too loyal of a soldier. He takes that contract DEADLY seriously and he puts an awful lot of pressure on himself to earn that money. That’s just who he is and Price and the trainers have to realize that in a lot of cases Joey will put the team over his own physical best interests and that’s not good for anybody. No one wants to see Ramon Santiago in the starting lineup every day, but I don’t know how Price can keep watching how much obvious pain Joey is in, regardless of what he says once he’s back in the dugout, without feeling like a sadist for continuing to let him hurt himself like this. It would be one thing if he was even helping the team but he’s not even doing that. Right now he’s costing the team wins. I can’t for the life of me figure out why no one is doing anything about it.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Especially Bob C – it’s his thoroughbred. What to do, what to do.

        I’m with Cossack, if the well is dry of $$$’s, bring up Soto and give him the job. He gets > 6-8 weeks to show what he has. Without a healthy JV, this team is not built to win, That’s it, he is the stir, the motor. As we did see in when he first got back from the DL, he makes all the difference. My fear, is if he ends up being a 2 – 3 WAR player, will it be enough given the resources of the team’s budget he consumes? Not a happy thought.

      • eric nyc

        If Joey ends up a 2-3 WAR player then his contract will be crippling to this team. Full stop. It will be Griffey all over again. I’m not ready to concede that outcome, though. His play when he came back from the surgery in 2012 and then his rehab year last year still showed an elite hitter. I think what we’re seeing now is the result of him over-training in the offseason. But I do think he needs to be shut down now. If overwork put him in this state then there’s no way what’s happening now isn’t making it worse. I’ll actually be shocked if he’s in the lineup today. I think there’s going to be some heavy meetings at GABP over the break.

      • drew

        Because he is joey votto…what part of that dont you see.

  23. redsfan06

    I’m not ready to throw in the towel on this season. The team sure has been frustrating with it’s one step forward, one step backward play. Which is exactly what a .500 caliber team does.

    With the quality of pitching the Reds have, I would hate to see it squandered by a fire sale now. Pitching like this can win playoff games and the Reds haven’t made that many appearances in the post season over the last few decades. If they can make one key trade, that’s a different story.

  24. Redgamer

    Does anyone realize that this same exact team will cost 150 million next season? They will be forced to make a move this offseason. Even worse, without a move we could lose Cueto, Latos, and Leake for nothing after next year! Our window is rapidly closing, if not past as we speak.

    • drew

      You seem to think the Reds owners are cheap? The monies are there to sign two of the three SP and you move the other to fill need. This team just spent 27 million on a basically unknown commodity from cuba. ..the money is there.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Spending a $150M on the roster (2015) is hardly “cheap”. Spending that money and possibly finishing 4th, does not beg to spend more. It cries out for reallocating the $150M in a more productive manner. It is not the money being spent that’s the problem, it’s where it’s spent.

      • drew

        If both votto and bruce were 100 percent and performaning near thier career average do u think the reds would have the same record?

      • charlottencredsfan

        Heck no but their not. The Reds have tied up a lot of money in a few players at the expense of having a deeper roster. They get another shot at it soon with Cueto. Everyone is jumping off a bridge unless Walt brings someone in. Have they ever considered that the budget is busted and there are no decent options?

      • eric nyc

        It’s true – We can’t use the “small market” excuse anymore. We’re 11th in all of baseball in total payroll and will easily move into the top 10 next year when Vottos’ contract takes off and several other players receive big arbitration bumps. But Cueto is looking at a Verlander-esque contract and I don’t think we can afford THAT. Latos might be slightly more affordable. The injury might end up keeping his price tag low enough to extend. So the question really becomes when do you start shopping Cueto?

  25. Eric the Red

    The Brewers have scored two runs this series. Should they blow up their team? Trade all their pitchers for one decent bat? Fire their GM? Geez, people….

    • charlottencredsfan

      Brewers have been in 1st place nearly the whole season. I don’t think your comparison holds up. If the shoe was on the other foot, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  26. Shchi Cossack

    Wow. The Old Cossack wqas relegated to the infirmary ward yesterday while Mrs. Cossack managed the farm. I was expecting some harsh comments this morning, but nothing like this. The Old Cossack is on record, and has been for some time, that the prospects for the 2014 Reds making the playoffs is remote at best, but blowing up this team and starting over? That’s shear folly. I hope the Reds can make a run in 2014 that takes them to the post season, but I think Richard summed up the prospects for 2014 succintly, “One Step Foward, One Step Back.” We all know Votto is not healthy and will not be healthy until 2015. We all know (but many seem to forget) that Bruce was injured and ineffective for the 1st 2 months. We all know Hamilton struggled early in the season and continues to learn on the job. We all know the Reds need a serious bat for LF. We all know know the Reds starting pitching staff can match up with the best in MLB. Blow the team up? That sounds like an emotional, knee-jerk reaction to me.

    Based on his performance in managing the 40-man roster, the 25-man roster and the DL over the past several seasons, Walt Jocketty has failed miserably. Based on his repeated aquisitions of aging, over-the-hill, weak-hitting utility players and aging St. Louis rejects over the past several seasons, Walt Jocketty has failed. Walt Jocketty’s contract is up after the 2014 season. It’s time to move move on to a new era with a new GM. The touchy problem with hiring a new GM is the the presence of Bryan Price as a 1st year manager, but I think Bryan has the professional ability to work positively with a new GM, unlike the previous manager.

    If a GOOD deal for a LF bat can be made before the trade deadline, go for it, but don’t mortgage the future since reenforcements from the minor league system are getting close. A more likely alternative is signing a bat to a one-year contract in the off season to bridge the gap to the upcoming minor league talent.

    Sit Votto now. If September rolls around and the Reds are in the thick of the race, then give Votto a chance to see if the rest can carry him trough the end of the season, otherwise Votto rests his leg for the next four months and then begins a supervised, off-season rehab and strengthening program to get him ready for 2015.

    Jumbo has already inserted himself into the back end of the bullpen, so the bullpen has excess baggage with guaranteed contracts in middle relief. Trade some middle relief bullpen arms for whatever return can be garnered. If Phillips can be moved for a good return, pull the trigger, but don’t give away his defensive impact.

    Promote Neftali Soto to play 1B every day in Votto’s absence and Felix Perez as a LH platoon LF. Let’s see what they can do against major league pitching with regular playing time.

    Start working out Mesoraco in LF & 1B. He’s athletic enough to handle either of those positions in an effort to keep his bat in the lineup and give him a mental and physical break from catching going forward.

    I hope Latos can throw a gem today and someone wearing a wishbone C can plate a run so the Reds can at least take the series from the Brew Crew.

    • eric nyc

      I don’t think anyone in this thread is suggesting “blowing the team up.” I don’t even think it would be possible if you wanted to. Votto and BP are untradeable. Bruce could bring value but no one is suggesting trading Bruce. Hamilton is clearly the CF for the next 5+ years at least. But what people ARE suggesting is that, given that the Reds have an obvious surplus in one category (pitching) and an obvious deficiency in another (offense) that it would sure make sense to start to dip into one to help the other. If Votto and Bruce were healthy we’d likely be at or near the top of the division, but they’re not and neither will likely be this year. Votto should be shut down right now – he’s not helping anyone.

      So what’s being suggested is finding an upgrade for LF, possibly SS, and some bench hitting. In a critical late inning AB yesterday we sent Brayan Pena to the plate as our first bat off the bench. That ain’t gonna cut it. If Alfredo Simon could bring you a decent LF you have to make that move. And if we completely fall out of the race by the end of the month, then you have to start thinking about dealing Cueto because he could bring you a wealth of near MLB ready talent that could be starting next year. That’s not blowing up the team, it’s just managing resources a bit more efficiently.

      • ohiojimw

        I believe the signing of Iglesias puts the Reds into a position trade a pitching prospect or two they wouldn’t have considered trading prior. They clearly see him as a starter (irony of ironies when compared to Chapman’s situation). The fact they have assigned Iglesias to AAA would indicate they see him as MLB ready NLT the middle to end of 2015. I think they should lock down Iglesias and one other starting prospect (presumably this would be Stephenson from what we hear) then tell potential suitors the market is open. What the Reds want in return is a legitimate outfield or 3B bat (I am willing to move Frazier to LF which some might not want to do).

      • eric nyc

        I thought they sent Iglesias to AA.

        As for Frazier, he’s a terrific defender. Depending on what 3B you got, I’d consider moving just about anyone else to LF before screwing with our current infield defense.

    • ohiojimw

      Cossack, I’m sorry to hear you weren’t felling well. I hope you understood my questioning of your desire to throw in the towel for 2014 wasn’t meant as an attack. I am just interested in knowing why you would walk away from a chance to get into the play offs when the Reds are right in the middle of a scrum of variously flawed and injured teams looking for those two WC spots. As I said yesterday, the Reds have a starting staff to match any other so a person has to think they might win a few games if they can get their foot in the door (and their head up record versus the other contenders over the last 5 weeks suggests just that).

      I’d much rather try to trade for a legitimate bat to make a run this year from a position of known strengths (starting pitching, back end of the pen, team defense) than tinker and tamper in hopes of coming up with something better for 2015.

      BTW if this were 2015 and the Reds were in the same position and playing as erratically as now with Cueto, Latos, and Leake in line to become FA’s in 2 months, I would be a bit more inclined to see things your way.

    • SrRedFan

      Finally, a voice of reason. But late-breaking news would indicate that we’ll be seeing a whole bunch of Pena at 1st Base!

      • SrRedFan

        Oops! Paternity leave? Paternity leave!!?! Brayan, you need paternity leave…? Good grief… What’s next?

    • mikemartz

      Shchi is good…..Shchi is wise!

    • George Mirones

      Some random thoughts;
      Maybe what we are all talking about is a “garage sale”. This would allow the Reds to put some used but still useful items out there for teams to look at and make an offer. The discussion about core players is ongoing but the one name that keeps coming up is J. Bruce. I just reviewed the article on Bruce’s hitting approach. What we are seeing from him is what he basically admits to. Every at bat is all or nothing
      Bruce says,”,A big component of that for me, is if I do get that pitch, the at-bat should be over. If I get a pitch that I’m looking for and I miss it, the at-bat should be over.”
      He also adds this gem;
      “I don’t look at a lot of myself, video-wise. I don’t spend a ton of time looking at sequences necessarily from pitchers.”
      I guess I would not look at my at bats either because I might find out that it’s me, not them, who needs the fix. This isn’t an attack on Bruce but it does indicate that he is happy where he is at and he is very politically correct when speaking to the press.
      Back to the garage sale. Whenever the talk about acquiring a “bat” starts, to me, that means you have little confidence in the guys who are supposed to be doing it can’t. It is obvious that trading frontline starters for unproved talent is like going to Vegas for the rent money that was due yesterday. Some of the Reds “used items” are not valuable and may actually need to be sold off just to make space for new stuff. I can also add that the playoffs in 2014 are a chance but what are you willing to bet that it happens. Core players like Philips, Bruce, need to have MVP last halves of the season. Mez, Todd, Hamilton and Cozart need to continue to grow and perform. Those six can cover up Votto’s short comings. If Philips, Bruce, step up big, Votto can be platooned and rested using Soto as a fill in. The issue of those 2 players is the difference for the Reds playoff hopes. Are they the difference makers? How much money will you bet that they can? The Reds are not loaded at AAA or AA so which ever Team has something we need it will cost a frontline pitcher. Hope and change are what drives a fans loyalty and last year a wise man wrote about being “emotionally invested in the Reds” being the cause of heart attacks and divorce. Walt has his shortcomings as we all do but at this time he may be taking the approach that these two guys (Philips, Bruce) on paper have the skills now let’s see if they can use them when it counts.

  27. Matt

    From 1996-2006, there was an average of nearly twelve 40 home run hitters a year. From 2007-2013, there have been an average of four with no more than 6 in one year.

    Since PEDs have been weeded out, the Cubs have been stockpiling young hitters. They are harder and harder to find. Meanwhile, the Reds have exasperated all of their minors. They are devoid of any true young sluggers and have hamstrung themselves to aging players.

    The Reds are in a tough place. They have about 89 million committed next year. Probably close to 35-38 million in arbitration eligible players you’d want to keep (Chapman, Latos, Leake, Frazier, Mesoraco). Cueto will command money after next year. So the Reds might as well go for it.

  28. daytonnati

    One wonders where we would be if:

    Walt had NOT signed Aroldis Chapman? The baseball royalty, Red Sox, Yankees, etc. all passed on Chapman. Walt went with his gut. 6 years/ $30 million. Good deal?

    Walt had NOT signed Joey to the large deal? Would the fanbase be criticizing Walt for letting, at that point in time, the second best first baseman in the game get away? I guess we’d have Yonder Alonso at first base now? If Alonso was at first base, who would we have had to add to the package to San Diego to acquire Mat Latos? Would we have Mat Latos? Would Edinson Volquez still be a Red? Would Yasmani Grandel be fighting it out with Ryan Hannigan at catcher? For that matter, what if Walt had decided Hannigan was the catcher of the future and dealt Mesoraco?

    Walt HAD broken the bank to extend Shin Soo Choo? Hamilton would have begun the season in Louisville because you would not want him to be brought up to sit the bench. Plus, we’d be on the hook for over $100 million to SSC and CF would be blocked for years. Heck, what if Walt had not made the deal to rent Choo for the year? Would we still have Drew Stubbs and Didi Gregorius on the roster?

    Walt had NOT traded third-baseman of the future, Juan Francisco, to the Braves for JJ Hoover? We certainly would probably not have missed JJ (yet), but we surely would have missed Todd Frazier.

    Walt had NOT re-upped BP for five years at $12 mil per? Would Frazier be our current second baseman? If so, who would be playing third? Would Cozart, be at second, with Gregorius at SS? Would they have pulled off the BP for Dan Uggla deal?

    Walt had decided Hannigan was the catcher of the future and dealt Mesoraco?

    Walt had NOT signed Alfred Simon off the scrap heap? He was out there, available to anybody. He’s probably going to the All-Star game next week. How much is he costing?

    Walt had NOT signed Homer Bailey for 6 years at $105 million? We’re getting Homer until 2020 for less than $20 mil a year. It’s not a bad deal. If Homer becomes the Homer of the last two starts for four starts out of every five, he will be woefully underpaid. A tremendous bargain. If not, a very inexpensive acquisition by a pennant contender down the road. The problem is, when you make those deals, you don’t know ahead of time.

    Walt deals any of our three “crown jewels” in the system Robert Stephenson, Jesse Winker, or Philip Ervin for a one year rental at the All-Star break? Or deals one of the solid major league starters, Cueto, or Leake or Simon? Would you trade any of those three for Cingrani?

    So many moves NOT made. How would you like to be trotting out these guys today?


    Be careful what you wish for.

    • Matt

      You’re right, Walt has made some really good moves. All of the above are really great decisions (although the Votto contract will come back to bite the Reds in the rear).

      Paying Marshall, Broxton, Ludwick a combined 21 million this year. 20 million for those 3 next year, including a 4.5 million buyout for Ludwick.

      Michael Morse was had for 6 million this offseason. Nelson Cruz, tied for the league lead in HR, for 8 million. Both LF options, both making less than Ludwick.

      • Matt

        Sprinkled in with the good, there has been bad, which has prevented this good Reds team from becoming elite. The time is now and hopefully Walt figures that out.

      • daytonnati

        I agree that, in retrospect, the Votto decision was probably a mistake. At the time, though, I think Castellini wanted to reassure the fans that a homegrown superstar would not be lost to the big boys. I think it was as much a public relations move as a business one, if they are not already the same 🙂

    • George Mirones

      Just had a chance to read your post. Thank you for clarity. There are times when those with pitch forks and hanging ropes have no memories. Again thank you for posting a clear view.