We are only 25% of the way through the 2015 campaign and I’ve heard people who are ready to sell everything in Great American Ballpark that is not nailed down. Rumor has it that St. Louis is looking to acquire the Montgomery Ribs stand in the lower concourse to fill in for their lack of quality BBQ and Gapper is going to be sent to Philadelphia because they need another ridiculous mascot. At least thats what I read on the internets.

Yes, this year has been aggravating. Yes, the opening series sweep of the Pirates seems as far away as the 1975 World Championship. Yes, the Mesoraco and Bailey injuries feel like they derailed a season that had no margin for error.

Despite these (very real) drawbacks, there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic: seven of the eight Reds starting players are positive value players (in terms of WAR). Even assuming a regression (more on this as we go payer-by-player), the Reds will probably end the year with seven or eight positive value position players. I’ve grouped them into “Good”, “meh”, and “Not so good”:

The Good

Going into play Wednesday, Todd Frazier was leading the team with 142 wRC+ and 1.9 WAR. If the Toddfather keeps up this pace through 600 at bats, he’s a 6.68 WAR player. Todd will be making only $4.5 million this year and he has already put up $15.5 million in value.

Even though we only bought out Frazier’s 2 remaining arbitration years, locking down a price of $12M this offseason was one of the better moves by the front office. Should Todd push 5 or more wins this season then his arbitration payment would probably be much larger than his existing contract. Frazer gave up some money for the certainty of a $12M payday, and the Reds avoided a massive arbitration bill.

Joey Votto is second on the team with 137 wRC+ and 1.1 WAR through 168 plate appearances. Even if Votto continues on his current pace he will put up 3.82 WAR. Votto’s number have declined from his fast April start, so 3.82 is below what anyone would expect of our starting first basemen.

Zack Cozart is having a career year at the dish. His 127 wRC+ and 1.3 WAR is better than anyone expected from our slick fielding short stop. Through 1/4th of the season Cozart has generated $10M in value for the Reds. Furthermore, Cozart’s performance is not driven by an unusually high BABIP (.292, which is higher than his career line, but not outrageously so). The real turnaround has been in his power numbers where he is posting a career-high .209 ISO.

Brandon Phillips is at 101 wRC+ and has posted 1 win above replacement. He is on pace for 3.5-ish wins, but the numbers under the hood are not good. His BABIP is .347, which is fifty points higher than his career average. His ISO is .058 and he is swinging at more pitches (56.3%) this year than he ever has (career: 53.7%). BP’s swinging strike rate is down to 9.7%, which is better than his career line (10.7%). Even if he experiences a normal regression at the plate, he still contributes significant value in the field (he is at 2.2 runs saved above average and is on pace for around 7.5 runs saved above average).

The “Meh”

Jay Bruce continues to float around 90 wRC+ (he is at 83 wRC+). This is low for him, but his underlying predictive stats are promising. Based on his batted ball profile, his expected BABIP is .320 yet Bruce’s BABIP is only .224. His walk rate (11.8%) is still a career high and his swinging strike rate (12.3%) is back to where it was from 2010-2012. Even more encouraging, he is chasing balls out of the zone (27.5% of the time) at a lower rate than he did in 2010 (29.3%) or 2011 (31.6%). His contact rate this year (73.6%) is almost exactly what it was back in 2010 (74.0%).

In Mesoraco’s absence, Brayan Pena has done a solid job behind the plate. His 114 wRC+ is a great contribution at the dish and has propelled him to 0.5 WAR. Expecting this trend to continue is a little bullish, however, as his BABIP (.358) is way above his career line (.291). Despite this, his walk percentage (10.6%) is far above his career line (5.5%) and he is striking out less (9.6%) than his career stats would suggest (11.2%). Every player has a career year sometime, and this would be a great time for Pena to dial one up.

The Not Good.

Billy Hamilton has immense defensive value. His 7 defensive runs saved is third in the league, and due to this, he is already at 1 win this year. There is no question Hamilton helps the Reds every time he steps onto the ball field. Yet his performance at the dish, a 60 wRC+, is in the lower 25% of all players with at least 30 at bats.

Marlon Byrd is almost as bad in the field (-6.5 defensive runs below average) as Billy Hamilton is good (7 runs saved). Byrd’s defensive effort is in the lowest 2 percent of all fielders with 30 at bats. As Steve points out, this isn’t entirely his fault, Byrd isn’t the one who thought it would be a good idea to move a 38 year old player to a new position.

The bench is a dumpster fire. Boesch (7 wRC+), Negron (23 wRC+), Schumaker (72 wRC+) are combining for -0.7 WAR.

There’s still a way to win

This team is not the 1975 World Champions (for example, Pete Rose put up 5.3 WAR that season and was only the FOURTH best player on the team. Joe Morgan, wRC+’ing at 176 and putting up 11.0 WAR led that team), but a quick look up and down this list is encouraging: Frazier is on pace for a career year, Votto will continue to be a 4-7 win player, Cozart is quietly having his best year as a professional baseball player. Phillips battle with Father Time is currently at a stalemate, and the backup catchers are both above 100 wRC+. Billy Hamilton, despite his poor plate play is still on pace to put up almost 4 wins. No one will gripe too much about this as long as he bats in the lower third of the order.

In short, this team can win a lot of baseball games. Seven out of our eight of starting position players are positive value players. Four out of our five starting pitchers, Cueto (+1.3), Descalfani (+0.4), Iglesias (+0.4), and Leake (+0.1) are on the right side of the WAR. If these players can continue at their current pace, then three out of our five starting pitchers would be in the 2-4 win rage. That will play in this league.

Chapman, obviously, is amazing (+0.8 WAR). Cingrani (who, weirdly, auto-corrects to “Kingpin” in the wordpress software) is sitting at 0.2 WAR in only 15.1 innings pitched.

We’ve already given up on Gregg and Marquis can’t be too far behind (Price, when asked if Marquis would be moved out of the rotation, only dropped 45 F-bombs before stating that it was, in fact, a “reasonable question”. Half of that statement is true. I’ll leave it to you to decide which half).

Negativity has momentum; let’s not allow the proximity of defeat to overshadow how close this team is to being a winning ball club.

Its true that an “even WAR” (0.0) team only is supposed to win 46 out of 162 games. The mildly optimistic outlook outlined above has the Reds as an 84 win team. That might not win the division, but with the help of a trade or two, the Reds could make a run at a wildcard slot.

Its easy to see that this group that could yield a winning ball club. And this is assuming that our All-Star catcher is out for the year, which might not be the case. Bullpen arms a a dime a dozen at the trade deadline and picking up a castoff bench player or two would not cost the farm. The problem is we need to be bold: Its time to end the Marquis experiment and replace him with Cingrani, Iglesias, or, preferably Chapman. The Reds also need to find a replacement for Byrd, probably via trade (or we can just look for reasonably athletic people as they walk through the turnstiles of GABP. Either way).

I realize that giving up on your starting left fielder who is slated to earn $4M this year, dumping 20% of your starting rotation, and moving a lifetime reliever to the rotation when you are 9 games back is not a modest proposal. But to quote the philosopher Swift, sometimes you just have to shake it off.

Even with this approach, the Reds might fail to make the playoffs. There is a lot of randomness in baseball and the guys across the diamond are paid to play this game, too. But it is not unreasonable to think that the Reds can make a move or two that would create a 122-games race to the finish line.

And I, for one, prefer to spend my Octobers wearing Red.

86 Responses

  1. i71_Exile

    Thank you for your optimism. Negativity does indeed have momentum. Go Reds…please? 🙂

  2. doublenohitter

    Reds are 9 games out, as we speak. If the Cardinals just play .500 ball the rest of the season, the Reds would have to go 70-52 just to match that.
    Can the Reds go 70-52? Maybe, if everything falls right. I doubt the Cardinals go 61-60 unless their pitching collapses.

    Personally, I think they are out of it and need to start looking at the future. There is no harm in admitting failure.

    • jdx19

      Agree with that sentiment… there is no catching the Cards, but I think the author is suggesting a wild card berth is still up for grabs. Should be looking at the Cubs, Mets, Giants, and maybe Pirates as competitors. Seems pretty cut-and-dry that LA, WAS, and STL will win the 3 divisions.

      • Dr. K

        Is a one game play off what this team (or more importantly the organization) needs though? Even if they were to win that one game, as of today they’d be colossal under dogs in the next round. Getting embarrassed (again) in the playoffs only to be followed by watching Cueto sign with the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, or god-forbid the Cardinals isn’t going to make for a great off season. In my opinion, better to cut your losses, have the All-Star game be one last hurrah for this group and then make calculated business decisions in moving players to reshape payroll while rebuilding the organization.

      • Robby20

        Not sure the Dodgers are a lock. Giants seemingly find a way.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Yeah, I’m finished betting against them. IMO, Bochy is so superior to Mattingly, it makes the difference. I’ll go with SF from what I’ve seen of the two teams.

      • jdx19

        I dunno. They are still doing quite good with a ton of injury problems. The Giants don’t always find a way, as evidenced by the fact that they haven’t won the NL West since 2012. I still think the Giants will likely get a WC-bid, but I don’t see them finishing with a better record than LAD.

  3. Jason

    Todd Frazier has not impressed me at all. If there is anyone on base that guy is worthless

    • jdx19

      You are hard to impress. Home runs have value. A lot of value.

      • ohiojimw

        The question is what is the validity of their supposed value. Should solo home runs that don’t have a significant impact in which team wins and which team loses count for that much?

      • Steve Mancuso

        Well, the RISP “statistic” doesn’t isolate situations where the game is on the line either. Even if you think that “clutch” performances are meaningful to be measured (I don’t) batting average with runners is scoring position is a terrible way to do it. Why should knocking in someone from first base not count? Or a solo home run in a close game? Or a sacrifice fly?

        It’s really amazing to think how much play that terrible stat gets in the media. And I don’t think our radio broadcast team has ever uttered the words “on base percentage” except maybe to make fun of it.

      • jdx19

        My favorite stat is Win Probability Added (WPA) which takes exactly that kind of stuff into account. A solo home run when your team is down 10-0 (or up 10-0) counts almost as nothing.

      • ohiojimw

        JDX and I have had an ongoing discussion here of an embryonic stat based on runners advanced. It is the percent of possible bases advanced that a batter accomplishes for himself and all runners on base when he bats. For instance a solo home run is 4/4, 100% A bases loaded double that scores two of the runners would be 7/10, 70%. A K or infield pop up with the bases loaded is 0/10. I think there would a real value added if this stat came into common use.

        Rosecrans pointed out in his piece on RISP yesterday just what you said Steve, that generally there is a very small range between what batter hits with no runners in scoring position the same batter’s RISP batting average. However the Reds have several guys, chief among them Frazier, who are at or under the Mendoza line at RISP despite having better over all batting averages.

        When one looks at the anomaly in Frazier’s case, it seems extremely curious to me that this guy exhibits such power and much better average with the bases empty versus with runners in scoring position.

      • jdx19

        Yep, to me, that would be the mother of all production stats.

      • pinson343

        JDX and OhioJIm: Yes it comes down to advancing base runners (including yourself) vs. making outs. I asked about a stat for that last year and a couple people replied there is and clubs use it but not easy to find it on-line anywhere.

      • pinson343

        JDX: One of the editors here last year would added WPA numbers for a game, and I think there’s a problem with it (but didn’t investigate). Let’s say we have 3 singles in a row, scoring a run. BY WPA I believe the guy who drives in the run gets a higher WPA score than the guy who hit the first single.

        If I’m right, WPA has a bias for RBIs over OBP, which contradicts the many studies that have shown the importance of OBP to a team’s scoring runs.

      • jdx19

        WPA is agnostic to counting stats, but real “win probability’ changes in strange ways based on game situations.

        In the example you gave, depending on the game situations, I could see each of those 3 batters getting the most WPA.

        One counter-example; a player who triples in a tie game in the bottom of the 9th would get a lot more WPA than the following guy who sac flies him in. This is beacause there is a reasonably expectation to get that runner in for most batters. So, the guy who got himself in the advanced position gets the most credit.

        It’s not a perfect stat by any stretch, but I like it and I like what it is attempting to do. Quantify all state-changes in the game, and assign them a value. Then, give a multiplies for state-changes that occur in ‘high leverage’ situations. Like stated above, a solo home run in a 10-0 blow-out isn’t really important to your team winning and losing.

    • tct

      Wow, Todd has become the Rodney Dangerfield of the Reds. No respect, I tell ya. Since he got the starting gig in baseball 2013 he has been the Reds best player by fWAR. Baseball ref WAR would have Cueto a bit ahead, with Todd second. He is top ten in all of baseball in WAR this year.

      Oh, and by the way. In high leverage situations this year Todd is hitting .294/.381/.706. The whole “not clutch” thing is really dumb.

      What I don’t understand is why when someone criticizes Jay Bruce, all kinds of people come to his defense, including myself on occasion. But Frazier, who has been a much better player than Bruce since Frazier got an everyday job, gets criticized over stupid stuff, like his pop-up rate in April, and it seems like no one wants to defend him.

      • jdx19

        Frazier gets nowhere near the flak that Bruce gets (and rightfully so, because he’s been a lot better). And if people were saying “TRADE FRAZIER! HE’S A HAS-BEEN!” you’d see a lot of people coming to his defense. To be honest, other than people being upset in game threads that he has a lot of IF popups this year, I can’t think of any major Frazier criticism on this site.

  4. Vanessa Galagnara

    This team is not enjoyable to watch. That is the problem. My guess the addition of new fans is at an all time low. My dad was a die hard Reds fan and I am trying to be in his memory but man they stink no matter how you try to dress it up. Even when they do win it isn’t very exciting because you feel like they were barely able to pull that off.

    • CTRedsFan

      I have been a Reds fan nearly all my life, and will always be a Reds fan, but I agree this team is very hard to watch.

    • Michael Maffie

      The Giants had a good weekend (and got Hunter Pence back). The Royals are a good team. No one ever thought it would be an easy run to the playoffs, but this team is not as bad as the last week would suggest.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Agree. We ran right into it last week. So it’s a three-fold question: can we really compete with the upper echelon? If no, should we go into rebuild mode as the teams upside is fairly limited? Or settle for a .500 respectable season?

        IMO, we don’t have a strong enough veteran core to not rebuild after JC and Leake are gone. These two, at minimum, should be dealt before the trade deadline. In the end, we need a new, fresher direction. How the game is managed and evaluated has jumped leaps and bonds, since 2010-2012; and probably passed Waly by. Will Bob C. recognize that or continue to beat a square peg in a round hole?

      • Robby20

        This team is not a contender to make the playoffs. There is an old adage that no team is as good as it looks when it is winning and no team is as bad as it looks when it is losing. The Reds may not be as bad as they looked the last 5 games but look at how badly they got outscored and its hard to see them as anything but an also ran.

        The Reds usually own the Giants at GABP so the outcome of the series is even more alarming.

        And any statistic that says Jay Bruce is doing well or about to do well is misleading at best. He is playing very poorly.

      • jdx19

        Just because you don’t understand the analysis doesn’t mean it is misleading.

      • Robby20

        I understand the analysis. I also understand the arrogance of your comment. Really an unnecessary comment but not unexpected, frankly. We’ll see where Bruce’s numbers end up at the end of the year.

  5. Tom Reed

    I’ve been a Reds fan too long to ever completely give up on them. But after the disappointing activity of the winter, this season looked like a .500 year at best. A playoff spot would be a real surprise. If the Reds cannot get above .500 by the All Star break, the rebuilding should begin.

    • redmountain

      If we agree that the Cards, Dodgers, and Nats will take their divisions, that still leaves two playoff spots. I do not believe the Cubs will be in it in Septembe(they will fade at the 120-130 game mark) , the Giants have some real questions in their starting pitching, the Pirates have problems everywhere, and the Mets will not be a factor either. People are complaining that this Reds team is a 500 club, but that could be good enough to get into the playoffs. It is far too early to give up on this team. Every team in this division will have to play the Tigers, Royals, White Sox, etc. How did the Cards do against the Tigers? Those games were at Busch,

      • Robby20

        This is not a 500 team and it won’t be a 500 team.

  6. sezwhom

    You’re kidding yourself thinking this team can win. I just don’t see it.

  7. ohiojimw

    I always hope for the best but I find this group of Reds to be seriously trying my optimism.

    It has been said and written for many years that baseball is a game of team result born of individual achievement not truly based on team work. However I think this Reds team may well point out the flaws in systems that attempt predict the team result by summing the various individual levels of achievement.

  8. Shchi Cossack

    Joel Sherman/NY Post had an interesting opinion a couple days ago:

    http://nypost.com/2015/05/19/why-blue-jays-should-be-trying-to-deal-bautista-or-encarnacion/

    As much as I would like to feel the Reds could salvage the 2015 season for a playoff run, I think the odds are stacked against it. I do believe a run in 2016 is possible rather than completely retooling for the 2017 season. What if the Reds can move Cueto and Byrd (and possibly even Phillips or Schumaker?) in a move for Joey Bats and Miguel Castro, at least something structured along those lines?

  9. Nelson Coble

    Is it time to start unloading Cueto, Leake, Bruce and Phillips? The latter two if possible. That’s $33m savings this year, pro-rated. Let’s get some youngsters up here along with someone we may get in the above deals. Marquis needs to go. We have some MLB experience in AAA pitching. Let’s shake it up and get some excitement going. Let’s look at alternatives. Something? Go back after Leake in off season with some of the savings.

      • nelson coble

        Thank you. It has to start somewhere doesn’t it? Now is as good a time as any!

  10. pj

    This isn’t the Titanic going down! I agree Reds G.M. and Price brought on to team two players ,i.e. Gregg and Marquis ,that was foolish. That said,I think with baseball,the impossible is possible.TheReds could still play above 500.St.louis got hot early,but they still have Wainwright out and Garcia loss to Mets thursday shows starting pitching depth down.The season has a long way to go. Go Reds

  11. BJ Rassam

    The Reds are off to a sub-par season, with many signs pointing to a non post-season berth for them this season.

    • greenmtred

      You are right, but very few teams are certainties for the postseason this early in the regular season, and some of them will make it. Losing streaks smother optimism, but losing streaks end. Unexpected things happen and some of them can be good. If the Reds win five in a row, most of us will sing a different song.

      • Robby20

        Some will sing a different song. The Reds are gong nowhere. This is a very poorly constructed team and if there is something to the Votto loss of power other than just a slump all bets are off.

  12. jessecuster44

    “I realize that giving up on your starting left fielder who is slated to earn $4M this year, dumping 20% of your starting rotation, and moving a lifetime reliever to the rotation when you are 9 games back is not a modest proposal. But to quote the philosopher Swift, sometimes you just have to shake it off.”

    This is intelligent, and very funny. Props.

    Go Reds Go.

    – you do realize, that Walt has NEVER made a trade during the season to help the Reds’ offense…

    • greenmtred

      The philosopher Swift also proposed that the starving Irish eat their children (more accurately, give the English landlords first dibs at that delicacy on the grounds that they had already consumed the adults). This may be apropos in some way I have yet to understand.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Or it could be the realist are having their say while the dreamers try to keep the dream alive? Being sober about our predicament is far from hating. Anyone that thinks that this club can participate in a WS chase is a bit nutty, in my opinion.☺

        You can call it hate but I call it being objective.

      • Steve Mancuso

        The Swift that Mike was referring to doesn’t practice irony much.

      • jdx19

        The Mrs. made me listen to the aforementioned Swift on the way to work this morning.

      • greenmtred

        No? Was the reference to the “modest proposal” misdirection then?

      • Steve Mancuso

        Mike Maffie is a clever guy. He probably learned about Jonathan Swift and the use of irony on one of the few days he showed up to my class. The Taylor Swift, that’s from a later and much different influence.

    • redmountain

      Scott Rolen was reasonably better than Encarnacion.

      • Robby20

        For a year or two. How has the deal worked out in the long run?

      • i71_Exile

        You can say that for almost every veteran for prospect trade. Remember that a year or so after the deal the Blue Jays released Edwin and no one claimed him.

  13. jnewm777

    It’s okay to be optimistic, but in this case I read better than I see. This team as currently configured just doesn’t pass the eyeball test with the future – next year and beyond – being more bleak than the present. The retooling process they need is already a year behind where it should have been and the longer they wait the longer it will take. They can deny reality and keep Cueto and Leake till the end of the season and then let them walk, but all that gets them is draft choices that probably won’t be ready (if they ever are) for four or five years. They have to draft them, sign them, and then figure out if they have Joey Votto or Brandon Larson. Trading them for prospects at least shaves a couple of years off of that timeline by giving them players already in the minors who they are closer to either getting to the big leagues or determining that they can’t help and moving on. In short, nothing about this team has shown me that they are capable of going on any type of a run and I would prefer to rip off the band-aid and get it over with.

    • charlottencredsfan

      The sooner you realize you are headed to the edge of a cliff and decide to reverse direction, the better. Honesty, it’s an immutable fact.

    • Robby20

      Careful about the eye-ball test comment. You’ll get skewered for that belief.

  14. IndyRedMan

    Wait til they trade Cueto and Jocketty signs Joaquin Andujar. No this team can’t compete and no…Jocketty couldn’t rebuild Lincoln logs. You literally cannot teach an old dog new tricks

    • Vanessa Galagnara

      I train dogs for a living. You can teach an old dog new tricks. It isn’t easy but you can. Jocketty….. is another story. Clearly his intentions and motivations are hidden from the rest of us. I think he has an iron will and refuses to admit when he is wrong.

  15. sultanofswaff

    Mike, your mention of moving Chapman into the rotation really stokes the imagination. I mean, what could be more dramatic? It has the makings of a Hollywood script if successful. Even if not, the whole going down with your guns a-blazing narrative would keep fans tuned in.

    Whatever it is, it certainly wouldn’t be boring!

    • Bob Purkey

      I doesn’t matter a bit if they tried to move Chapman now! He will be gone one way or the other when his contract is up.

      Trade Cueto now, he isn’t going to make the AS team. They will keep Chapman as he and/or Frasier will be the only AS reps., and hopefully trade Chapman after the AS game. Who needs a closer when they can’t get to him?

      Cueto’s value on the trade market lessens with every start he makes for the Reds, as that gives a contending team less time to utilize his talents .

      This team is going nowhere and Castellini refuses to admit it. At BEST, a .500 team! The longer they wait to rebuild, the less they get in return, and the more painful it will be in the long run. As a lifelong fan who has been to Reds WS games in 61(I was only 6 YO), 75, 76 and 90, it pains me to say all of this, but the reality is, this team is not very good, they are incredibly boring to watch last year and this year, the near future will be difficult, so cut your losses and move on NOW!

      • Eric the Red

        Acquiring Cueto isn’t about making the playoffs, it’s about having a true #1 IN the playoffs. For a team like the Royals, who will almost certainly make the playoffs, it’s having an experienced pitcher who can win 2 games in the LCS or WS. When they get him doesn’t matter, as long as they have him for October.

        Which is why I still think we should back up the money truck and sign Cueto. Because I don’t just want to squeak into the playoffs in 2017 as a the second wildcard and then go home, I want to have a shot at winning the WS.

      • IndyRedMan

        Whoever sneaks in seems to win it all though or atleast get there. Wasn’t KC the 2nd wildcard?

      • Tom Reed

        I have a feeling that Bob C. will not let his ace pitcher leave and that a deal will be worked out.

    • reaganspad

      Or the makings of Sparky Anderson looking at his talent and doing what was best for the team in moving Pete to 3rd so that he could play George Foster.

      Moving Byrd to the bench to start Mesoraco in Left Field should be the first move made if this team wants to compete.

      Of course, I have been an advocate of Chapman in the rotation since day one. Your best players have to play, and 60 innings from a closer will not be what gets the 2015 team over the hump.

      But we will see Moscot, which will be fun to see how he competes. But not a move that saves the season. We go from 3 rookies to 4 rookies in the 6 starter rotation.

      If Mesoraco is healthy enough to bat and run the bases, the crime of 2015 is not playing him in Left Field since he cannot catch. This non-move should cost Price his job

    • Shchi Cossack

      Cueto should start on 05/24 against the tribe and in the 1st game against the Nats on 5/29. On 5/25, in the 1st game against the Rox, Chapman enters the game as the 1st option out of the bullpen and pitches 3 innings. In the post game press conference, Price explains that Chapman needed the extra work in order to stay game ready.

      In the 2nd game against the Nats, Chapman takes the mound for the 1st pitch with Mesoraco in starting in LF and Hamilton hitting in the #9 hole. Chapman gains the win after pitching 5 innings of no hit baseball with 1 BB, 1 HBP & 8 SO. Mesoraco goes 2-4 with 1 BB & 1 HR into the upper deck of LF. The Reds begin a strong run going into June where they go 22-6 during the month with Cueto and Chapman both going 5-0. Votto breaks out of his funk to push his OPS over 1.050 while hitting from the #2 hole. Phillips cements himself in the #1 hole with a .330 AVG and .350 OBP during the month.

      • IndyRedMan

        In the words of the late Rick James….cocaine is a helluva drug

  16. IndyRedMan

    Did anyone else see that someone got one of Andrew McCutcheon’s paystubs….clears $427,000 twice a month.

    • jdx19

      Saw that linked somewhere else. Crazy how each state played in get taxes for the games played there. Makes sense, I suppose.

  17. Art Wayne Austin

    Byrd wants out. Walt completely misrepresented the Reds as a team whose time has come. It is going to be a long, hot summer for the Reds. When we see the four players Walt gift-wrapped to the Padres playing at high levels, do we really want to see him in charge of regenerating the team with prospects. We are the new Cubs of yore.

    • IndyRedMan

      Yasmani Grandal is finally doing pretty well. The first time I saw his swing I couldn’t believe the Reds cut him loose? .867 OPS and .402 obp so far with LA

      • jessecuster44

        Yeah, and a PED bust before that. Just watch, he’ll be suspended again. Glad they kept Meso instead of him.

      • pinson343

        “I couldn’t believe the Reds cut him loose?” I can’t believe that anyone at this point would say that. First it was “We shouldn’t have traded Grandal, we should have traded Mes.” Then came the PED bust, and years of no production from Grandal hitting while Mes developed into the 2014 best hitting catcher in baseball. Nobody talked about Grandal then (or that WJ made a good move by keeping Mes).

        Now Grandal is hitting, years after the trade, so I was just waiting for the: “Hey how did we trade Grandal ?”

        I too will take Mes any day and as already pointed out, the Latos trade cost Kevin Towers his job.

      • Indy Red Man

        That’s not what I meant. I was just saying I had never seen the kid hit and the year after we traded him I saw him with SD and he has a beautiful swing. I wasn’t talking about anything after

    • jessecuster44

      How do you know that Byrd wants out?

    • i71_Exile

      You say that, but the Latos trade ended up costing Kevin Towers his job—so it wasn’t exactly a win for him. As far as Byrd goes, the Reds can lose—and may actually win—without him.

  18. pinson343

    BP batting leadoff, it was easy to see that coming. And if he can keep the .350 OBP going, why not ?

    • jdx19

      With his current walk rate (5.5%; 5.7%career), he’s going to have to keep up his .347 BABIP to keep anything near a .350 OBP. I predict it’ll be at .325 or below by the ASB.

      • pinson343

        Yes he probably won’t keep up the .350 OBP. But a whole lot better than Hamilton or Cozart.

      • jdx19

        No doubt. I think, right now, BP is probably the 2nd or 3rd best option to lead-off (Votto being 1st, of course). I think Frazier is the other guy in the conversation.

  19. pinson343

    JDX19 and OhioJim: Very interested in comments you made on this thread yesterday about “advancing baserunners” stat and WPA. I replied above.

  20. pinson343

    Thanks, JDX. Intuitively I like WPA, it seems like a straightforward and logical approach. But I need to learn more about it. If in my three single example everyone gets equal credit, good. I had the thought that may not be so when last year, in a close and low scoring game, Schumaker twice got on base (a hit and a walk) and scored in a close and low scoring game, yet had a negative WPA for the game. He didn’t make any errors or GIDP with the bases loaded or anything like that, just an ordinary game otherwise. The two guys who drove him in had strong positive scores …. Got me to wondering.

  21. ObservatoryRed

    “Its true that an “even WAR” (0.0) team only is supposed to win 46 out of 162 games”
    “Its easy to see that this group that could yield a winning ball club”
    “Its time to end the Marquis experiment and replace him with Cingrani, Iglesias, or, preferably Chapman”
    Read: “It’s”—c’mon now, make Miami and Cornell proud.