The All Star break may be over, but there’s still a trophy up for grabs this weekend in the Queen City. Granted, the Reds can’t actually win the Ohio Cup, only a share of it after being swept by the Indians back in May, but it’s still going to be awarded. When it is, just keep in mind that the Toddfather already brought home the Queen City’s 2015 hardware.

Regardless, the Reds’ storylines for the second half of the season really have nothing to do with the product on the field. Exactly two weeks from today is the non-tendered trade deadline, so expect the Reds to make at least one big move in the next fortnight. Either Johnny Cueto or Mike Leake will be moved, that much seems certain, it’s the rest of the fire sale that might end up as smoke and mirrors. It’s never a good feeling for a city when the excitement of postseason baseball moves to July; it’s worse when you realize the opponent is your own front office.

STARTING PITCHERS
All stats are 2015 actuals:

PITCHER ERA  FIP HR/9 BB% K%
Trevor Bauer 3.76 3.90 1.03 9.8% 23.3%
Mike Leake 4.08 4.15 1.10 6.5% 16.6%


Mike Leake wasn’t quite himself this first half of 2015, but as Joel Luckhaupt pointed out earlier today, it was mostly due to three bad starts. Fangraphs has the righty with a 3.57 xFIP for the rest of the season, which is actually better than his career numbers. That being said, any production out of Leake for the remainder of the season probably won’t be in Cincinnati, but his trade value hasn’t tanked as much as people might think.

Opposite of Leake, Trevor Bauer is expected to regress in the second half of the season to the tune of a 4.11 xFIP as per Fangraphs. Bauer’s been a consistent starter all year for the Tribe, with two disaster starts but mostly quality starts in between. In his last time out before the break, Bauer went 8.0 innings, yielding two runs to the Astros while striking out nine. Against the Reds back in May, Bauer spun 7.2 innings of one-run ball taking the win in Cleveland.

STARTING LINEUPS
The Reds’ lineup post-All Star break has no significant changes to their pre-All Star break usual:

1. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
2. Joey Votto (L) 1B
3. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
4. Jay Bruce (L) RF
5. Marlon Byrd (R) LF
6. Eugenio Suarez (R) SS
7. Tucker Barnhart (S) C
8. Mike Leake (R) P
9. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
WESLEY

Yan Gomes is off the DL this time around and in the Indians’ lineup:

1. Jason Kipnis (L) 2B
2. Francisco Lindor (S) SS
3. Michael Brantley (L) CF
4. David Murphy (L) LF
5. Carlos Santana (S) 1B
6. Yan Gomes (R) C
7. Brandon Moss (L) RF
8. Giovanny Urshela (R) 3B
9. Trevor Bauer (R) P
WESLEY

ROSTER MOVES


BETTER BUY BARBASOL
Because the hat and ‘stache on the Scripps building are coming down despite a petition to leave them up. The coverings were never meant to be permanent, and were unlikely to last past the winter if left up anyway.

WALT OUT IN THE WILD
Per Paul Daugherty, Reds GM Walt Jocketty will be handling the Reds’ trade deadline business from his condominium in Jupiter, FL. The big pull quote from Jocketty himself in defense of this bizarre strategic decision centers on the lack of distractions in Florida. Namely, “he said sometimes being away from the office is what’s best for him, ‘because you’re not influenced by people around the club.'”

#VoteFrazier #ForGM

RLN WRITERS OUT IN THE WILD
Two Redleg Nation writers had big pieces published elsewhere today:

–Founder Chad Dotson’s piece on Todd Frazier and his status as Cincinnati’s “favorite son” ran on ESPN’s Sweetspot network.

–Longtime writer Richard Fitch’s take on Marty Brennaman and his evolution as a broadcaster and personality over the years was published on The Caldron’s website.

RLN WRITERS HERE AT HOME
Plenty of good pieces were published this morning right here at Redleg Nation too:

–Kevin Michell’s thought experiment on what the Reds may  look like in two years if all the players with expiring contracts walked and the farm system took over. Animal Farm with less symbolism and more baseball, basically.

–Nick Carrington on the front office’s unwillingness to move both Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier, possibly handicapping the team for seasons to come.

–Michael Maffie on the effect of reply on ejections and if one unique artform if you will has been lost to the game due to technology.

TICKETS AND TRAVEL 

Find the best prices and support Redleg Nation by purchasing your Reds tickets – home or away – through TiqIQ. No added service fee from TiqIQ. Hipmunk.com for Cincinnati flights that can be reserved through most major airline carriers. Hotels in Cincinnati can be booked too, with rates starting from $53 near the airport or the ballpark.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
Whenever I begin to think of how the future of the Reds hangs on these next couple of weeks, the phrase “so much depends upon” invariably comes to my mind. Of course, that takes my English major brain to William Carlos Williams icon poem “The Red Wheelbarrow.” I won’t explicate a poem here, but much like the red wheelbarrow and white chickens, there’s much more to these next two weeks than what is there on paper. If the Reds want to have a lasting impact on this league over the next decade, these two weeks will be the laying of the cornerstone–or the pivot wheel if you will.

GO REDS

57 Responses

  1. Eric the Red

    That article on Jocketty is incredible. I can’t believe Bob C built his business with that kind of attitude, or that he can tolerate having a key employee who thinks and acts that way. Any CEO who had a division head apply Jocketty’s logic in the middle of a key moment for his business would fire him immediately.

  2. vegastypo

    Funny that GameDay appears to be a pitch or two ahead of the Reds’ TV feed …

  3. Eric the Red

    BP has a 7 game hitting streak….where he’s batting .233. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at Fox putting that stat up.

  4. VaRedsFan

    Back to the left centerfield angle for the behind the pitcher camera

  5. vegastypo

    Thanks for swinging at that outside pitch there

    –Signed, Mike Leake’s pitch count

  6. VaRedsFan

    Marlon Byrd …stock up!!!…SELL SELL

  7. Eric the Red

    So, Chris just let us know that the Reds apparently expect Bauer to throw lots of first pitch fast balls, so they have a plan to swing early in the count.

    Coincidentally, that’s the same plan the Reds have against every other pitcher in the league.

  8. Eric the Red

    Suarez got a very late jump on that. If it was a suicide squeeze, he blew it. If it was a safety squeeze, he was slow to react and got lucky. He’s young, but he’s got to start ironing out the mental mistakes.

  9. jamesgarrett

    Votto leaves them loaded by looking at strike 3.I thought he may mash one the second time up.

  10. Tom Gray

    Bob Howsam often worked from homes in Arizona and Colrado.

    Imagine how good the Big Red Machine could have been if he had worked in Cincinnati every day.

    • Tom Reed

      Perhaps they would have won three or four WS titles instead of two.

      • Tom Gray

        What baloney.

        He traded for Joe Morgan, Tom Seaver, George Foster, Fred Norman, Jack Billingham, Clay Carroll, Cesar Geronimo (to name SOME not all).

        He traded away Tony Perez.

        Howsam is the best GM of 1960’s and 1970’s. He made trades in St Louis to acquire Orlando Cepeda and Roger Maris (among others) to help Cards W several WS in 1960;s.

  11. jamesgarrett

    Leake comes through with the bases loaded.Good guys up 4-0

    • Tom Reed

      Leake comes through and Votto doesn’t.

      • Vicferrari

        Leake to me is no longer elite as a pitcher hitting. Better do more of that as he has turned into a hack at the plate the past 2 seasons. All I can say is about time, I do not care if he is just a pitcher he has been awful for the skills he has shown the first 3 seasons

  12. VaRedsFan

    Depending on the length of the delay, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bauer didn’t come back. Yet another bad break for the good guys

    • Vicferrari

      The real disadvantage is Leake may not make it back if this goes too long, another win will not matter too much in personal stats could add to the perception of his trade value increasing once you take out his 3 awful starts. To me this is typical pattern for him, shows signs of becoming above average then reverts back to a his career FIP

    • Evan armstrong

      Why be mean? Kid is working hard and is getting better. Let’s remember this is a new position and only his second year on this level.

    • Vicferrari

      Who hits more HR’s post-ASB, the non-elite or the HR Derby winner?

      • tct

        Frazier is gonna have a rough second half if he doesn’t get his approach back to the way it was in April and May. He had 21 walks the first two months, and he has only had 3 since the beginning of June. Still hasn’t walked in July.

  13. jamesgarrett

    He did mash one the third time up.

  14. VaRedsFan

    I like those Votto center field HR’s

    • vegastypo

      Couldn’t help chuckling during the replay of the Votto homer. Welsh is saying how Votto isn’t sure at first. Gee, that smile on Votto’s face as he was leaving the batter’s box pretty much looked like, I got that one,

  15. Mack Ashley Potter

    Got a feeling Votto will have a big 2nd half. I just wish he would always swing with authority like he did in that last AB. Just seems like he cheats himself so often with an eventual ground ball to 2nd base.
    As good as he is, I just think he could be the run away best player in baseball. If he would only swing with authority and take like 1,000,000,000 ground balls.

  16. VaRedsFan

    Byrd….now only needs the triple

    • vegastypo

      Ha, is there any part of GABP where he could hit one to get a triple? Without at least two outfielders falling down, maybe?

      • VaRedsFan

        the ole diving for a sinking liner maybe

    • VaRedsFan

      Leakes last inning hopefully…they started getting to him in the 6th

      • vegastypo

        I’m just glad nobody got hit by lightning. That sounded ominous! … And yes, when Leake loses it, it becomes pretty obvious.

      • Vicferrari

        Excellent outing by Leake considering pitched between a hour or so rain delay and the outing last time against the Tribe. Hopefully that gets an upgrade in prospects.

      • Evan armstrong

        I really hope the Reds get few decent offers and instead resign him to a 5-6 year deal in 70-80 million.

  17. Vicferrari

    Will the next few months determine if Matheus is a MLB pitcher? He has had some bonehead plays as a Red and he has not been that great to be indispensable.

  18. Vicferrari

    Since April 22nd Byrd has put up some nice offensive numbers, I say that worth a 50-100 propect

  19. VaRedsFan

    Jim Day reported that Price admired Bruce Bochy managing at the all star game. He said Bochy actually had a game plan.

    So that’s allowed huh?

    • Vicferrari

      Pitch Aroldis in non save situation?

  20. VaRedsFan

    Badenhop warming for the 9th??? The lead is only 4.

  21. hof13

    Votto with a Big Donkey night. Homer, walk, and 3 strike outs.

  22. Tom Reed

    A good night for trade value and BB closes it out.