With the loss last night at the hands of the mighty Indians’ offense, the Reds (40-48) have officially lost the Ohio Cup and now have no reason left to fight in 2015. Sure, this series is tied and the Reds could try and win that by winning today, but without the most coveted trophy in baseball on the line, might as well make like Nemo and tank.

All stats are 2015 actuals:

Carlos Carrasco 4.07 2.73 0.83 5.2% 27.7%
Johnny Cueto 2.73 3.04 0.83 4.7% 24.3%

Another Johnny Beisbol start, another day full of worry of injury and diminished trade value. Cueto didn’t fare too well his last time out the day before the All Star break; he allowed three earned runs in 5.0 innings and threw a cooler in the dugout when he was pulled for a pinch hitter. Not that it should affect the Reds’ season much, but Cueto is expected to regress sightly in the second half with an xFIP of 3.17.

For the Indians is Carlos Carrasco in his first full year of starting for the club. Carrasco was picked by many to have a breakout year coming into 2015, but his traditional numbers have fallen flat because of the quite terrible Indians’ defense. In reality, Carrasco has dominated at a Cueto-like level, posting a 2.73 FIP and 2.7 WAR, matching Cueto’s own value. In his last time out before the break, Carrasco took a no decision after 7.0 innings of two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts.

Todd Frazier gets a day off as Ivan De Jesus moves up in the order to spell him in today’s Reds’ lineup:

1. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
2. Ivan De Jesus (R) 3B
3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
4. Jay Bruce (L) RF
5. Brayan Pena (S) C
6. Marlon Byrd (R) LF
7. Eugenio Suarez (R) SS
8. Johnny Cueto (R) P
9. Billy Hamilton (S) CF

Carlos Santana bats cleanup in today’s Indians’ lineup:

1. Jason Kipnis (L) 2B
2. Francisco Lindor (S) SS
3. Michael Brantley (L) LF
4. Carlos Santana (S) 1B
5. David Murphy (L) RF
6. Mike Aviles (R) 3B
7. Michael Bourn (L) CF
8. Roberto Perez (R) C
9. Carlos Carrasco (R) P

(Click the image to enlarge…via Fangraphs)


Two of these players are untouchable in the Reds’ eyes, the other has been actively shopped all season if reports are to be believed.If wOBA is to be accepted as the best offensive catch-all stat, this chart alone should prove either both Bruce and Frazier should be shopped, or neither should be. Draw your own conclusions as to individual value, but it seems pretty clear that Votto is still “elite” whereas Frazier and Bruce are two very good players on about equal footing with each other.

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No trade rumor news means a slow day in Reds’ country. I guess a game will still be played, but in a season where everything’s a wash and the wins don’t matter, why annoy yourself by getting invested. Casual baseball watching is the new mantra for 2015. Keeping our collective sanity is the goal.


126 Responses

  1. Tom Gray

    I see vintage Cueto today in his swan song (or nearly so) with the Reds. Reds W today.

  2. Tom Gray

    Came across this great (perhaps old) quote from BP:

    “I don’t do that MLB Network on-base percentage [stuff]… I feel like all of these stats and all of these geeks upstairs, they’re messing up baseball, they’re just changing the game. It’s all about on-base percentage.” – Brandon Phillips

    • Vicferrari

      I thought this was from late Spring training, from an article implying BP did not like Votto’s style. Is this brought up in relevance to the graph above

      • vegastypo

        Right, Vic, it sounds like that article. In that same article, didn’t BP say he was “all about RBIs” or a similar quote?

      • Tom Gray

        Regardless it’s a great quote and (I think) valid criticism of those who make all their judgments by wonky stats.

      • BigRedMike

        On Base Percentage is a wonky stat?

    • docmike

      That is a great quote. Great in the sense that it shows just how out-of-touch BP is with how baseball games are won.

  3. Eric the Red

    I don’t quite get the fascination with DeJesus in the 2 hole. Especially with Suarez batting 7th. Anyway, smart managing to give Frazier a day off. He needs to take a breath and hopefully come back a little less anxious than he’s been the past few weeks.

    • muttonlettucetomato

      I’m sort of with you on that. Not sure why DeJesus is batting second over, say Suarez. I’m sure there’s numbers somewhere to make the case but on first look I don’t get it.

  4. tct

    Love the chart, Wesley. I think there is a pretty good chance that Bruce is better than Frazier going forward. But Frazier has a much higher trade value. The Reds seem to want to sell low on Bruce and buy high on Frazier. It’s kind of silly.

    I wouldn’t be actively shopping Frazier. But to say a 29 year old who only has 2 more years of control left is untouchable for a team that is just starting a rebuild is dumb. If someone offers the moon for Frazier, you gotta take it.

    The problem I have with trading Bruce is that I don’t think his trade value has fully recovered from last year and I think he is under valued right now.

      • tct

        I know, Tom. All the prospects the Reds get back will be horrible and none of them will ever reach the majors. And the Reds will never win more than 50 games for the next 20 years. You’ve mentioned all this before. Thanks for reminding me.

      • Tom Gray

        No but they won’t W 80 games before 2018. The Reds MiLB teams are mediocre. Several MLB starters are coming off serious injuries. Several others may be traded.

        The math is pretty simple if you add it up.

      • Tom Gray

        Not true either. The Reds did acquire one MiLB prospect in 2003 fire sale (Aaron Harang) who turned out pretty good.

        The Reds don’t do fire sales very often. Their trades of Foster, Griffey, and Seaver in 1981 and 1982 brought back prospects named Diddly and Squat.

      • tct

        The Reds have never been in a situation like this, at least not in my lifetime. They are in a sellers market and if they put Chapman, Cueto, and Frazier on the block they would arguably have the best starting pitcher, best relief pitcher, and best hitter on the market.

        The situations you mentioned are not similar at all. Seaver was almost 40 when the Reds traded him. Foster was in his mid thirties, and Griffey was just an average player in his early thirties.

  5. vegastypo

    What the heck? To start a game, and go into a delay 10 minutes later? This has happened multiple times this season.

  6. muttonlettucetomato

    That was such a bizarre inning for Cueto. Couldn’t find the strike zone as all and walking in a run. I imagine there’s a lot of emotions running thru his head right now…

  7. muttonlettucetomato

    Nice knock for Suarez. Precisely why it would have been nice to have him closer to the top of the order in my thinking.

  8. Indy Red Man

    Suarez!! They need to see if they can talk BP into being dealt away….and throw a little of BPs salary in there too if they have to? They’ve been Sean Marshall millions for nothing for years so whats the difference? Suarez could play 2B or even 3B and move Frazier to LF.

    • Tom Gray

      Suarez can play 2B but maybe not 3B. Big difference in those two INF spots.

      Why would you think Frazier could play LF regularly? He’s been INF his entire career.

  9. Indy Red Man

    Bruce in a nutshell…..3 run HRs when its 9-1. Twice today he Ks w/2 outs and risp. The 1-1 and the 2-2 pitch were BOTH low and outside but Bruce…pressing in these situations…waves away! Career he’s .195 w/2 outs and risp. That’s not a fluke. Either keep him and bat him no higher than 6th or trade him but you can’t count on him as a primary option

    • Jeff Morris

      Wonder what Bruce’s Career average is with 1 out and risp?

      • docmike

        Even more important, what’s his average with RISP with 2 outs, but only in games where the team is trailing, and only if the deficit is 3 runs or less?

        Because, you know, runs don’t count for as much when you’re already ahead. Or if you’re behind by 4 or more runs.

  10. vegastypo

    Wow, what is it about this No. 8 hitter that Cueto can’t even throw him strikes?

  11. Grover

    This is not helping his trade value or convincing me he is 100%

    • docmike

      Eh, it’s not helping, but it’s not hurting either. Even the elite pitchers have an off-game sometimes.

  12. seat101

    Pleased to see little panic and/or excoriation today.

    I really do not understand why they would shop Jay Bruce. Hello buddy

  13. Jake

    Cueto already walked 6. Man oh man, that is odd for Cueto

  14. Jeff Morris

    I am willing to bet that Cueto is distracted with the Trade Stuff going on. Can teams trade now? or do they have to wait until July 31st?

  15. muttonlettucetomato

    Matheus just walked the leadoff (#8) hitter. Hope that doesn’t come back to bite the Reds. Need to keep it close to even have a shot at getting Johnny off the hook for the loss.

      • pinson343

        Perez walks a lot, because all he does is take pitches. So why not them him strikes ?

  16. VaRedsFan

    Shouldn’t they have prepared to bring Parra in with 5 straight leftys coming up?

  17. VaRedsFan

    Greinke 7 more shutout innings (so far) today

    • Jake

      Greinke has been phenomenal this year, got to watch him pitch in LA

  18. pinson343

    Parra brought in to face Santana with the bases loaded, and throws 4 pitches not even close to being strikes. All 3 Indian runs on bases loaded walks.

  19. jamesgarrett

    Lead off single by De Jesus and 2 pitches later the inning is over.It took 4 pitches guess it could have been 3.

  20. BigRedMike

    nice billy. terrible base running by the Indians

  21. George Mirones

    The core player logic is taking a beating lately. Cite the individual stats but team losses usually indicate that what you have isn’t working well and that no one should be safe. Speculation that injuries have hurt the Reds is just that, speculation because we will never know what Mesoraco, Bailey, and Cozart would have done this year so again no one should be safe. I am not saying blow it up but long term the core player approach should be based on team performance and the mix of the players playing for each other. Just a thought.

    • pinson343

      Also hard to believe that the Indians have left 9 runners in scoring position. And almost all of them got there with less than 2 outs.

      Incredible that the Reds are only 2 runs down.

  22. docmike

    Cleveland is so stupid. Don’t they realize that walks just clog the bases, and never lead to actual runs scoring?

    The Reds are so much smarter than that. They only let Cleveland’s pitcher issue one walk all day. Suckers…

  23. Jeff Morris

    I always thought Baseball wasn’t really fair, because of no salary cap.

  24. Jeff Morris

    I can bet that many Reds players are playing distracted and probably dis-interested since so many reports out there have the Reds wanting to trade multiple players before the July 31st Deadline. Therefore, many players probably just going through the motions.

    • Tom Reed

      After they work so hard to get to the major leagues, I doubt that any players are distracted and going through the motions. Careers are usually short and they have to make hay while the sun shines.

  25. BigRedMike

    Angels looking at Bruce, maybe they could get Richards in the deal : )

  26. pinson343

    One good swing from Votto and the Reds can take the lead.

  27. jamesgarrett

    It’s tough on the players and the fans right now.It will get better in time because all everybody wants is to win.

  28. Jeff Morris

    Lets see…Bruce’s average now will go down probably to 1.90 with 2 Outs & RISP.

  29. pinson343

    Votto is hitting low (very low) breaking pitches hard.

  30. Jeff Morris

    Figures….Shumauker. Strike 1, 2, & 3. The Reds had no other option pitch hit??

  31. pinson343

    Chapman pitching the 10th, good.

  32. Philboyd Studge

    Why on earth is Skip Shumaker in the major leagues? He is a joke.

  33. wdwrolen2713

    WOW! A double switch to keep best reliever in game for multiple innings? I wonder if Price just now thought of doing this.

  34. msanmoore

    I didn’t realize we had 2 lefties in the pen named Chapman … or that both wore 54.

  35. Philboyd Studge

    One thing that truly aggravates me about today’s game is having 4-A career players get paid $2.2 million to clog the bench in the major leagues then constantly fail when asked to contribute. That’s you, Skip, if I wasn’t clear.

  36. Indy Red Man

    97-98…that’s about where u would see Chapman as a starter. Its still super fast when u consider how tall he is and how long his delivery is.

  37. pinson343

    Does Chapman walk in a 4th run ?

  38. VaRedsFan

    The way this is going, he might walk in the go ahead run

  39. msanmoore

    Well I’m glad I woke up from my nap in time to see Chappy pitch 2 innings and Bourgeois knock in the tying run. As somebody else said, at least Johnny won’t end on a loss … other than looking lost out there with his walks.

  40. pinson343

    Nice K to get out of it but why a breaking pitch on 2-2 ? One pitch within walking in 4 runs in this game.

  41. Indy Red Man

    Chapman will never be a legit starter….just doesn’t trust his other stuff enough and no matter how hard you throw….95% fastballs isn’t going to work. Cingrani hasn’t figured it out either.

  42. Philboyd Studge

    A small part of me wishes Chapman had walked that guy. I doubt if in major league history a game has ever been lost 4-3 with all four runs walked home. But just a small part. Now get the W.

    • vegastypo

      from twitter: Justin Upton removed as a precautionary measure today because of weather and muscle tightness

  43. VaRedsFan

    need a run here, because the rest of the bullpen ain’t pretty

  44. BigRedSaguaro

    that and we now have no third baseman

  45. VaRedsFan

    If Ivan is hurt, who plays 3rd base now?

  46. msanmoore

    Yep – Grit to 3rd and Tucker in RF.

  47. BigRedSaguaro

    Villareal helping break in Tucker out there in RF

  48. msanmoore

    OK, what are the odds he has to field the first 3 hits? Did it fine from what I see.

    • pinson343

      Barnhart not only fielded the balls well, he made good throws (that part not surprising).

      • msanmoore

        He did hit the cutoff man square on that last one.

  49. RedAlert

    Rocketman Villereal bout to give up the lead

    • RedAlert

      Simply unbelievable he continues to be on 40 man roster – unbelievable

  50. BigRedSaguaro

    Reds pitchers are the very definition of insanity today.

  51. pinson343

    That’s it, talk with him AFTER he’s walked in the go-ahead run.

  52. vegastypo

    Why Walt/Price would ever expect anything better than this from Villarreal is beyond me.

  53. msanmoore

    Well I’m guessing 2 runs will kill it for us now.

  54. Philboyd Studge

    LOL. I’ll bet no team has ever walked in four runs in a game. What a team.

    • pinson343

      They were talking about how the last time the Reds did that was in Jim Maloney’s last start with the Reds, in 1970. He walked in 3 of them.

  55. RedAlert

    And Villarreal comes in and douses the flames with gas …

    • pinson343

      There weren’t even flames, he came in to pitch a clean inning.

      • RedAlert

        True / made his own fire didn’t he

    • Tom Diesman

      If he gets 4 PAs for the rest of the Reds games it would give him 571 PA for the year.

  56. muttonlettucetomato

    Hard to take much positive from this game other than Votto and Suarez having good days at the plate and Chappy’s record time to 500 strikeouts.

  57. BigRedSaguaro

    Man if this is how dark things look now, I’m dreading the day the Reds start trading away players

  58. RedAlert

    Glad to see that 30 minute meeting that Price had before the all star game break having such a profound effect

  59. jamesgarrett

    I think we knew what was going to happen when Villareal entered the game but lets not forget we left a runner on second in innings 8,9 and 10.We are not next to last in hitting with RISP by accident.We have earned it.

  60. jamesgarrett

    Left a runner on second in the 11th also.Sorry I missed that one.