Chapman-free news.

Reds and Orioles discussing Jay Bruce

The Baltimore Orioles have talked about trading for Jay Bruce, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.

What could go wrong with the Reds trading an outfielder to the Orioles?

That happened on Dec. 9 exactly 50 years ago. Nick Carrington on Frank Robinson.

Back to the present. The Orioles are looking for an outfielder. From their perspective, trading for Bruce (28) would offer a low-cost, low-years commitment compared to signing a free agent. From May 16-August 4, Bruce hit .306/.374/.567, with a walk rate of 9.7 percent and isolated power of .261. His runs created (wRC+) over that stretch was 151, which trailed only three players in the NL (Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt and Joey Votto). That’s a near-MVP performance over half the season – not a couple weeks or a month – which could prove tempting to acquire. Bruce also offers solid defense and a strong arm. He may perform well enough that the Orioles could make him a qualifying offer at the end of 2017 and receive a compensation pick for losing Bruce to free agency.

Reports surfaced over the weekend that Bruce has a limited no-trade clause that allows him to block a deal to eight clubs — the Yankees, Red Sox, Athletics, Rays, Marlins, Twins, Indians and D-backs. That doesn’t mean Bruce will refuse to play for those clubs. It means he has added negotiating leverage before agreeing to move to any of them.

Reds add three pitchers to 40-man roster

In addition to signing free agent RHP Blake Wood (30) to a 1-year major league contract, on Friday the Reds moved three right-handed pitchers to their 40-man roster. The promotions of Sal Romano (22), Robert Stephenson (22) and Stephen Johnson (24) with Wood put the Reds 40-man roster at 38 players. The moves protected those players from the Rule 5 Draft.

Romano was chosen in the 23rd round of the 2011 amateur draft. Stephenson was a first-round pick for the Reds that same year. Johnson was the player the Reds acquired from the Giants for Marlon Byrd. He was a sixth-round pick for San Francisco in the 2012 draft.

Heisey-Baker reunion

The Washington Nationals signed OF Chris Heisey (30) to a minor league contract. It sets up a possible reunion with Dusty Baker, the Nationals’ new manager. The Reds drafted Heisey in 2006 and he played parts of five seasons (2010-14) for the major league club. Over 543 games, he hit .247/.299/.422.  Last year, Heisey played 33 games for the Dodgers.

Check out Grant Freking’s great two-part interview (one, two) with Heisey for Redleg Nation last September.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 87 Comments

  1. Well, if Bruce gets dealt to Baltimore, I hope he buys himself a top of the line set of body armor. He’ll need it just to get to the stadium. What did Jay Bruce do to deserve getting traded to the new murder capital of the US? A history of slumps can be costly. Next thing you know, he’ll be teammates with Snake Plissken in NY.

  2. Remember, Bruce is an old 28.

  3. I do not like this as a Red,

    The kind of move that hurts my head…

    Bruce hits 40 HRs in Balty and wins the AL MVP. He has had flashes of that kind of play as the article suggests.

    I would really like us to add another Jay Bruce for the hole we have instead of trading the one we have and creating a 2nd hole.

    I wonder how much better he will be with a year removed from his surgery. We saw what it meant to Votto to be 100%.

    I wonder how much Jay had to battle through this year and play as much as he did because he is a gamer.

    • Bruce…MVP? You can’t hit .240 and be an MVP, especially when you spend 3 months every year being one of the worst hitters in baseball.

      The sooner we move him, the better.

  4. It all depends on the quality of the prospect or prospects the Reds would get from B-more. Bruce is a streaky hitter but at age 28, at a time when offense is tough to acquire, he’s an offensive weapon. We also should not overlook his defensive ability. If Jay has a good first half of 2016, then July might be a good time to trade him.

  5. For years we have been trying to find one more decent outfielder. Now we believe we can find 2?

    No question Bruce is frustrating, but really right now are you going to find something better? Just look at our LF situation for the answer.

    I would trade Chapman for less than I would Bruce in a heartbeat.

    • I agree with your insight, but it would only have held up around 2-3 years ago when we were actually competing in the NL Central. As a Reds fan, I completely understand that we are transitioning into a rebuild phase: the best thing to do is not get too attached to some of these players.

      With that said, I still root for Bruce as well. I actually attended a game this year when the Reds hosted the Giants (the day after the stacks light up in flames, provided you recall it) and when Bruce stepped up to the plate, the fans booed him. A part of me felt bad for him, but it didn’t seem like he needed my sympathy… because he proceeded to hit a solo home-run.

      Nevertheless, the OF situation isn’t going to be set in stone anytime soon. As we all know, the LF gap is still there, and Hamilton still has yet to prove himself against pitchers.

      The organization itself has numerous chips on the table for trades during the Winter meetings: from Chapman and Bruce to Phillips and Frazier.

      • The fans weren’t booing him, they were chanting “Bruuuuuuuce!”

        • Yeah, I know they do that. But he was undergoing a hitting slump during this time, if I recall correctly.

    • We’ve done the Bruce thing over and over… it doesn’t work. He can cobble together respectable stats, but when his slumping (longer than he isn’t) he is costing us wins. He isn’t bad really, but he isn’t good either. It’s time to turn the page IF we get a solid offer or make a solid offer. I don’t see giving him away, as he could be traded in July next year or next off-season if need be.

      He might well become a good hitter than some think he is now (he isn’t…he isn’t CLOSE to a good hitter), but how much longer do we wait?

  6. The Baltimore minor league system isn’t much to get excited about. Prospect-wise I don’t think the Reds would get a warranted return for Bruce from them. However, since the Reds are trading Chapman, the O’s have a nice unknown closer in Zach Britton, who has 2 years of arbitration left. He made $3.2M in 2015. He had 36 saves in 2015 and 37 the year before, about the same as Chapman, and the only 2 years he has been a closer. More importantly, for GABP, Britton had a phenominal 79% ground ball rate in 2015 and 75% in 2014.
    That would be two possible years of Bruce, a club option for 2017, for 2 years of Britton. Maybe the Reds will have to throw in a prospect.

    • Zach Britton and how he can relate to Michael Lorenzen and Brandon Finnegan.
      Britton was a starting pitcher in the Baltimore organization all the way up until he made the O’s roster in 2013 with a promotion. He had both good and not-so-good results as a starter. The O’s moved him to the bullpen to begin the 2014 season and became the closer. In 2013 his fastball averaged 91.5-92 mph. In 2015 as closer, his fastball averaged 95.8 mph. It averaged 95.1 mph in 2014.
      Maybe there is a lesson for the Reds in this even if they cannot pick up Britton.

      • I don’t think the O’s will move Britton for Bruce but they do have a couple chips they’d probably shove in for him. They may not be as close to the Majors as the Reds would like though.

        I wouldn’t mind seeing Bruce playing for my AL team, especially in a deal that was good for both clubs.

  7. Bruce was only a little bit below average at the plate and in the field last year, and he’s still young, I wouldn’t want the Reds to trade him unless they got substantial value back for him. It just seems too likely that he’ll bounce back.

    Even with a low BABIP and a lot of strikeouts, Bruce still managed 65 extrabase hits. That’s tied for 21st in baseball, and one more than Joey Votto had. Even a slight improvement in BABIP etc would put him back in the top 15 power hitters in the game.

    • I totally agree. Too many people ready to give up on Bruce. He does frustrate but can anyone say Paul O’Neill? Unless you get a good replacement maybe but we don’t have his replacement in-house right now.

      • I agree Dave, a good replacement like a Paul O’Neill….

        Again, why is it the Reds want to trade these guys. These are the prototypical players to be acquiring.

        I get that anybody on your roster is open for business. That said Bruce’s stock right now is Apple at the IPod stage, pre IPhone.

        I believe he will be healthy and have a monster year

        • I like Bruce as much as the next guy, but it’s as much as a philosophical change as anything else.

          This core has, I think, shown that it is not strong enough to be a contender. It has wilted in big games and series for the past few seasons. Management hasn’t shown the willingness to spend a bunch of money to make the needed moves to make the team a contender; we’re also seeing how piling up prospects can lead to success (Cubs). Add all that up, and it’s hard to come up with a reason to actually keep him.

          This team isn’t strong enough to whether the storm if Bruce has another bad season.. Might as well cash in when teams are still willing to pay a premium.

        • But Brady, your point of trading Bruce now conflicts with your point of getting a premium return like the Cubs have.

          which is why I oppose a trade of Jay Bruce right now. we are selling low and cannot afford to do that with the chips we have in this game.

          Trade Chapman, sure. but not Jay Bruce right now

        • At age 28 Bruce needs to have a monster year because the age curve is not too far away.

    • I am not for giving Bruce away. He isn’t so expensive that he needs moved. He isn’t a good hitter. He does have pop, but when, if ever, will he become a tough out more than one month each season?

      I get the Bruce isn’t bad, why risk having another hole in the OF thinking…but we need hitters that are tough outs…Bruce is mostly an easy out for opponents. Barring a mistake pitch in a specific area the size of an iPad, Bruce has a tough time making solid contact. Weak pulled grounds, pop ups, strikeouts galore.

      If he finally improves as a hitter, I would really like Bruce, but he is 28, not 24, how much improvement is left? It doesn’t seem like he thinks he needs to improve…that is what bugs me.

  8. There is at least a 51% chance that Jay Bruce is what he is and no dramatic improvement will occur. Why pay him 12.5 million to be slightly better than mediocre when you have virtually zero chance of finishing any better than 4th?

    • I agree with that last statement. Reds are most likely going to be outside looking in for a few years with St. Louis, Pittsburgh and no doubt Chicago Cubs much better. Might as well reload so if Bruce can get us quality young players to build with and around, I’m all for it

    • That may be Chuck, and if so, you trade him at a time when:

      “His runs created (wRC+) over that stretch was 151, which trailed only three players in the NL (Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt and Joey Votto). That’s a near-MVP ”

      you maximize return on investment at a minimum. 3 consecutive years of 260 BA, 30+ HR’s and 100 rbis have been replaced with 220’s since his knee injury.

      He is a lifetime 248 hitter with a 462 slugging even with his bad last 2 years. Which again were due to a knee injury.

      And if he gets back healthy, with a 260/330/480 season, I am guessing that very few on these boards will want to trade him.

      But for goodness sake, we should be the ones getting a steal on a trade, not give Bruce away for half value.

      I think that Jay has a very pure swing that can mask his lack of health last year. I think his health has kept him from trusting his stuff and guessing a lot more

      • Can we stop talking about Bruce’s knee injury like it’s an ACL? He missed about 15 or so games. and was back on the field, swinging away, and stealing bases like nothing was wrong. No more minor surgery excuses.

    • Mostly I don’t worry about the money saved unless the team is going to spend it on players, rather than just pocket it as profits. If the Reds trade Jay Bruce and sign Jayson Hayward, then I’m all for that. If they trade Jay Bruce and get some solid prospects that are likely to help the next good Reds team more than Bruce, then I’m all for that.

      But Bruce is a lifelong Red and a guy I like rooting for. I don’t want to see him traded for a mediocre prospect that is unlikely to amount to anything in the bigs so the Reds ownership can make more millions of dollars while putting together a terrible team.

      • i think ownership deserves the benefit of the doubt when it comes to spending. In recent years, they’ve been in the middle of payroll and I doubt they’re in the middle of revenue.

        I don’t think Bob C. views saving 12 million on Bruce as a chance to buy another 2 houses or the capital to corner the tangerine market.

        The Cardinals are immensely profitable and either invest in their minor league system or retain earnings for when payroll needs to increase. If they chose, signing Hayward won’t be a problem for the Cards because they’ve lived below their means and have ample flexibility.

        Marge spent every dollar that wasn’t used for Pall Malls or Vodka on MLB payroll and it set the franchise back a decade. When a team has a shot at winning it all, theres nothing wrong with going all in from a payroll perspective….when 4th place is your best possible outcome, it makes sense to cut payroll, invest in the minor league system and retain earnings for when those dollars can actually make a difference.

        • Ownership has spent money poorly. Not on the big contracts (Votto, BP, Bailey) but the little ones – Broxton, Hannahan, Ludwick, etc. They just bought out Badenhop as well.

        • Jesse… why is Votto’s contract money poorly spent?

    • Because of 2017.

      • It won’t hurt to stay with Bruce and give him one more shot to improve. If he does and the Reds rebuild looks to take another year, trade him in July for a nice haul. If he doesn’t we know we don’t need to talk extension and can let him walk and make another team disappointed in his chronic slumps and less frequent tears.

  9. I have always been a big supporter of Bruce especially when he changed his approach and got his average up to 260 with an OBP of 346 during the Rockies series in Colorado.He was taking his walks and putting the ball in play and I actually thought he had finally got it.Then he fell off a cliff the rest of the season.The big question is what will he do from here on out?I would be willing to keep him and look at him again at the trade deadline because I feel then we will get a better return then especially if he is performing at a high level.Hard guy to figure out.Will the real Jay Bruce please stand up?

    • He simply needs to fix being streaky. I’d give up that stretch of hot hitting Steve noted, if he would make those other 3.5 months of overmatched high school hitter disappear. Give me steady and a few less HRs and a few dozen more hits and many more pitches seen, over the few weeks of mashing sandwiched by flatlining and hitting like a little girl.

  10. Bruce frustrates me to no end. In September I would have traded him. Then I talked to a couple of people who are Red Sox fans. They both said the,Reds would be nuts to trade him. You don’t find power like him out there. They need to put him in the 4 hole and leave him there. They said the biggest problem the Reds have is they don’t leave the lineup alone. Nobody knows where they are hitting game to game. It’s laughable. They said Votto needs to hit 2nd and somebody needs to hit behind Bruce to protect him. Make the pitchers throw strikes to him. I think that’s where Mez should hit then Frazier. It was very enlightening to heAR some fans of other teams give their perspective.

    • The biggest problem the Reds had last year wasn’t playing with the lineup. It was: the #2 starter going down with TJ surgery, the starting catcher going down with a hip injury; a horrible bullpen; a centerfielder they had to bat 9th because he couldn’t get on base; no left fielder to speak of; a worthless bench. Those were all bigger problems than not sticking Jay Bruce in the 4 hole and leaving him there.

    • Some of my best friends are Red Sox fans

  11. Here’s another thought for Bruce. His BABIP has been substantially lower the last two years than his previous career average. I checked his expected BABIP based on his batted ball types, and his xBABIP the last two years was .332 (actual 2014 BABIP: .269) and .310 (actual 2015 BABIP: .251).

    So, while I don’t have the data, it seems possible that the increased shifts that are being used by several teams in the NL central may have started to cut into Bruce’s BABIP.

    If I’m Jay Bruce, aside from staying in good shape this winter, I’m only working on one thing: bunting the ball to the 3B side of the field. With the shifts that have been deployed on Bruce, all he would have to do is get it down to be successful. If he could get to the point of getting it down 50% of the time, that would be a .500 OPB and .500 SLG in those plate appearances.

    Bruce has never had an OPS higher than .846, so no one could argue that Bruce was giving away his at bats by taking easy singles. I would guess that if Bruce did that consistently, that within 1 month the shift would be gone.

    I know some people have argued that it’s not that easy for position players to learn how to bunt, but a) I simply don’t believe that without actually seeing someone try it consistently and b) Bruce hit .226 and .217 the last two years, so it’s worth trying something. Billy Hamilton has struggled with bunting, but he’s trying to bunt for hits against drawn in infields. Bruce would just be trying to get the ball on the ground to the left of the pitcher and right of the foul line.

    • I read an article last year on FG suggesting that heavily shifted players only experience about a 10-point drop in BABIP due to the shift. While that is significant in a vacuum, it suggests that Bruce was likely just getting the unlucky end of the stick. Anecdotally, that seems to be the case. It seems like every time you turn around he’s lining out to someone.

      • Bruce unlucky? For two straight seasons? Sorry, Bruce just doesn’t hit enough liners to center or right field. When you have three deep infielders on the right side of the diamond, a few line drive singles become outs. That isn’t bad luck, it is because Bruce gives teams no reason to bother fielding the left side.

        The shift doesn’t hurt a hitter, the hitter is the one that causes the shift to be employed, so there is no luck involved, its just a matter of taking a wide fair territory and handing the opponent an advantage. Bruce causes the shift with his subpar approach (he loves his long HRs, screw the other ABs and the team).

    • He simply needs to stop the stubbornness, stop trying to pull everythhing and learn to hit to all fields. He was better as a rookie than he is now. Sad. He USED to hit quite a few balls to LF and LCF, but now he thinks he has to pull so those HRs can land 5 seats further back.

      I don’t get why coaches and players can’t make the easy-to-see simple adjustments. Bruce has selfishly gone the direction of hitting longer HRs to RF at the expense of average, RBIs, runs and team. He rarely hits an outside pitch to LF now, instead its a weak pulled ground ball or pop fly. Find a way to fix that. Maybe a silly Willy Mays Hayes 20 pushups each time? Maybe fining him for every pulled outside pitch? Bench him the next game if he pulls an outside pitch for an out? Do SOMETHING to get him to realize going WITH the pitch is better for him, his stats and the team, even at the expense of 4 or 5 HRs.

      Otherwise, put him 6th in the order where an all-or-nothing slugger belongs and ride out the contract…with some faint flicker of hope.

      • Where is the data showing he used to hit to all fields and now he doesn’t?

        Here is his Pull% from 2008 to 2015:
        45.6
        47.1
        45.2
        44.2
        47.1
        38.6
        48.9
        46.8

        With the exception of 2013, he’s been very consistent with how often he pulls the ball.

        • Sorry JDX, I watch games and I don’t see many line drives to opposite field from Bruce. You do realize the shift is used for a reason, right? It’s because he is a pull happy nutjob and it works because he is.

          While he might not hit any more to non-pull (basically just over 50% to the other 2/3 of the field), he hits fewer and fewer line drives. I trust my eyes on this one and your pull percentage doesn’t differentiate weak pop flies from line drives.

          I guess this is yet another place where analytics fails (there are many).

    • He is strong enough to hit outside pitches to LCF for HRs regularly and still pull the inside pitches. Why do hitters like Bruce lead us to believe they’re too weak to hit a HR unless they pull everything? Does Bruce not know he is a big boy with strength? Maybe he needs to see a sports shrink.

    • There was an article on Mike Moustakis of the Royals on how he used to be pull happy, made adjustments in the off season, and bettered himself as a hitter. It took dedication to the technique.

      http://www.royalsreview.com/2015/5/13/8596451/mike-moustakas-opposite-field-batted-ball-stats

      • Shhh, you’ll offend the few Bruce supporters on here. It’s not Bruce’s fault and the shift should be made illegal so Bruce can get a little better.

        I laugh at the comments in MLB this year from (a select few) that think the shift shouldn’t be allowed. Are you kidding me? How about the hitters causing the easy choice to shift grow up and become an actual PROFESSIONAL hitter?

        • Can you back up your statement that it’s easy for a professional hitter to adjust to the shift?

        • Steve, what are you talking about?

          You don’t have to adjust, the hit the ball to all fields and the shift goes away post-haste. I don’t even get your question? If I had all my fielders lined up down the right field line, you’re telling me a hitter might have trouble “adjusting”? If so, RELEASE the hitter, right there on the field, in the middle of the at bat. Take his bat and point to the dugout and have security walk him off the stadium grounds.

          Seriously, why even ask such a silly question?

          The shift is a not-so-veiled hint that you are NOT a professional hitter, you’re a elementary school, kick-ball player. Remember when we wanted it slow and bouncy and in one spot back in first grade? That’s what this shift argument sounds like to me.

          • Again, there is a massive amount of evidence that major league hitters can’t or don’t adjust to the shift and when they try they are ineffective at it. All I’m asking is that when you make claims here, that you back them up with some data. You should read Big Data Baseball and what the Pirates thought about shifting. If they saw power hitters trying to poke balls to the other side, or bunt, they thought they had won. So far, all you’ve provided is your opinion. I’ll have to go with the Pirates on that.

        • So, if Bruce “can’t adjust” to the four infielders all playing much further to their left, cut him. Tell him this is Major League Baseball and we pay you handsomely to “adjust” every day and be a professional hitter.

        • I know that any person on the planet can adjust to a shift, you know how I know? Because anyone can realize pulling an outside pitch is the cause and hey, let me practice waiting back and hitting the outside pitch where it WANTS to be hit, to left and left center field. BRILLIANT! I played baseball, and I could pull an inside pitch and rarely pulled anything down the middle or outside. I didn’t have Bruce’s power, but I must have more professional hitting skills, because hitting to all fields was not a problem at all.

          • So that would be “no” – as in can’t provide evidence that it is easy for a major league hitter, with a lifetime of habits and practice, to switch the way they hit. Sorry if I don’t take the claim that *you* could do it as proof.

  12. Hope this is accurate……

    http://www.mlbdailydish.com/2015/11/23/9786368/reds-trade-rumors-dodgers-interested-in-aroldis-chapman

    No names yet but the Dodgers are a team that have some of the type of players the Reds are rumored to be looking for; and a legit big time player in the swim never hurt any market.

  13. Like many of the vets being discussed, if you are going to trade Bruce, you’d better get something good back in return. He’s streaky, and probably has worn out his welcome with management, but his bat WILL NOT BE REPLACED in the lineup if he is dealt. Considering the awful offense this team had with Bruce, imagine the output without him?

    That might drive and keep fans away, no matter how many mystery bobbleheads are offered.

    Keep Bruce unless blown away. Get him healthy, Get him on a hot streak next year, then maybe deal him.

    • It’s unlikely that Bruce will garner much in return because he isn’t very good. He was in the midst of one of his hot streaks at the trade deadline last year and the only known offer was a dude on the DL, recovering from Tommy John surgery. A Jay Bruce hot streak isn’t going to fool any other team.

      Yes, taking his bat out of the lineup makes them worse….so what. Will anyone notice the 99 games they lose without him vs the 96 they would lose with him?

      Attendance will be down anyway because the team sucks. Jay Bruce’s salary is the equivalent revenue to 400,000 fans…….is Jay Bruce worth 5k fans per game?

      • Nice points.

        Howeva – along your line of thinking… Trading Bruce, BP, (and maybe Votto and Bailey) to shed money, getting far below value in return, smacks of the NBA economy. Not interested.

        Better to have Bruce’s bat in the lineup and patrolling RF than the two middling pitching (because the Reds loooove pitching) prospects you say they’ll get in return.

        Small chance the Reds remain competitive next season, and I’d rather have Bruce on the roster if the other option is to trade him for peanuts and “salary relief”

        • There is a huge difference between salary relief and capital re-allocation.

          If they could save the 12 million on Bruce’s salary and reallocate those dollars into better scouts, more minor league instructors, expanding the analytics department etc…then it’s a long term investment that shoukd yield far greater results than 1 season with an average player on a bad team.

          Bruce may not garner much…..in an era in which offensive ability is treated as a delicacy, the fact that he has little trade value tells us a lot.

          • I don’t think this franchise – as it stands now – is going to put money into any of those places.

      • And it depends where those 5K fans sit, yes?

      • Bruce suffers among Reds fans because he was touted as being the next great player, and has turned out, so far, to only be a good, serviceable player with skills on both sides of the ball. We could quibble about “good” v. “very good,” but I think that he would be missed more than we realize. I agree with Jeremy’s perspective.

        • Bruce is NOT good. He is a replacement level OF in his prime. I don’t call that good. Just because he is the best of the 3 OF positions on the Reds, don’t lose sight of his mediocrity due to blindness of relativity.

      • Given Bruce’s long slumps and short hot streaks, I’d venture to say he costs us more wins than he brings us…so losing him offensively is a net plus IF they replace him with an average hitting OF. Obviously, if they replace him with a terrible hitting OF, yes, in net, losing Bruce will be a small step back, but the odds are low they can find such an awful hitter to make Bruce appear to have been a net plus hitter.

    • so removing a .220 avg from the lineup will not make the lineup better?

      • At best, it’s likely a wash. They’re not going to get much for him. In the short run, a Bruce trade likely makes them worse…..but that’s like being 458 pounds overweight vs 422 pounds.

      • Shhh, come on man, you’re thinking logically. The .220 average is to be completely ignored, as, remember, Bruce is a good player and a good hitter. Granted the stats don’t bear this out, but you’re not supposed to make note of the bad things, just the good things.

        Why people think Bruce is a net positive is beyond me. The only way we get worse without Bruce is if they bring in a well below-average hitter to replace him. It’s possible, granted, but just a basic, replacement level RF is Bruce’s equal.

        Why do so many see 25 HRs and think that is everything? The man has over 600 PAs and has 25-30 HRs…do you not care at all about the 575 PAs where he doesn’t hit an HR? What about the 130 (out of 155 or so) games he doesn’t hit an HR?

        • “25 home runs is everything,” said no one.

          “Ignore the .220 average,” said no one.

          “Just make note of the good things,” said no one.

          Sure is easy to make your case when you’re setting up straw arguments that no one is making.

      • The biggest issue with Bruce is he gets all the good stats (not that much as is) in just 1 to 1.5 months’ time while the other 3.5 – 4 months are terrible. There is no way he isn’t costing us more wins than he is gaining us during that one torrid hot streak, where we might win a couple more games than we’d have won anyway).

        • Sure is easy to make your case when you don’t have to stick to the truth.

  14. It’s exactly the same. 🙂

  15. I see Puig is being shopped. I’d be curious if the Reds would be interested. Huge risk, potentially game changing upside, and fills a stated and obvious need (young, cost controlled, good OBP, LF).

  16. Nats need a 2nd baseman and leadoff guy. Send Brandon P or Drew Storen.

  17. Almost on cue… an article about Jay Bruce with spray charts and stuff.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/jay-bruce-what-happened/

    • That reads a bit more along my line of frustration. I admit I go way overboard on my Bruce bashing, but the reality is, he is replacement level. His only real plus is better than average HR totals…that’s it. Nothing else Bruce does is notable.

      He is serviceable in that his contract isn’t way too high, but he isn’t a bargain either. The fact he is getting worse, slowly and not better, as he is in his prime years, leads me to think his trade value will only continue to go down. We are looking at Adam Dunn progression (less HRs, slightly better average, but both went from solid BA’s as young pre-prime players to unacceptable BAs in their primes).

      I liked Bruce alot 5 years ago, when their was potential and it looked like he was one off-season from taking that .270 average to .300 with the right change in approach, but it went the other way, the power hasn’t improved like one would expect if you were sacrificing BA and doubles for HRs. Thats the rub, the bad gets worse, but the few plusses don’t get any better.

      Bruce could be a very good RF if he’d take seriously the need for a big change in approach (his swing mechanics), but it just appears like he is satisfied with being a bad hitter with above average power and LONG, multiple slumps each year.

    • Maybe we have a worse RF, but Bruce has been a big part of the problem in run scoring as he has been an answer. He bats in prime lineup spots and plays a prime offensive RF position and doesn’t produce consistently (being kind) on a team desperate for improved offense. We’re Bruce a 7th hitter and playing 2B, his offense would be quite acceptable, but that’s not the reality.

    • I noticed the past two years almost NO black HR balls to left or left center, just like I thought…his ability to hit anything but weak pop flies to opposite field has gone and left the building and I still surmise it is conscious, or more likely, subconscious need to pull to hit HRs to right field with more highlight material. I think many fall prey to this Sportscenter desire to hit a ball 20 rows deep when hitting it 2 rows deep counts the same in the box score.

      • Your statement that “his ability to hit anything but weak pop flies to opposite field has gone and left the building” is false. The data you’re looking at shows plenty of red dots to left and left center, those are line drives.

        There’s a legitimate debate about Jay Bruce and his hitting. But making obviously false, exaggerated and misleading statements isn’t contributing to it.

        • There are so many issues with his team that the rubix cube-like career of Jay Bruce is actually lower on the priority list. The bullpen is awful. The starting rotation is unproven at best. Our CF is a poor man’s Willy Taveras. There is no LF. The two most important positions on the field (SS and C) will be manned by two guys coming off fairly major injuries in 2016. If trading Bruce addresses any of that for the long term then trade him. Otherwise hang on to him and his somewhat team friendly contract.

        • Steve, Bruce hits fewer hard balls to left field and the data backs that up. Just because there are still SOME red dots, doesn’t mean he is still hitting solidly to opposite field.

          I think you are unfairly assuming a statement like “his ability to hit anything but weak pop flies to opposite field has gone and left the building” is meaning NEVER. I don’t mean that and anyone with some basic common sense knows that. I DO mean he has regressed substantially and that is inarguable.

  18. Hopefully the off-season trades and free agent signings will salvage some of the ship wreak the Reds 2016 season is shaping up to be.

  19. Basically the Reds pay 12 million for a guy that’s good 25-30 times out of 150.
    Trade Bruce and Chapman

  20. While I wouldn’t say Heisey is a trash signing, it looks a lot like what Dusty said he’d do when he came to the Reds. (I’ve got lots of players who’ll come play for me.)

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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