Twelve players who were on the Reds 25-man Opening Day 2015 roster are no longer with the organization:

  • C: Brayan Peña
  • IF: Kristopher Negron, Chris Dominguez
  • OF: Brennan Boesch, Marlon Byrd, Skip Schumaker
  • SP: Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Jason Marquis
  • RP: Burke Badenhop, Kevin Gregg, Manny Parra

Five players who were chosen for the Opening Day roster appeared in few games for the Reds – all had been sent to the minors or released by mid-June:

  • Brennan Boesch (51)
  • Kristopher Negron (43)
  • Chris Dominguez (14)
  • Jason Marquis (10)
  • Kevin Gregg (11)

Nine other players are no longer with the organization or cut from the 40-man roster:

  • OF: Jason Bourgeois, Ryan LaMarre
  • P: David Holmberg, Pedro Villarreal, Sam LeCure, Collin Balestar, Sean Marshall, Josh Smith, Nate Adcock, Ryan Mattheus

The released relief pitchers made 267 appearances last year.

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! 75 Comments

  1. “The released relief pitchers made 267 appearances last year.”

    Of course they did.

    • What about released outfielders? Why did they not give ABs to YRod before he was injured or someone who had even a remote chance of building up some experience.

      • In fairness, I don’t think the Reds had YRods season ending injury (early July?) on their calendar …

        He reached AAA for the first time in 2015 at the ripe old age of 22. Yeah, we’ve been hearing about him for seemingly ever, but he was playing at Billings when he was 16 yrs old. He had a lot of growing up to do, especially on the diamond, and was finally starting to show some plate discipline when he got hurt (vs striking out 12 times in 29 PA for Cincy in Sept. 2014). I’m sure he was in their MLB plans in late 2015, but the injury gods had other ideas.

  2. The broom, it is sweeping clean. They may have to implement free scorecards at GABP to help the home fans keep track of the home team.

  3. Sorry to see Pena go

  4. Other than Sam LeCure, there really isn’t one player I will miss in that second and third grouping.
    It is a new bullpen for a new day. That in itself is somewhat encouraging.
    Got rid of alot of WJ’s band-aids. Something WJ never learned, that bandages need changed alot. And that band-aids are not the solution for gaping holes (LF, CF, the bench, the bullpen).

    • To me, the test is whether they try to change the mix or just go out and round up another similar crew of not quite never were guys complimented by matching internal draftees they can’t bring themselves around to cutting the cord on.

      • I have heard that Walt thinks the fans will not come to the ballpark if they trade “favorites”. Basically that is why they kept Chappy and even Bruce at the trade deadline. Basically, he would rather sell a few more beers and hotdogs than build a team.

  5. You are so right about that. I fear that too. My other fear is that they keep Lorenzen and Finnegan in a starting role, even if at AAA, and not move them to the back of the bullpen. They both were hitting 97-98 mph out of the bullpen, but both were mostly around 93-94 as starters. There is more than enough pitching depth at their developmental stage to make the move to the bullpen for both.

    • For me Finnegan is still in the gray between starting and relieving. If the team’s situation was that it looked to be a ~.500 team with perhaps a WC shot, then yeah, field their best pen now which means Finnegan on the back end. However, given the state of affairs, I’d like to see a little more of him starting before he is moved permanently to the pen. The fact that they have Cody Reed and Amir Garrett coming strong as LH starters could impact Finnegan’s eventual destination too.

      If Lorenzen is to be a pitcher, which seems settled as long as he is in the Reds org, I agree the place for him is the back end of the pen.

      • I think your point about the team’s situation is right on. They aren’t really competing next year, so that allows the organization to sort out some of the pitching log jam, including figuring out the bullpen.

        There are three factors I consider with both Finnegan and Lorenzen, and those are experience, value, and future role.

        Neither Finnegan or Lorenzen has much experience as a professional starting pitcher. Finnegan has more experience as a starter, as he started in college. But he only has 24 games started as a professional. Of course he’s only had 1 1/2 years as a professional. As a LH that was a 1st round pick that’s already been able to produce to varying degrees in varying roles at the MLB level, I would allow him some time to focus on just being a starting pitcher. Being jerked back and forth between the bullpen and starting has to be tough. I don’t think anyone has truly seen what his upside can be as a starter, and the good thing is we know his floor is a late innings reliever. Let’s see what he can do with a full year focused on starting while we have the flexibility to do that.

        With Lorenzen, he may have more professional starts under his belt, but less overall experience as he was a closer and OF’er in college. It seems like he has been around for a while, but last year was only his 2nd full professional season, and he only has two years experience as a starting pitcher. He was quite dominant at AAA when he was able to pitch, 1.88 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP in six games started. I believe he was rushed to the Majors because of injuries, and his lack of experience showed. I also believe he flashed enough “stuff” and has posted strong enough results in the upper minors to believe he can still put it together as a starter. I would like to see him get more time to season and grow as a starter.

        Which brings me to value, unless you’re an elite level reliever like Chapman, starters are inherently more valuable than relievers. There are lots of team looking for good, cheap, controllable starting pitching. The Reds have loads of prospects, but not a lot of MLB ready, elite starting pitching, yet. I believe they’re on their way. In the meantime, developing players that will viewed as more valuable and will return more value when/if traded is just smart business. The Reds future shouldn’t hinge on one offseason, so there’s no need to pigeon hole potential starters into bullpen roles when we have some time on our side. One other side, starting in AAA delays their service time which will mean longer future control, adding value.

        Then finally, future role, which will tie into their value. I think at most, only one of Lorenzen or Finnegan will likely have a future as a starter with the Reds. I could be way off, and I think both have the talent and stuff to develop into that role, but I believe the upside to be higher on other prospects that are just behind them. Stephenson, Reed, Garrett, and Travieso appear to be top 100 type prospects who should be able to allow the Reds to fill out an elite rotation in the near future. There will not be room for everyone.

        With that said, developing as a starter for another year will not likely hurt their future ability to contribute out of the bullpen. In fact, it will probably enhance their ability to develop their secondary pitches even further. It will also give them more opportunities to face different types of hitters over the course of multiple at-bats in a game. If the Reds move them to the pen, or in a trade there appears to be more upside in keeping them as starters for now.

    • Just a FYI. Almost all pitchers lose velocity when they are converted from relievers to starters. If Chapman were a starter he would probably be throwing around 95-97 mph.

      • For what it’s worth, there may be a point to be made here regarding Lorenzen’s relatively large increase in velocity when switching roles. Lorenzen’s 93.9 mph average fastball velocity when starting last year only ranked in the top 10-20% of starters, depending on where you draw the cut-off line for IP. Though it’s a small sample size, his 97.3 mph average fastball velocity coming out of the bullpen in September would have ranked him in the top 3% of relievers.

        There’s obviously a lot more that goes into successful pitching than velocity. That being said, velocity is clearly a strength of his, and it may create more of a competitive edge when utilized in a bullpen role.

  6. I like the sweep. Now if the broom can sweep in some prospects with potential to help the offense the Reds will be moving forward.

  7. Agreed Jim. We’ve got no established LH starters at the moment. Give Finnegan a long look. The same goes for John Lamb (whose peripherals are better than the standard stats, but who needs to resolve his control issues). Cody Reed looks like a legit prospect as well (man, that Cueto trade may have landed THREE quality lefties).
    As does Garrett, with both him and Reed being a little farther away from MLB. Wow, seems like only yesterday when our only LH starting pitcher “prospect” was David Holmberg. The times are achanging.

    With the front of the rotation seemingly set with Iglesias, Bailey, and DeScalafani, there are a lot of decent prospects lined up to fill the 4th and 5th spots. Finnegan, Lorenzen, Moscot, Stephenson, Lamb. Unless there is a rash of injuries, one or two of these guys are going to end up in the BP from this bunch.

    • Should have added Travieso to the Reed and Garrett group. The Reds have a TON of quality starting pitching types.

  8. I have heard a rumbling that the Reds top trade target is the D-backs LF David Peralta. They couldn’t come together on the Chapman front, but are exploring the Reds young/controllable pitching depth. The D-backs have Pollack, Inciarte and Tomas in their OF.
    Peralta would be a great get and would look awfully good hitting 2nd in front of Votto. Very affordable contract-wise with 4-5 years of team control. I can see the Reds allure. But it’ll cost some very good pitching to get him.

    • That’s a great fit WV. The D-Backs are loaded in the OF, and Peralta WOULD look awfully good hitting in front of Votto. If Peralta is too expensive, how about Peter O’Brien? Would cost a lot less, and besides playing as a corner OFr, can cover Catcher or 3B in a pinch.

      The Reds and D-Backs seem to be perfect trading partners; they need starting pitching.

  9. Think they should have kept Villarreal. On numerous occasions he kept us in games after early departures. it’ll be difficult to get somebody that matches his long relief performance.

    • Plus he knows all the shortcuts from Louisville to Cincinnati.

    • I agree, I was more surprised that he was cut lose than anyone else this off-season. I thought he performed well in his role, and it’s an undervalued role in my opinion.

  10. if we are going to stink in 2016 at least it is going to have a different whiff to it. We won’t be able to blame them for at least trying to rebuild.

  11. Not signing Brayan Peña is going to come back to haunt the Reds on multiple levels. First, regardless of medical reports, I am not convinced that post-surgery Devin Mesoraco is going to be able to perform as a full-time catcher (or even catch at all) and Peña is a better catcher than Barnhart. Second, Peña’s professionalism and veteran presence is going to be missed in what will, most likely, be a very young and inexperienced Reds team in 2016. Third, he signed with the dreaded Cardinals and I would bet money that he will be the difference in at least one or two head-to-head matchups between the Reds and Cardinals next year (Reds losses, of course). The intangibles, alone, would have been worth the $5 million the Cardinals paid to Peña for two years. He was a known, positive entity worth a lot more than the same money the Reds have dumped into bad contracts with crap-shoot players over the past few years.

    • I agree for the price he signed for there was no reason at all for the Reds to not resign him. Certainly wasn’t over value or team salary issues. I guess players that have a solid OBP for their position, a positive role model, and a guy who brings nothing but goodness to the roster is something that the Reds do not value. I would be willing to bet that Pena catches more games for the Cardinals than Mesoraco does for the Reds. But you know Mesoraco did have 1 really good injury riddled year so far.

    • Agree on the professionalism and veteran presence but I thought Pena was inferior defensively- just by rep (or perhaps my perception) – not that he is that bad but that Tucker is that good. Plus Tucker’s stats hitting left handed are far more superior, so when Devin goes out for the year all the Reds need is a right handed hitting catcher. How hard is that to find?

    • That outlook on Mes is pretty pessimistic. I think it’s pretty bold to proclaim that Mes may not be able to catch at all. I think that 120 games may be a stretch but 100-110 is probably reasonable. Don’t forget the Reds also feel they have a serviceable catcher in Cabrera that they can call upon too. From what I saw of him, his work behind the plate was pretty solid. He moved his feet well, received the ball well, and set a nice target back there.

      I wouldn’t have minded bringing back Pena on a 1-year deal at the right price but he got 2 and I don’t think the Reds really needed to be doing that.

      Your impression on Barnhart’s abilities behind the plate are way different than mine. I can’t see anything that Pena does better than Barnhart behind the plate aside from his rapport with the pitching staff (many of them no longer with the team) and perhaps a better feel for the flow of the game due to his experience. I will agree about Pena’s character (how can someone not like him?) and by all accounts he’s a fine teammate. That’s why I wouldn’t have minded the Reds bringing him back for a short term. I think you’re selling Barnhart pretty short though. The guy is an MLB catcher behind the plate. He’d be a legit starting catching candidate if he could hit LHP better.

      • We know Meso was doing squatting activities starting several weeks back; and I haven’t heard a sniff of any issues, accordingly I can go along that he should be able to catch eventually. The questions that I think are outstanding are when, how long, and how much. No major league catcher has been down this road before; so, everyone is going to be learning the answers on the fly.

        However, when looking at the recovery period and results for some much simpler leg injuries such as Votto and Bruce had, it becomes apparent that the road back to full functionality is really longer than the supposed recovery period. Thus, I’m not sure I buy into Meso being able to catch 100+ games in 2016.

        I think it is reasonable to presume that there may be an extended period, even beyond spring training, when Meso will not be able to make it through an entire game behind the plate. This is my how long from above. Then there is the matter of building long term stamina to be able to come back as quickly as possible after each appearance, my how often. What will it turn out to be? Every day? Not likely for a while. Every other day? Two days on and one off? Three on and one off? My guess would be that if hen is catching “everyday” (which usually works out to a day off every other week) by the ASB, they will be lucky.

      • I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody who I consider “in the know” say that Pena is a better catcher than Barnhart. I’ve only heard the opposite, the Tucker is a MLB caliber receiver and has been since he first appeared with the Reds. Pena appears to be a first-class human being but better catcher, I don’t think so.

    • So you have more information on Meso than the team of doctors and trainers?

      Barnhart and Pena are comparable. One is 33 and makes 2.5 million…one is 24 and makes 500k. Why would a rebuilding team keep the older, more expensive one?

      If the Reds were going to be competing against the Cardinals then allowing Pena to escape to them could cost a game or two….given the Reds are shall we say ” looking ahead” then does it actually matter?

      • As things appear to be shaping up, The Reds pitching staff is going to be very young and inexperienced at the MLB level; and, it is not like Meso or Barnhart are exactly seasoned sage vets at behind the plate. I think this makes it very hard to over value the worth of a couple of mentors such a Peña could be.

        • I’m all for Pena as a coach/mentor in the Red’s system eventually, but not taking up a roster spot at this time in his career. As a former catcher myself, I think Tucker Barnhart is more than adequate to share the catching duties with Mesoraco. He’s a good catcher with an accurate arm and his offense is not bad at a position we cannot always expect to have a Bench or Lombardi.

          • Given the Reds likely situation, the 25th man is hardly likely to make a difference with his performance on the field.
            On the other hand, a veteran like Arroyo or Peña could make a difference every day with what they could teach the young pitchers about the nuts and bolts of pitching successfully at the MLB level. And as I inferred above there are things Meso and Barnhart could also learn in such a situation.

            Given Meso’s injury/ recovery status, the odds heavily favor that the Reds will carry 3 catchers on the MLB roster to start the season. The convenient choice for the 3rd spot is Cabrera because he doesn’t require an off season commitment to a more expensive MLB contract and can easily be sent down if and when they decide Meso can bear enough of the load for them to get by with two catchers. The wiser choice for the 3rd spot however would be a veteran who could play the mentoring role with the pitching staff and other catchers.

        • You’re assuming Pena is one of those quality, helpful veterans. Not all veterans are good for young players. I don’t have any information on whether Pena can “help young pitchers” as a receiving catcher.

          It could be Barnhart is already more helpful of a mentor than Pena, as age means absolutely nothing when it comes to that. My point being just because Pena is a veteran doesn’t mean he is an unquestionable benefit to younger players, pitchers in particular. Don’t just make that assumption.

          As a player, not considering mentoring abilities, Pena is very mediocre (being nice).

          • Age is not important but experience at the top level is because that is where knowledge is gained. Everything that happens before MLB is just to get a guy ready to give MLB a go. The step up is so great it is a wholly different game.

            Barnhart is a solid receiver and should continue to grow into the job but I doubt a couple of seasons have taught him as much as Peña has learned in 2 or 3 times that long.

            As for Peña’s effectiveness at helping his pitchers, I think one needs to look no further than Cueto’s struggles to find his former consistency after he got to KC.

      • Let’s not forget that Pena is pretty much the only backup for Votto as well.

        • Duvall In would guess fills that role along with being the 5th outfielder. Of course things are so fluid by comparison to the past that by the time they head to camp this could be a very obsolete opinion.

        • Frazier would cover it.

        • Between Duvall and even Frazier, that’s covered.

      • And if we can have a guy who hits 0 Homers and drives in 18 then the Reds should sign him fast. These guys on one hand want a new bench of young players. On the other they want Pena because he is a nice guy. Give me a pathetic break.

        • Right on…tired of fan favorites and nice guys. I want hungry players with talent and a sense of urgency and excitement, not yawn-inducing “nice guys” with limited ceiling and little potential.

    • I agree Pena is a great guy in the clubhouse and with fans. He is not a good defensive catcher and he has zero power. A rebuilding team can not keep Pena ahead of Barnhart. By the way Barnhart had a much better year defensively and hitting last year. Mesoraco has a 4 year $28 million contract. He will start until he proves he can’t.

  12. Pena is not a better catcher than Tucker.

  13. I’m a die hard Reds fan but unfortunately I’m convinced the Reds organization doesn’t know talent.

  14. Well the Reds passed on another opportunity for a top-of-the order bat when Aoki inked a new contract with the Mariners.

    • New GM pretty much the same as the old GM. To date its looking like the apple fell from the same tree following self pollination.

    • I don’t see why a 33 yr old corner outfielder with no pop would be any kind of fit for this team.

      If you are trying to build for 2017 or 2018, Aoki is not a good target for the Reds.

      • Agree with you pretty much on Aoki; with Cossack that they aren’t doing much.

        Looks to me that just as always, they have tunnel vision and are holding all their cards for a couple of big set piece plays while a lot of nice supplemental possibilities are passing them by.

        Its been busier than the trade deadline for the last 10 days or so and all the Reds have done is perfunctory stuff that could have been programmed into autopilot weeks ago to auto execute on time.

        • On this date in 2014 the Reds had done nothing to speak of. Then on all one day they traded off Latos and Simon. They obviously were wheeling and dealing with Miami and Detroit for some time. It would stand to reason that they had discussions with other clubs re those players and other players.

          The Blake Wood signing was something they had scouted and mapped out. I would be surprised if they didn’t pick up 1 or 2 players in the Rule 5 draft. And Chapman will probably be traded this month.

  15. Tucker is a way better then Pena, and seems a willing student of the game. Pena sucked at first by the way. Great no sign….

    • Yeah, Pena is no loss. He had a few moments and smiles alot, but man do some fans on here overvalue mediocrity, and especially “experience”. They’re starting to sound like Dusty Baker clones… experience over talent and potential, eh?

  16. Nice, now is the Cards signing former Reds. I guess is Walt coming back to St. Louis. 🙂

    • Lets see if it drags St. Louis down to last place in a season or two (signing former Reds).

  17. It’s a nice start

  18. I get the impresson watching trade rumors that not only are the Reds the least active team but it would also appear that the least amount of players that are generating interest. I guess when you try to trade away pieces from a team that finished dead last that it is difficult to pawn off your scraps.

    • They’re active, but they want a gold mine and other teams GMs are simply laughing and moving on to the next GM on the speed dial. Sadly, I think it means we’ll hold a player they intended to trade with the “we didn’t like any of the offers” line, and trade one for three low ceiling, but “mlb ready” pine-riders.

      • That’s the thing I see. I mean, with what we got for Cueto, I would have taken that possibly even earlier than that. If I was the Royals, I don’t take that, even it was to cost us the WS.

        I believe that’s where we lost when trying to trade Homer and BP a couple of years ago. I believe we were simply asking for too much.

  19. I love all the angst around the “lack of action.” The Winter Meetings haven’t even occurred yet and you would think it was Opening Day. I didn’t realize that baseball shut down between Thanksgiving and St. Patricks Day.

    The Reds are a very PR focused organization and that isn’t a good thing when you’re re-building. It causes you to pro-long the process. Unless they had received “can’t possibly pass on this” offers they weren’t going to unload any relevant players before Reds Fest……they want the smiling images of people in their Rose jerseys, gleefully standing in line for an hour to get their picture taken with Jim Day and Bernie Stowe to be the narrative…not those same people being interviewed on TV and expressing outrage that the Reds didn’t get Mike Trout for Jay Bruce or Rizzo, Schwerber and Russell for Chapman.

    • you are a glass half full kind of a guy. I get that and respect it quite a bit. Somebody has to buy season tickets in the years the team sucks. I’m a guy who sees the glass cracked, riddled with holes and incapable of ever being filled. I’ll be happy when the Reds win a World Series, until then everything they do is terrible, ridiculous, and pathetic.

  20. Why wouldn’t you give Mez a look in LF and pick up another catcher—if nothing else to give him some at bats and keep him fresher behind the plate? If there a deadline when 40 man roster has to be set by?

    • It makes to much sense right? Just lke you know the best of catchers can only catch 120 to 130 games per year so why don’t think train every single catcher to also play first and left field? How hard can in be to teach a catcher to stand in the outfield, wear shades and spit sun flower seeds?

  21. I hope we bring back Leake. I can’t help thinking I would have given him Homer’s contract.

    • I liked Leake as well, his pitch velocity and arm motion would indicate to me a long career with a minimum of injuries. Hall Of Fame career? Probably not, but how many HOFers on our 1990 team?
      Considering that he pitches half his games at GABP I think he is incredibly good. For an extended contract over 5 years in length I would take him over Cueto, Latos, Arroyo, and Bailey.

      • IMO he’s a younger version of Arroyo. Inning eater. Above .500 career record. Etc

    • Wasn’t there/isn’t there a line of thought that Leake wanted to land back on the West Coast?

      And even if the Reds were interested in bringing him back, I doubt he’s gonna give the team a hometown discount, so good luck outbidding other teams for him.

      • Leake went directly from Arizona State to the Reds. If he can work it out, I’m sure he’ll want to stay in the West.

  22. Whoa, I just saw a blog that the Rangers contacted the Reds about Frazier, would put him at first base. Lord only knows the haul the Reds would ask in return.

    • As long as it’s a good one. Frazier’s value is only going to decrease in the next few years.

  23. I read several times in this discussion about the relative merits of an experienced guy like Pena to mentor the young pitchers. For the money spent on Pena, the Reds would be far better served to bring in Corky Miller as a bench/bullpen coach. Corky could mentor both the catchers and the pitchers. All for less than Pena’s salary. I like Pena, but face it, he’s an expensive bench player on a team trying to get younger.

Comments are closed.

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.

Category

2015 Reds

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,