This is the first recap I’ve done this year and I want to have something NEW and INTERESTING to say.  But, well, you’ve been watching this team, right? Yeah. That’s what I thought. So let’s just get to it.

Reds 4, Brewers 5

Box Score | Win Probability

The Good

Jay Bruce hit a homer and the Reds turned a couple of double plays.

Brandon Finnegan wasn’t great, but he wasn’t a mess either. 6.1 innings and 4 runs has to be considered good right now (though pitching help should be arriving any moment).

The Reds did make it interesting in the ninth with a couple of runs, but it wasn’t enough, sadly.

 

The Bad

Well, we can certainly start with the TOOBLANs in the first inning wherein Billy Hamilton and Brandon Phillips both ran themselves into outs. The Reds should have gotten at least one run out out of that inning and came away with none.

Everything else that didn’t involve the Reds playing well. Seriously, not a lot of fun to pay attention to this team and I guess I could enumerate all the little things, but I’m not a masochist.

Brandon Phillips hurt himself making a nice play. He talked his way into staying in the game and played until the end. It looked pretty rough though. Hopefully, he’s feeling okay tomorrow.

 

Not So Random Thoughts

I had somehow managed to forget that Brandon Finnegan was the guy from a few years ago who pitched in both the college and MLB World Serieseseseses. That must be a fun thing for him.

The Reds are playing .500 baseball! (for the last 48 hours)

Things really should be about to change. The rotation is already getting reshuffled and it is about to be June. June, you may be aware, is when you can expect to see some of the prospects who’ve been spending most or all of their time in Louisville. I’ve seen quite a few Bats games this year, and I think you’ll especially enjoy Jesse Winker and Cody Reed (and Jose Peraza when there’s a spot for him). Anyway, those guys and Robert Stephenson should all come up over the course of the next month, which will make it a different team.

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

Join the conversation! 41 Comments

  1. I thought “the only pitcher to be in both the College World Series and major-league baseball World Series” was his middle name.

    He’s going to be the answer to a trivia question and every series the Reds play on the road for as long as he is a Red Just like Joe Nuxhall was before he died.

    • Re-reading my post, it reads as though I am either snotty or disrespectful. That was not my intention. This is a great website and I have great respect for everyone who contributes to it. Please accept my apology.

  2. I kind of wish we just lost yesterday and kept the streak going.

  3. Jocketty and Co. seem intent on continuing looking for pitching, particularly starting. I am thinking they are going to use whoever does not make the starting staff in the bullpen, or as trade-bait. Either, too me, is sound for building a staff. But it does not address hitting unless the use some of the young arms in trade, but will leave the bullpen bare. They are between a rock and hard place in my eyes.

  4. Where will WInker and Peraza play when/if they are called up?

    Hamilton has proven that he cannot hit, yet, there is no plan for him other than keep playing him. Phillips is no longer a good hitter, yet, he continues to play and bat in the middle of the order.

    If the Reds are truly rebuilding, there seems to be no direction at this point.

    There is potentially hope for the starting rotation. Needs to be proven out that they can do it and stay healthy

    • The Reds haven’t given up on Hamilton, but he needs to start playing some ball. In limited appearences, Holt has done more of what is expected of Hamilton on offense than Hamilton has (including smart, aggressive base running).

      The Reds of course did try to trade BP. At some point they need to bring up Peraza and sit Phillips down, regardless of the money they’re paying him. He won’t like it, but good, he might agree to a trade.

    • Naturally, one would assume Bruce will be traded at some point this season, so Winker will likely play RF (or Duvall will move over to RF and Winker will play LF)

    • The direction of the rebuild clearly seems to be: stockpile lots of pitching, assemble a really good staff, and go from there. There doesn’t seem to be an abundance of good, young and available hitters right now, so I’m told. Pitching and defense are relatively available and affordable. Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t, but it does look like a plan.

  5. This is the 3rd time in the last few days that I’m making the same comment. A steady habit of the Bryan Price Reds has been running themselves out of opportunities for big innings (or at the very least, costing themselves runs on the bases). Today’s 1st inning was classic. Nelson was off to a very shaky start, and retired only 1 of the first 7 batters he faced. So prior to Bruce’s HR, Hamilton gets picked off second and BP is caught stealing.

    Phillips is no longer fast. Lucroy had thrown out 7 in a row – yesterday it was Ramon Cabrera ! Price was desperately going for 1 run when the opportunity for a multiple run inning was still there. Boo !

    • Therein lies the problem with a manager who doesn’t understand anything about run expectancy.

    • Yes! I was in a circumstance where I was seeing the game telecast but wasn’t able to post in real time (believe me, no one wants to try to decipher my smart phone keyboarding). At the end of the first inning I thought, whew, the FReds just gave away two outs. Then in the second before te4h GIDP, it was registering with me that 6 of the first seven had reached yet they had score only 1 run. Who says a game can’t be lost from the offensive side early on just as surely as from poor starting pitching out of the chute???

    • I agree to point. Can’t lay blame Price though for Hamilton getting picked off but that was huge. Runner on 2nd and nobody out. We lose by one run and that faux pas might have cost us the game. Phillips running was comical. Think I saw a graphic where the Reds and Brewers have been caught stealing the most. Yep.

  6. The Reds starting pitching will get better but this week Lamb and Simon in Colorado are going to be painful to watch. Lamb might give up as many HRs as innings pitched.
    Moscot is back in the rotation, but Price … oh well, what’s the use.

    • Is it just me or does Simon look like he’s recovering from a 12 pack night when he takes the mound? His belly jiggles. Not pretty.

  7. I looked at the Reds team page on Baseball-Reference and this just about sums up this year so far for the Reds: Under top 12 in WAR where they show the player’s face, the very last box simply says “Photo of Steve Selsky.” Besides the notable lack of a player’s face, it is both sad and funny to think Selsky in about 1 AB is our 12th best player on the team and I think above Votto. You’ve just got to laugh sometimes because the Reds are comically bad so far.

    • Noticed that also, over half the team is worse than replacement level players

  8. Dont have the link but didn’t Votto say something to the effect of he would retire before he would play poorly? I wonder if anyone would have the guts to ask him about that statement? I know its early, a lot of the blame deserves to directed at GM and ownership but man Votto is bad right now. Makes me wonder what this team could do if we had a great GM and Votto walked away from the game and his remaining salary….

    • During the same statement he said something like “Yeah, I’m just frustrated” in regards to the comment. I really don’t think he’d retire just out of nowhere. I mean, maybe when he’s like 39 he might leave a year on the table, but not now.

  9. Pretty sure plugging your personal blog on this blog is a no-no. Please don’t do it.

  10. A few things: someone should make a “low-lights” compilation of the Reds this year. They are…without question… One of the most absurd and mistake-ridden teams in this regard I have ever seen. Don’t think for a moment that Finnegan’s demeanor and pitching style might have improved with a two run lead in the first…rather than always pitching behind.

    Secondly… Phillips should have sat down after his injury. He couldn’t swing or run because of the gimp knee and did the team no favors by “being a gamer” and studying in there.

    Finally… Has Votto had his eyes checked? He had LASIK surgery 6 or 7 years ago and may need a tune-up or at least a re-eval.

    How do I get a refund from my cable company for the baseball package I so stupidly purchased?

  11. Low-lights compilation of our running errors

  12. Jason said it all by saying the Reds do what they do.We can’t hit,running the bases is little league style,our manager makes some very questionable decisions,we have BP who is holding the FO hostage by refusing a trade(which he has every right to do) our staff doesn’t throw strikes,outside of Votto and Holt nobody works the count and we still have Walt because he thinks we can still compete.The pitching staff will get better and we will win a few more games but unless we play Peraza,Winker and others(Holt needs to play more) the so called rebuild gets pushed further down the road.I haven’t give up on Hamilton but as PINSON said Holt is doing what is expected of Hamilton so he needs to play.

    • I am not sure BP will continue to hold the FO hostage. This was never about BP loving the Reds and wanting to stay. It was leveraging the Reds, thinking he could extract more and the Reds called his bluff. Now, he is realizing what his failed negotiating ploy earned him- a really poor end to his career, wasting away on a 100 loss team. He will be traded at the deadline to a contender.

  13. I’ve seen multiple opinions regarding the efficacy of moving Adam Duvall to 3B since Suarez continues to struggle defensively and has dramatically cooled at the plate. Duvall came up as a 3B but that doesn’t mean he was a good 3B. In fact, he mirrored Suarez trials and tribulations as a defensive 3B. The problem for Duvall was finding a place to play defensively since 1B seemed the only viable defensive position for him. Prior to last season, Duvall had played a total of 1 game in the OF and that was a Venezuelan Winter League game. Then a funny thing happened on the way to the Forum…

    Duvall recognized his opportuntiy and seized that opportunity, working diligently to make himself an adequate defensive corner OF. His efforts have produced exceptional results. Duvall is not just an adequate defensive corner OF, he is a good defensive corner OF. He makes excellent reads and almost always runs good routes to the ball. Duvall will never be mistaken for a speedster, but he has good speed and uses it effectively in the OF. Every throw I have seen by Duvall has been on target and to the correct base. Duvall has made every routione play I have seen and he has demonstrated the athletic ability to make the spectacular play.

    The Old Cossack doesn’t want to see Duvall moved to 3B, but I do recocognize that 3B might be a problem. I’m completely happy with Duvall roaming a corner OF position and hitting 5th in the lineup, despite his lack of plate discipline. As long as Duvall can put up an .800+ OPS, leave him alone and let him do what he does best. We might finally have a long term answer for LF (or RF with Winker playing LF).

    • I completely agree, his future as a starter is in the outfield. However, if he eventually becomes more of a utility player or 4th outfielder in the future, the ability to play 3B at all could help add to his defensive flexibility (But still would just be an alternative not the first choice like OF). All things said though, LF or RF is by far his best position and where he needs to stay as a starter and even a bench player. Certainly interesting to hear how hard he worked on his fielding in the off-season and just makes me like him as a player even more.

      • I wouldn’t be so quick to relegate Adam Duvall to a 4th outfielder and utility man position so quick, and award a starting LF job to Jesse Winker, who as of yesterday was batting all of 0.269 and had 2 HR in AAA baseball. Jesse may one day be a good ML outfielder, but he has a lot yet to prove to me, at least.

        The Reds over the last few years have overall, drafted poorly. They have a tremendous opportunity in the upcoming amateur draft, and it will be interesting to see how they mangle this opportunity to rebuild the team.

        This is the team that Bob and Walt have built. This is the front office that Bob and Walt have built. Do not confuse them with the front office of the Cubs since Theo Epstein was hired there.

        • I’m not saying he is a utility player or ever will be. I’m just saying if it ever comes to that, Duvall knowing how to play 3B somewhat may make him more flexible. I really hope and believe he will continue to start in LF or RF for some time. At this point I don’t see a third outfielder until Ervin and even then he may keep his job. Sorry if it sounded like I was slotting him as a utility man.

        • I feel like the Reds have finally found their left fielder. Duvall is one of the few bright spots on the team. Suarez just going through some growing pains at third. It’s painful for everyone, though.

    • I also agree, Cossack. Duvall is a rare bright spot in an absurd and unwatchable season.

    • If Suarez’s defense at 3B doesn’t improve, I wonder if he could be moved to 2B. Blandino was a 3B in college, and even though they’ve been developing him at 2B and SS, I would assume he could move back to 3B without issue. He’s still a couple years away from the majors, so Suarez has some time to become competent at 3B, but I always thought if the three of Peraza, Suarez, and Blandino were playing at the same time, the best alignment would be Suarez at 2B, Peraza at SS, and Blandino at 3B.

  14. I really hope Suarez comes around soon? He came out spraying the ball all over and I think hitting several HRs has turned into a pull machine? I guarantee he had more hits to right-center and right in the first 2 weeks then the rest of this trainwreck season. He has a nice short swing with some lift and can do some damage when he’s right! The thing is with him….he’s pretty much a hack wherever you put him defensively but if he becomes the .275ish hitter with 25+ HRs that the Reds need him to be then those numbers stand out much better at SS or 2B? If that was the case then obv 2B is the easier way to go. Make BP the next Carl Crawford next year….an aging overpaid pinch-hitter just hanging on to get paid.

    • They could make BP Carl Crawford this year for that matter! Trade Cozart asap and bring up Peraza/Curtis. BP, Suarez, Peraza, and Curtis could all rotate playing time in the infield and they could also give Peraza some time in the outfield. I would hope BP would see the writing on the wall and not be disruptive? Curtis might be a decent player if they gave him a chance….plenty of guys have figured it out in their late 20s and had a few positive years.

  15. Disco is making his 2nd rehab start today for the Bats after being shut down after his setback. I really expect tyhe Reds to go slow and easy with his rehab so Disco will probably see at least 2 more rehab starts after today if everything goes well.

  16. It continues to baffle me how people think the manager has little to no effect on a team’s success, yet we see almost daily examples of Bryan Price’s ineptitude (like the above discussion of his inability to understand run expectancy) and how it is detrimental to the team’s success.

    I mean, I get it. This team is not expected to win. But that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a manager who at least puts them in the best possible position to win. The team is already at a huge disadvantage due to the front office stocking it (especially the bullpen) with lackluster to terrible pieces. We don’t need a manager who exacerbates the problem by not managing those pieces in the most effective way possible.

    You can call it rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, or whatever analogy you want to use to make it seem like no matter what you do, it’s a lost cause, but if my team is going to lose, I want to at least know the players and managers gave it their all and went down swinging, not that they kept punching themselves in the face and helped knock themselves out.

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About Jason Linden

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

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