2016 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: My head hurts

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (29-51) 4 9 0
Washington Nationals (48-32) 13 11 0
W: Gonzalez (4-7) L: Finnegan (3-7)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Joey Votto had a double and a homer. Brandon Phillips was 2-3. None of that mattered, since the Reds were never in this game.

The Bad
–Brandon Finnegan was just miserably bad. Eight runs allowed on 5 hits and 5 walks in 2.1 IP.

–Josh Smith was just as bad: 1.2 IP, five runs allowed on four hits and a walk. By the end of the fourth inning, the Reds were losing 13-1.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Four losses in a row. Eight of their last nine. The ol’ Redlegs have given up 40 runs in the last four games. Fun!

–Listen, I’m the last person to criticize Marty Brennaman. I love the guy, always have, and always will. His voice was the soundtrack to my childhood and, to me, only Vin Scully is better than Marty at describing a game.

But he made a couple of comments tonight about Finnegan and the Reds’ other young pitchers that were ill-advised.

It’s not just Marty; he’s just the most prominent voice. You hear this stuff on twitter all the time.

Listen: the kids are 23 years old and younger. Go take a look at the early careers of Greg Maddux and Johnny Cueto. Young pitchers — even talented young pitchers — can struggle in their first taste of the big leagues. I can’t imagine why so many people think these young pitchers should have emerged onto the major league scene as fully-formed masters of the pitching craft. That’s not the way this works.

Even worse, Marty’s comments about Finnegan are demonstrably wrong. As our buddy Joel Luckhaupt noted, in Finnegan’s previous seven starts, he averaged 6.5 innings per game with a 3.18 ERA. In the 9 starts before that, Finnegan averaged 5.4 IP and a 4.44 ERA. So he has been improving! (Even worse, those numbers were available to Marty, in the game notes provided to the press before the game.)

I really don’t like to criticize Marty, and I never do it publicly. He’s a legend for a reason. I’ll defend him until long after he has retired. But those comments tonight were really unfair to the kids like Brandon Finnegan, and Marty (along with Jim Kelch) doubled down on his criticism in the post-game show, saying that Finnegan isn’t showing any improvement. I just don’t understand it.

Let’s give these young pitchers some time, shall we? They may turn out to be great, or they may not. But why the rush to draw long-term conclusions at this point? Let them develop. Aren’t we glad the Reds didn’t rush to judgment on Cueto, after all?

Milton was unhappy with Cincinnati's performance tonight.

Uncle Milty thinks this road trip is already a disaster.

92 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: My head hurts

  1. I predicted a solid 60-102 record for the season. Can the Reds get it? Even with the pitching reinforcements arriving, things haven’t gotten better.

  2. Chad, I understand your loyalty to the Reds and their players. It is certainly admirable and is clearly true that hope is all we have right now. But….Marty is absolutely right. The young pitchers are not maturing or growing into their roles as starters. This site regularly discusses, with statistical proof, how alarming their peripherals are. Maybe these guys, Finnegan included, will turn out to be solid MLB pitchers down the road. I hope so. At this time, however, they are not major league ready and show no signs of being ready any time soon. Paul Daugherty had an interesting column today on cincinnati.com. While I don’t care for his writing and usually disagree with him, he was spot on today. The Reds organization is a mess. It’s not going to get better anytime soon.

    • Marty was totally wrong about that. Cueto had a 4.50 era after 65 starts early on!!!! People want to give up on all these young talented pitchers?! Lamb had a 3 era in June, Iglesis is a stud and Reed is going to be good. Finnegan has done well til tnite

    • We’ll just have to wait and see. There have been a few stretches this year when things looked hopeful (not for this season, but for future seasons), and we were mostly pretty upbeat. I still am, and I agree with Chad.

  3. Without a doubt, the worst Reds team in the history of professional baseball in Cincinnati, and that my friends goes all the way back to 1869! This once proud and storied franchise has been laid to ruins. Why would anyone in their right minds want to let go of their hard earned dollars to watch this team play? Oh, I forgot. It’s not about winning anymore, it’s more important to have a great fan experience. Big deal! Unless MLB’s economics change and that’s not likely to happen anytime soon, it might be a long, long, long time before we ever see a .500 baseball team, much less a championship here in the Queen City.

    • I thought the Royals just won the World Series. I didn’t realize what a huge market KC must be. Explains why the Dodgers win the World Series every year.

      • Chuck, you missed my point. What I’m saying is this, if any of these “up and coming” young players have any kind of success at all in The Show these next 5 or 6 years, the cycle will most likely repeat itself. The Reds simply do not have the resources it takes to sign these guys once they establish themselves. Unless a team if one of those “large” market ones blessed with an abundance of money from various sources, baseball economics almost demand, “get rid of the high priced players, and bring in young ones who will play this game for a fraction of what it would take to sign the bona fide Major Leaguers.” Then take your chances since logic says small market teams can win in the post season obviously assuming management can recognize and develop the talent and skills it takes to be successful in the big leagues. Attendance wise, the team the Reds puts out there now is ranked 11th out of the 15 National League clubs. Not for a New York minute do I think Cincinnati fans are “fair weather fans”, however over the years the numbers clearly show people will not flock to GABP to see an inferior product and with this ball club it’s going to take significant attendance game after game to generate the revenues needed to retain the great players.

        • Wayne…good, reasonable and valid points.

          However, there are only 5 teams that can afford to re-sign any- all players they develop…Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs and Angels….the Reds are in the same boat as the other 25 teams in the league.

          Of those 5 teams, the Angels and Yankees are currently modestly better than the Reds….the Sox finished last 3 of the past 4 years….the Dodgers have won 2 World Series in 50 years ( as many as the Marlins)…..and the Cubs last won a title when we had 46 states.

          Economics are a challenge, but it’s really an excuse. The Cardinals lose guys rather often and in recent years they don’t generally spend that much more than the Reds. The Reds have a player development problem more than an economic one.

        • I agree with what you’re saying Chuck as it pertains to economics. There is one team that continues to develop a lot of talent on their own (and sign a few free agents). What about the San Francisco Giants? I’ve had a chance to see a few of their games this year…they are fundamentally sound. They have guys like Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford who don’t flash BIG STATS, but they seem to get hits in crucial situations. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen their guys “switch hands” when sliding into a base to avoid a tag. They do the little things….

          However, after further review they rank fifth in mlb for payroll…(ESPN)
          PLAYER SALARIES
          RK PLAYER Salary (US$)
          1 Buster Posey 17,277,778
          2 Angel Pagan 10,250,000
          3 Johnny Cueto 10,000,000
          4 Jeff Samardzija 9,800,000
          5 Jake Peavy 9,000,000
          6. Denard Span 9,000,000
          7 Madison Bumgarner 6,916,667
          8 Javier Lopez 4,000,000
          9 Brandon Belt 3,600,000
          10 Gregor Blanco 3,600,000
          11 Brandon Crawford 3,175,000
          12 Conor Gillaspie 555,000
          13 Joe Panik 522,500
          14 George Kontos 517,500

        • The Reds have a player development problem more than an economic one. Ding, ding, ding. Really well said, Chuck.

    • I will and do. I live in Indianapolis and have already driven over twice to see them, and they got blown out in each game, and am going back at least 3 more times. Why? Because I am a fan of the team and the game. Sure is winning more enjoyable, sure, but there is no such thing as a bad night at the ball park. Sorry but I do, will and will always support the Reds, be they good, bad or down right horrible and have no problem spending my hard earned monies on them.

  4. Well, since Daugherty managed to get mentioned here, I’ll throw in Andy Furman. He posted a blog entry tonight claiming to have info that Bryan Price will be replaced as Reds manager by Cardinals bench coach David Bell over the ASB.

    • I tried 3 times in three different ways to, post the link; and, it ain’t happening.

      The moderation message didn’t come up; so, I kept trying. Hope I didn’t flood the queue…

      It is on CINCIPULSE (dot)com

    • Who knows whether Furman is right, but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if Bell were given the job. Cincinnati kid, Moeller high school, dad and grandfather both played for the Reds.

      • Chad: I hope there are more reasons than that IF this is actually true, and I have my doubts. None of those are legitimate reasons to make him manager.

      • It make sense. The so-called change in the GM’s office is family oriented so why not a local guy whose grandfather was a popular centerfielder for the Reds in the manager’s chair.

    • Furman is just trying to stay relevant. No one who would know such a thing would tell him. Besides, when was the last time a coach left Team A to manage Team B in the middle of the season? Why would the Cardinals….who have no interest in helping the Reds…allow him to do that? Nonsense.

      • A lot of my initial thoughts in your comment. However without naming the name or an exact date, the Daugherty piece essentially also said the clock was striking midnight on Bryan Price’s tenure as Reds manager.

        Furman is a national host now (Fox radio) not just a local guy. The story could have come to him from out of town looking for his input. Perhaps from somebody with sources inside MLB who knew the Reds had approached the Cards about Bell. Or somebody who knew somebody had been contacted as a possible replacement for Bell or in the food chain of changes that would evolve out of it.

      • I could see the Cards allowing it. It would be odd to allow it mid-season but under the circumstances, they could well allow Bell out of his contract to manage his hometown team.

        • If there can be a trade for a manager, why not a bench coach moving up??? No doubt the Cards will ask for some guy the Reds consider an obscure non prospect and 3 or 4 years from now he will have turned into a world beater for them, especially versus the Reds/.

    • David Bell? Really? Um, well, that would make it a bit harder for me to bash the manager. Honestly, I don’t know what kind of manager he’d be. He used to be pretty staunchly traditionalist but that was some years ago. Clint Hurdle has grown to embrace some of the more analytical side of the game and as David is working for the Cards, there is a good chance that he at least has some analytical leanings these days.

      • Do you recall any details about Bell left the Reds org after the short tenure as manager at AAA (1 yr;2012)? My only recollection is that he had been tagged by many as the eventual successor to Baker in a planned and orderly transition but then was gone from the Reds org

        • It basically was the Cubs offered a MLB job. It was MLB and it paid more. He took it.

    • Wondering if this will happen – if Price gets the axe, Dusty Baker will still remain the only manager allowed to handle a Reds team through 3 losing seasons since around WW2

  5. One thing is for absolute certain in some form or fashion. Regardless of level of talent on this team , Bryan Price cannot be retained as manager past this year. This organization is suffocating in a losing atmosphere and he’s a big part of it. Don’t know exactly who the managerial answer is , but it is not him .

    • Exactly what has he done this season or last that makes you feel he is not a ML talented manager?

      • Have you really paid attention for the LAST 3 YEARS ??IF you have , I wouldn’t have to explain .

  6. Here is a weird thing I’ve noticed about a lot of routs. The Nats had only two more hits than the Reds and walked only twice more. They did have 2HBP but they came after all the scoring. Guess its like real estate, location, location, location, meaning in this case, get them in bunches and don’t hit into DPs

    • There’s a name for that. It’s called “sequencing” and yes, you are dead on. The sequencing of events makes a tremendous amount of difference.

  7. Why is our pitching awful when our manager was a pitching coach? One would think that area would be sound for a team managed by a pitching expert.

    • Yes, I’m sure talent and experience have nothing to do with a pitcher’s success….just coaching. If only Melville had been coached better.

      • Totally agree, should have done a lot more developing Melville & these career minor leaguers AJ Morris, Daniel Wright, Layne Somsen, Drew Hayes, JC Ramizez, & teh Diaz’s. Let alone the talented he has wasted in cast-offs like Simon, Delabar, and Cotham. Inexcusable he let the likes of Adcock, Mathues, Gregg, & Axelrod slip away without getting any output.

    • What Chuck said. These are young pitchers at the very beginning of their careers. For many if not all of them, the problem is control, and coaching can only do so much with that: repetition is what they need.

  8. Marty’s time is up. He was also the voice of my baseball youth but is in a professon where “hardening of the categories” becomes apparent. It is time for a change !!!!! He’s no Vince Scully! He was fortunate to announce during the days of the Big Red Machine… Worked then but it’s not work in’ now ! Time to move on…. Listening to him now is like watching Willie Mays play for the Mets !

    • Here’s the problem with Marty. He is not an analyst. When he tries to become one, that’s when the dumb comments start. If he would just stick to the play-by-play and leave Welsh, Brantley, and whoever else to the analyzing, everything would be just fine.

  9. I was just thinking about this issue, fun to read some comments about it. By the eye I was also feeling that the Reds young pitchers do not seem to be improving. I agree that the stats for June would indicated some improvement, at least for some. I’d have to review Cueto’s stats for comparison, but it does seem like none of these guys (including the bullpen guys who are no longer rookies are NOT major league ready…or in the case of the old old guys, no longer major leaguers, and all the call-ups/optioned guys). Now I suppose part of this is because the Reds have had to call them up, perhaps a little too early. Its hard to imagine that a single team could be fielding such a large number of currently bad pitchers. Maybe their system is looking at the wrong parameters in determining who they pick and promote. I like Barnhart, but maybe the Reds catchers are not calling good games or are not good framers (it does seem like the Reds pitchers are trying to nibble to corners but don’t get the calls).

  10. I know he was pitching in a blowout but Lorenzen’s stuff was electric last night! I’ve been beating the drum for him harder then anyone on here I think but he has the best stuff I’ve seen in this organization. They have to get him back in the rotation at some point in my mind? He’s athletic and obviously a hard worker with all the weightlifting although he should prob back off a little? Contrast that to true professionals like Simon and Groover who only lift donuts.

      • Guilty as charged but it does help! Its sort of like speed on the football field! Running a 4.4 forty doesn’t mean you’ll be a good football player but it gives you a chance! The Dan Straily types almost always end up just trying to hang on as a 5th starter.

        As for Marty’s comments….he’s just a somewhat bitter old man? It’s nothing new but he’s still an icon and a great broadcaster but just have to ignore some of his outdated opinions. I have to admit though that I’m not a big Finnegan fan either? He’s 2-0, 3-1 on nearly everyone even when he’s pitching halfway decent and its just tiring to watch? At the same time…in the 7 start stretch before last night he went atleast 6ip in every game but 1 and had a 3.18 era! We’ll see? He’s only 23!!

        • Greg Maddox a 5th starter? Johnny Cueto? (I know that he can throw 95, but he mostly seems to hang around 93) For starters, command and secondary pitches matter more than raw speed. Command, secondary pitches and knowing the hitters. Everything else being equal, sure, having a high-90’s heater is an advantage, but everything else rarely is equal.

      • Its not just the velocity either but his ball was darting in to righties and the breaking ball snapped! Former Red Ramirez by comparison throws 97 but its straight as an arrow and goes out faster then it came in!

        • INDY: Ramirez and Jumbo may be similar in that regard. No movement on the ball.

        • Should have read this comment before I answered, Indy. I didn’t see the game, and it sounds as though Lorenzen had more going for him than he has at times in the past.

  11. Finnegan’s mechanics get out of whack and he is unable to repeat his delivery. That’s the root cause. I’m sure the Reds are working with him trying to fix it. Yes, it’s terribly annoying when the Reds have games like this and stretches like the last couple weeks but this is what a rebuild looks like. I hate it.

    I also think the Reds have targeted the wrong types of players but what do I know? I’m just a middle-aged guy who works in IT, used to be a darn good ballplayer but not good enough even to play in MiLB (I tried repeatedly), toys with statistics and analytics, watches a ton of baseball, and is a bit baseball fan. I really, really hope that compared to the folks in the Reds front-office and coaching staff, I’m an idiot. They know a million times more than me, right? Right? Gee, I sure as heck hope so.

      • Good IT folks generally understand more about how the world works than many folks whose primary job it is to understand such things because if you don’t understand a fair amount about the data, its purpose and end use, you can’t manage it as effectively.

  12. The Reds have had 38 games started by pitchers who were not and are not part of the plan or solution (Straily 14, Simon 11, Moscot 5, Adleman 4, Melville 2, Wright 2). That’s just shy of half the games played. The evaluation and experience needed during the 2016 season can’t happen unless the players are playing. The injuries have decimated the process during the 1st half of the season, so now the 2nd half becomes the 1st half from a process perspective. Let’s just hope that the players can get on the field and stay on the field during the 2nd half of the season.

    • That’s why I think 2019 to 2020 are probably the real date for when the Reds have a chance to go to the postseason. That is assuming they really do know more than I do.

      • I believe your target time frame is realistic. Too many holes in the line-up and too much uncertainty with and development time needed for the pitching.

    • If only that were the problem…..
      Reds record in games started by the 6 you mentioned:
      DS 7-7
      AS 3-8
      JM 0-5
      TA 2-2
      TM 1-1
      DW 1-1

      So the Reds record in those games is 14-24, good for a 36.84% Win Pct
      The Reds record in all other games is 15-27, good for a 35.71% Win Pct

      • Ah, but the record is irrelevant with or without those players in the lineup. This is the 2016 season and normal rules of competition are null and void. The only thing important is preparing for the future and the next competitive team, be that 2017, 2018, 2019 or 2020. Without the players on the field who will be contributing to the next competitive team, those players can neither be evaluated not gain the necessary experience needed for future success.

  13. David Bell being rumored as a replacement for Bryan Price? If that were to happen, I’d throw up my hands and give up. What a croquet of baloney this would be. More insider, nepotism and familiarity crap.
    If Dick Williams goes through with this, he is no different than Walt Jocketty. Same old broken down mind-set. And to boot, more Cardinal influences.
    Aim high Dick Williams. Not belt high like your entire pitching staff does.

  14. Marty was stating the obvious. I thought the same thing. The Reds are suppose to have young pitching talent but we have only seen glimpses of that talent. I do like the arms we have and know it will take time. But the blowouts are hard to take with all the walks.

    Why is Price even around now? He’s not part of the Reds future. Hopefully trades will be made soon of Cozart, Bruce and Votto. Move Mesoraco to 1st next year. Second half put Duval at 1B again, Peraza ss and Suarez 3B. Rotate the outfield with Hamilton, Schebler, Winker, Selsky, Waldrop, Rodriquez and see who shows promise again. If this year is lost lets see who can play. Use the saved money for young free agents to fill in needed spots.

      • A younger free agent with prime baseball years and not to a 10yr contract. I’m not doing research on who changes teams and become an important component to a teams success. it doesn’t have to be superstar. Someone good to fill the team’s needs. That can be relief pitching also.

        I see Matt Belisle is still player. Ex Red from years gone by.

        • Actually, it was a very fair deal. Up to this point of the contract, Votto has provided value to the team far in excess of what he has been paid.

      • I wouldn’t say that. Prince Fielder got moved and had a ton of money left on his deal. Then there is always the chance that the Reds would move some money in the deal or deal a prospect who’s team control years are worth money. If they wanted to move him and Votto waived his no-trade clause, they could move him. Just not sure why they’d want to go to the trouble.

    • Price is around because changing the manager will do absolutely nothing to fix the team’s problems. This team would struggle with Sparky at the helm, because it’s full of young, inexperienced starting pitching and a bullpen that WAS full of guys who have no business being in the bigs.

      Also, Votto has a full no-trade clause and has said he has no intention of waiving it. He’s not going anywhere.

  15. David Bell was the manager of the Reds AA team, the Carolina Mudcats from 2009-2011. The following are season recaps given by Doug Gray at his redsminorleagues site and judge for yourself about David bell’s managing.

    2009 season in review: “The pitching was not a strength of this team, and the hitting overall was mediocre at best on the team level. This was a team of two halves. In the first half the Mudcats were 37-32, but the second half saw them drop to 28-42. There was a ton of talent that came through this team, but at the end of things, the team wound up well under .500.”

    2010 season in review: “The Mudcats got off to a solid start, but the team was unable to reach .500 after the middle of April though they pushed for it several times in May. Two losing streaks near the end of the year took the team from 10 games below to 21 at the end of the season.”

    2011 season in review: “The 2011 season was one to forget for the Carolina Mudcats. At no point in the season were they a .500 team, much less above .500. In the first half of the season the team finished 24 games below .500 and 20 games out of first place. The second half saw a much improved team, though they still finished at 9 games under and 12 games out of first. The Mudcats and Reds affiliation is up after this year and the Reds will begin 2012 as the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in the Southern League.”

    2012 Louisville season in review: “The Louisville Bats posted the worst record among the Reds teams during 2012 as they finished the year at 42 games under .500 with a 51 and 92 record.”

    Remember these years and who the Reds prospects were at that time. Bell had plenty of talent to work with but had less than acceptable records. Those prospects were Frazier, Mesoraco, Cozart, Alonso, Grandal, Chapman, Travis Wood, and Neftali Soto among others.
    This is all we need to know about David Bell. No Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I agree, hate to think so narrow minded but I say get a catcher. I do not care if it is Dave Van Gorder or Biff Pocorobo, because I gotta a fever and the only prescription is more catchers

      • I love it!!! “I’ve got a fever and the only prescription is more catchers.” Yeah baby! I say get a former catcher for each spot on the coaching staff too! I can totally get behind this.

        Thanks for making me smile. This sort of made my day. Is that sad or what?

    • Not really for Bell being appointed as manager. He doesn’t seem like the right fit to me. But what does all of this really have to do with his abilities?

      You noted minor league results as if those rosters were static. In fact, they were not. Prospects move up and down throughout the season. And most of the guys you listed were at AAA and even on the MLB roster those years.

      The only possible correlation I can see from these results is that the AA club didn’t have a good record those seasons and a few years shortly after that, the MLB club wasn’t doing well. Maybe the talent in the organization wasn’t as good as we thought (hoped)?

      It always comes down to the talent, not the manager, that wins games.

      • So why does Dusty Baker keeping getting hired? How does Bochy keep winning World Series with different players? I do not even know what my point is, but Baker seems to be able to get his players to a certain level that maybe a Matt Williams could not- but probably just is not savvy enough to out manage a decent manager.
        I feel it pointless to replace an ineffective manager with another who has no real reason to not be as equally ineffective when they is very little talent on the roster.

        • In 20 full seasons as a manager, Baker has 12 winning seasons and 8 losing ones. Bochy has 21 full seasons and has 11 winning seasons and 10 losing ones.

          They both carry little risk….if they have the talent they win…if they don’t they lose. There are very few managers in history who lost with talent…Matt Williams is one. No one wins without talent.

          Joe Maddon would’ve lost about 98 games with the Reds last year. Prive would’ve won about 97 games with the Cubs.

  16. I agree totally with you Chad. I have listened to Marty for a long time and love the fact that the Reds announcing team has never been “homers” One of the worse things about listening to some announcers are how biased they are. Marty has never done that and is one of the best at calling a game, outside of Scully, but please give these kids a chance. They are all going to have bad games every now and then, even Cueto earlier this year had a bad game against us. These kids are adjusting to a major league strike zone, major league hitters and lets face it we have been clobbered lately but look who we’ve been playing> Those are some pretty impressive lineups and most of them don’t miss mistakes. Give these young pitchers a break.

  17. This past week for some reason has highlighted to me how God-awful the Jocketty years have been with drafting and development, especially with hitters.

    The farm system was pretty bleak before the trades of the pitchers over the last 2 years. The Reds had Jesse Winker and not much else as hitters. Maybe Phil Ervin (drafted 2013), but he looks like a bust for now. The pitchers were a tad better, with Robert Stephenson, Amir Garrett and Michael Lorenzen, and Iglesias if you count him. Frankly, aside from perhaps Aristides Aquino and Nick Senzel, there doesn’t appear to be any other home-grown help coming offensively for at least two years.

    Jocketty started with the Reds in 2008, so Votto, Bruce, Frazier, Cozart and Mesoraco had already been signed. 2008 yielded Yonder Alonso, but was admittedly a weak draft in general. 2009 brought Mike Leake, Billy Hamilton and Tucker Barnhart (10th round); not bad, but the Reds passed on an outfielder from New Jersey named Mike Trout. 2010 got Yasmani Grandal, now with the Dodgers, but the next guy taken was Chris Sale, and Christian Yelich was also taken in the first round. 2011 wasn’t bad, getting Stephenson, Cingrani and Garrett, but passing on Jackie Bradley Jr. and any other hitter.

    2012 yielded Jesse Winker, with Nick Travieso (overrated, in my opinion) and Jon Moscot. 2013 brough Ervin and Lorenzen, and so again did not help offensively. 2014 produced nothing: Nick Howard, who can’t outpitch the average CPA, and Alex Blandino, now below the Mendoza Line in AA. Gavin LaValley at Daytona does show some promise. It is too early to tell with the 2015 and 2016 drafts, although Antonio Santillan has completely overmatched Rookie League hitters.

    Adn don’t get me started on their Latin American operation. The last good Latin hitter this organization developed was Tony Perez more than 50 years ago.

    For a small market team, the only way to compete over the long term is with scouting, drafting and developing young players. It should be the GM’s main focus. Jocketty has been a flop.

    • I don’t think you’re giving Ervin enough credit. He has been an above average hitter in AA, and has stolen 23 bases. I think he will turn out alright.

      • Maybe, because he’s had some injury issues that are now behind him, plus he has a decent walk rate. But he is almost 24 years old, and he’s hitting .232 at Pensacola and slugging .393, so he’s only a small bit above average in AA. Being a little bit above average in AA at age 24 is not all that encouraging.

        The larger point is that but for the infusion of young players (pitchers) from other organizations, the farm system is well below average.

  18. It cannot be fun to go to work everyday and try to make something of some of the action going on. But honestly, Marty’s comments are the worst kind of emotional reactivity that has no place in a professional broadcast booth. The comments pulled out by Chad above are ones I’d expect from a Joe Blow fan in the passion of the moment on an internet comment board or call in show (present internet blog largely excepted!). By his current definition, anybody who has a bad game is showing no signs of improving. Tough standard to slip through.

    Acceptable comment: “Finnegan is getting lit up tonight and boy is it sure hard to watch. After several positive outings, this is a rough one and it hopefully will be few and far between. The Reds have been playing so poorly, it sure would be nice to see someone come in and stop the bleeding.”

    Marty’s comments- Essentially the sky is falling, everything sucks, everyone sucks, except when they don’t for a day.

    Thanks for painting the big picture for us, Marty.

    • Exactly. And I’d think as his employer, the Reds wouldn’t be too happy about souring the fanbase during an already difficult rebuild.

    • Also, left unto themselves, Brantley and Kelch do not devolve into such commentary. To the extent that they “co-sign” with Marty, I really believe what others have said here before- the main job in the booth is staying on Marty’s good side.

      Radio is far and away the bulk of how I have access to games… and you can practically touch the uneasiness and uncertainty the beat reporters have when Marty interviews them in the 2nd inning. Especially the new guy, Zach Bucchanan.

  19. Do people think the early and immediate success of Matt Harvey and Syndergaard have skewed perceptions of what young, rookie pitching really tends to look like? To me, there’s a reason those guys are exceptions. And, like with someone like Mark Prior back in the day… sometimes those young studs flame out. Rating our guys on a start to start basis isn’t an ideal developmental model. Chad’s point is well taken about remembering that even some career studs took some time to bloom.

    Don’t confuse this with someone saying Finnegan/Reed/Lamb etc. are all HOF’s in the making, but good heavens, could we slow down the “on demand” expectations and exercise some real patience?

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