Ladies and gentlemen, your Cincinnati Reds won the first series of the second half of the season. The Reds second-half record of 53-20 (or was it 50-23) is proceeding as I have foreseen. The long home stand continues with four games against Atlanta and then three games against Arizona. Prepare to get sick of winning.

Cincinnati 1 • Milwaukee 0 |  FanGraphs  | Goats Excited About Reds Series Win

This was a great day for Dan Straily. In seven innings, he struck out four and walked one. He gave up three hits and no runs. It was one of the best performances for a Reds starting pitcher all season. He left the game with the score tied 0-0.

Straily hasn’t pitched well enough to return a decent prospect at the trade deadline. His ERA remains at 4.07, his FIP is 4.62 and xFIP at 5.11 even after today. (That shouldn’t stop the Reds from offering Straily to Arizona for a high prospect. Sure, the D-Backs are out of contention. But if your team isn’t making crazy trade offers to the LaRussa/Stewart braintrust, it isn’t trying.)

But Straily has been too good for the Reds to move for a minor piece. He’s 27. But he’s under team control for four more years after this one and has another pre-arbitration season (read: inexpensive) in 2017. If the Reds starting pitching unfolds as expected, Straily could play an important role in the bullpen next year and beyond.

Michael Lorenzen pitched the eighth. He gave up a walk to the second batter, but should have been out of the inning on a sharp ground ball hit up the middle to second baseman Jose Peraza. The Reds missed turning the double play by a heartbeat. Unfamiliarity between Peraza and Zack Cozart cost the second out. Lorenzen gave up a ground ball single to Scooter Gennett. Happy ending: Lorenzen induced Ryan Braun to hit a soft grounder back to the mound to end the inning.

Tony Cingrani pitched the ninth inning and retired the Brewers in order on ten pitches.

The only run of the game scored due to walks by Billy Hamilton and Joey Votto, Hamilton’s wheels and a passed ball by the Brewers.

86 Responses

  1. Hotto4Votto

    Sure is a good thing Votto walked there instead of expanding the zone to try and drive in the run. His walk moved Billy to 2nd, Billy’s wheels did the rest.

  2. GreatRedLegFans

    Hopefully pitching will only get better in the 2nd half, the issue will be how to score some runs, Go Reds!

  3. Old-school

    Straily is a nice #5. We need innings from our starters and the Reds are in a tryout phase for the next 4 months. Give him the ball every 5th inning and see what he does. Lamb certainly appears to be missing an opportunity, but a 5th starter even on a good team should be an inexpensive guy who can get you 10 wins and eat some innings. Billy Hamilton showed what a late-inning situational weapon he can be.

  4. TR

    Not much in the offense department but good pitching and an exciting finish in a season that hasn’t had much of that.

  5. Shchi Cossack

    The Old Cossack will not be disappointed if WJ fails to move Bruce this season, if no one offers a good return for the slugging LH OF. The market for Bruce does seem to be contracting, not due to Bruce’s performance, but the lack of a market for the slugging LH OF. The off season may be a better opportunity to move Bruce or at worst, make another shot at a trade deadline deal in 2017 or make Bruce a comp offer after the 2017 season. I just don’t want to see Bruce moved for a reduced, inadequate return.

    • pinson343

      Absolutely. The teams that have reportedly showed an interest in Bruce, such as the Dodgers and the Nats, are looking for OF depth, they’re noy going to give up much for that. There is the risk that Bruce will slump (like Frazier did last year), but if no one’s offering much right now, might as well take that risk. And if Bruce can be consistent for the whole season, it adds ti his value.

      NOTE: If you get a good offer for him, maybe from Baltimore, take it.

      • Jack

        I think Baltimore picked up Parra today for outfield help. If so they won’t need Bruce. And their farm system is like 27th. Not much there.

      • lwblogger2

        Haven’t seen that. It would be a Reds-like move considering the O’s are already familiar with him. There are some better options.

        Yes, the O’s farm system is nothing to write home about. The cupboard is pretty bare.

    • Playtowin

      Agree. Trading Bruce for a body or two is a bad move. He is inexpensive by current MLB standards

    • Tct

      We’ve been saying this for almost two years now, though. “Dont sell low on Bruce. Don’t sell low.” And the Reds have held onto him and his trade value hasn’t increased much, if any.

      I like Jay Bruce. But he’s been a replacement level player for the last two and a half years. In that same amount of time, Billy Hamilton has put up almost 7 wins. It just seems like some people are talking out of both sides of their mouth, saying “The Reds should pay more attention to analytics! Except when it comes to Jay Bruce, who is way more valuable than the analytics say, and Billy Hamilton, who is not nearly as valuable as the numbers say.” Doesn’t make sense.

      The Reds have virtually no chance to contend next year, and Bruce will be gone after next year. The numbers say he’s barely above replacement level. And yet, he might bring a decent prospect back because his power would play as a DH. There is no reason to hang on to him.

      • Reaganspad

        Bruce has not been healthy the past 2 years

        The 4 before and this year, he is a 30/100 all star

      • lwblogger2

        I think it comes down to defensive metrics and how inconsistent they are. I tend to believe that Hamilton does have a lot of value because yes, he is quite possibly the best CF in the game and preventing runs has a lot of value. I don’t think that Bruce’s defense on the other hand is nearly as bad as what the metrics suggest. If the guy is hitting like he can hit, he has value. Even a single season’s worth of defensive data can’t really be relied on.

        My distrust of defensive metrics is also why I’m not sold on WAR as the best yardstick for comparing players. For a quick and dirty analysis you can start there but you have to take it in context. I think it weighs very imperfect defensive metrics too heavily.

  6. Shchi Cossack

    “Straily hasn’t pitched well enough to return a decent prospect at the trade deadline.”

    This may be true, but the market for starting pitching is wide open. I agree the Reds shouldn’t move Straily for an inadequate return, but if Straily can put up another 2-3 outings like today over the next couple weeks, a good market for the back-end starter may yet develop. If the correct offer materializes, move him.

    • Playtowin

      Straley is the Reds #2 starter after DeSclafani. He is 27 and cheap. Bailey needs to prove he is healthy. The other so-called prospects have done nothing. Hopefully one or two of the prospects can pitch as good as Straley.

    • Shchi Cossack

      With the increaed offense this season, Straily’s ERA+ is league average, even before today’s game. Without that rugged 3 game stretch at the end of June (10.93 ERA), Straily had a VERY respectable 3.30 ERA before today’s game. Certainly those 3 horrendous games can’t be ignored, but a few more very good outings without a stumble will make them more outliers for the season.

      • Steve Mancuso

        His ERA is better than his ERA estimators. I suppose there might be teams that still take a peek at ERA (like the D-Backs), but I can’t imagine most wouldn’t look at his K% and BB% and not expect his ERA success to last. That’s the way I’d look at it if I was a GM.

      • seat101

        I have tried to parse that sentence Steve, and I would say it’s not unambiguous. Can you tell me if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that most GM’s would look at it.?

      • Steve Mancuso

        Straily only looks good (and barely) based on his ERA, not the underlying fundamentals. If GMs are swayed by ERA (like maybe the D-Backs were with Shelby Miller) then there’s a chance Straily could be traded for a decent prospect. But any team looking at his K%, BB%, GB% and luck with BABIP would assess quickly that Straily isn’t going to keep up pitching like this unless he gets better. That’s why I’m skeptical the Reds will get a good player for him. Not that they shouldn’t try.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Absolutely no disagreement from this corner regarding ERA or ERA estimators. There are fewer and fewer old-school GM’s out there in MLB, with the number shrinking yearly. There are still a scarce few that might bite and if the Reds get a strong nibble and successfully sink that hook, then it’s time to pull the trigger, or real them in in the case of mixed metaphors.

        I think Straily has real value and could still grow into a serious MLB contributor, for the Reds or someone else, but he’s certainly no more than a back-end starter or bullpen cog.

      • NorMich Red

        It sounds like what we are looking for as a target to trade Straily is a Jocketty-style GM. If he were on another team, especially if he had a Cardinals’ cup of coffee or better on his resume, Walt would overpay for him and we’d have to invoke the “Lemon Law” to get a do-over. Are there any Walt-style GM’s still out there? (Perhaps AZ, as some have suggested…)

      • NorMich Red

        BTW, Steve, just a quick comment on how much I love this site, the analytics, the analyses, and the dialogue. (Even with those with whom I differ, the banter is fun.) As a Reds’ fan happily residing 500 miles north of the QC on a beautiful north woods lake enjoying my too-brief summer…there is still Reds’ blood coursing through my veins and my Extra Innings package is far more often tuned to the Reds than the closest “home team” Tigers or a team from other markets in which I previously lived. (Especially with Thommy on the DL, but get well wishes to him none the same.) Rebuilding is hell…but if is fascinating to watch the moves of this FO, wonder if they are seeing things I don’t, and second guess them. Along with my fellow posters.

  7. james garrett

    Always been a Bruce fan and would love to see him around for awhile but I just don’t think it will happen.Probably will come down to how much production they can expect from his replacement.Oops I am sorry they aren’t even auditioning another outfielder that may be part of the future so he could be around this time next year.

  8. Shchi Cossack

    There is no player in the NL that is running away from the league for the MVP vote. Has there ever been a player from a last place team who won the league MVP award?

    .282/.418/.502/0.920 => in 72 games since 04/22/16 with 24.9% SO%
    .320/.445/.558/1.003 => in 41 games since 05/27/16 with 21.5% SO%
    .347/.476/.612/1.088 => in 14 games since 06/27/16 with 19.1% SO%

    Votto is improving offensively across the board as the season progresses and is approaching his 2015 2nd half slash line of .362/.535/.617/1.152 with 2 1/2 months to play this season.

    I love watching Votto ply his craft.

    • Scott E. Disney

      Maybe ARod once with Rangers or Mariners?

      • pinson343

        Not quite last place, but Ernie Banks won 2 MVPs with the Cubs when they were finishing 7th out of 8 teams.

    • lwblogger2

      Honestly, I see no way that Votto should be the NL MVP. I like Votto but even if the Reds were in first, there are so many players that have quite simply been a lot better than him. You can’t just disregard April and May. Right now, I’d pick Bryant but guys like Harper, Murphy, Myers, Lamb, Goldschmidt, Rizzo, Belt, and a few others are well above Votto.

      • Shchi Cossack

        LW, I think you missed my point, or I didn’t make my point clear.

        There’s no way Votto is even in the discussion for NL MVP at this point, just like Votto wasn’t even in the discussion for NL MVP last season at this point in the season. Unlike last season, there is no player running away with the NL MVP award, but there are several possible candidates, which you listed above.

        Last season, Votto had a miserable 17 game stretch with a 0.575 OPS during the 2nd half of May, but it didn’t look nearly as ugly as his miserable 17 game stretch this season during the 1st half of April with a 0.517 OPS because his performance during the 1st 6 weeks of 2015 helped mask that slump.

        Last season, after his 17 game slump, Votto improved his short-term and long-term performance as the season progressed, culminating with his other-worldly performance after the all star break and a 3rd place finish in the NL MVP voting. This season Votto has the same short-term and long-term improvement since his early 17-game slump and that performance is getting better as the season progresses.

        Votto’s improvement and continuing improvement this season indicates that he may be on the way to another other-worldly finish to the 2016 season. Such a finish in 2016 would vault him into consideration for the 2016 NL MVP, since there is no runaway performer like Bryce Harper in 2015. It will still be a long shot, but it’s something to grasp during a season of discontent.

  9. DHud

    Anyone who still thinks Hamilton doesn’t belong in a big league lineup either didn’t watch the game today or is in denial. He is one of a handful of players who could’ve single handedly won the game today like he did

    • Shchi Cossack

      Right now, I don’t think there are many ones who think Hamilton doesn’t belong in a big league lineup, but the issue with most (and this certainly includes the Old Cossack) is hitting Hamilton in the top of the lineup. If he hits 9th and Votto moves up to 1st or 2nd, then I think most ones would be happy with hamilton’s utilization.

      The past few games have deomstrated a cohesiveness within the outfield that directly relates to Hamilton in CF even beyond Hamilton’s ability to regularly make plays no one else can even dream of making on an irregular basis. Hamilton’s speed and reads in CF allow him to provide solid backup support for both LF and RF and his support allows both Bruce and Duvall to go for it, without the fear of the ball evading them and getting past them. All 3 OF’s have meshed well together as a unit to enhance the total OF defense and their ability to work together seamlessly has been improving.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Or any other player who could have hit a solo home run in any of the innings.

      • pinson343

        When DHUD said “like he did”, I think he was referring to winning the game without the benefit of a base hit, once he got on. (Or in this particular case, without a base hit, period.)

      • DHud


        Any major league hitter can run into one and put it over the fence. Few can change the game on the bases like he does

      • Steve Mancuso

        I know what he was saying. I was stressing that any player with enough power could have won the game by himself, too. Nothing unique about Hamilton in that regard. Not a fan of the breathless “can you believe what Billy did!” because most teams have CF that win games in lots of ways. People lose sight of that when Hamilton does something fantastic like he did today.

      • DHud

        Apples to oranges.

        Hamilton’s game is speed, not power. At the end of the day it’s about generating runs to win ball games. Hamilton did that today with speed. Nobody today did that with power.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Not apples to oranges. Scoring runs is scoring runs. Winning is winning. The idea that “we have to have Billy Hamilton because he won the game today like he did” forgets that other teams have CF that win games all the time with defense, hitting and power. Hamilton doesn’t win games with hitting or power often. That’s what has to be weighed against games like today.

      • DHud

        And with that weighed, still a valuable, productive asset in CF

  10. Shchi Cossack

    The Reds now have 3 relievers in the bullpen capable of putting up 2-3 shut-down innings to finish the game. Somebody, with the authority to do so, needs to mandate to Price to get out of their way and let them do what they do best.

    Could this be an opportunity for Williams to throw down the GM gauntlet?

    • pinson343

      Yes Vegastypo and I talked about this after Friday’s win. His pretty much exact words were it would be ideal if the Reds could have 3 relievers good enough for 2 inning saves. They certainly have two – Iglesias and Lorenzon – and arguably a 3rd, Cingrani. Three is good too with these pitchers. It’s how the best relievers were used for many years.

      The main thing is for Price to use his brain with this opportunity and not just follow convention with the 1 inning closer crap. He should realize he’s out unless he shows a passion for winning (even while looking to the future) and is willing to do things a little differently. What does he have to lose ?

      • pinson343

        Three innings is good too with these pitchers …

    • Scott E. Disney

      How about a 3 game “rotation” of sorts in late inning or high leverage situations.

      Iglesias 2 innings (8 and 9th?)
      Lorenzen 2 innings
      Cingrani and Wood combined for 2 innings or maybe 2 each (4 total)

      I assume 3 games or days is plenty of rest unless someone does poorly and pitches too much. If Lorenzen or Iggy cannot finsh 2, maybe have Wood or Cingrani finish it out? Then, you have Ohlendorf for low leverage situations and Smith and Sampson for blowouts and long relief.

      Seems decent in theory, maybe this could work?

    • DEN

      Any manager that allows his GM or owner to dictate how he uses his roster is a joke. GM’s put the roster together, it’s the manager’s job and only the managers job in deciding how to use the roster.

      • Shchi Cossack

        I believe Neal Huntington and Clint Hurdle represent just the contrary and I don’t think anyone wiould refer to Clint Hurdle as a joke.

        The issue here is the role of Williams going forward as the GM. Does he actually have the conviction and commitment to lead the entire Reds organization into the future or will he simply be another gateway to the past way of running the baseball organization. There are a lot of voices calling for Williams to take the reins now and make this team and baseball organization his own. Of course that may already be the case and what we see now is what we will see going forward.

        If Williams is happy with the way Price runs the team, then there are no internal issues to resolve. If Williams is happy with the way the baseball organization was run under WJ, then there are no changes that need to be made. If such is not the case, then waiting for some rubber-stamp, official transition after this season is a wasted opportunity. If Williams was not fully qualified (which I believe he wasn’t), then he should never have been named as the GM and the move was trully a nepotistic farce.

      • lwblogger2

        Agree on Williams but disagree on the bullpen and being able to make such drastic changes. There are a lot of GMs around the league who understand that from an analyst’s perspective, innings based bullpen roles, including the closer role, are basically rubbish. The reason none of them haven’t already changed things is that doing so is difficult. Management has to get player and agent buy-in and these front-offices need to start paying players based on something a lot deeper than the save stat. This change is starting to happen with a handful of setup guys getting larger contracts than established closers but there is still a long, long way to go. Players have also gotten into the routine of expecting to get the ball in certain situations and this behavior will also need to be retrained to a more ‘leverage’ based approach. This isn’t the sort of thing where Williams will be able to wave his magic wand and just make it so.

      • Chuck Schick

        In general, a GM puts together a team and the managers job is to figure out how to win with said team. However, in a rebuilding situation, experimenting with players is more important than winning. The manager needs to act in the organizations best long term interest and not his own.

        The Pirates are an example where the manager needed to “buy in” to an approach that was dictated by the GM.

        In recent years, managers seem to be taking a back seat to the FO and that makes sense. Why would you let a temporary employee…the Reds change managers about every 3 years on average…dictate what the organization is trying to accomplish long term? The days of the manager as czar seemingly have gone away. Baseball is a GM driven business. A good manager wins perhaps 3 more games than a bad manager so there is no reason for the manager to have much say in what occurs.

      • streamer88

        So if the best 7.5 inning (starting) pitcher in the league gets paid 6 years, $180 million, then the best 2.5 inning (innovative new relief) pitcher should get 6 years $60 million, right?

  11. james garrett

    Pitching is coming around.Get to the 6th or 7th with the lead and I will take our chances the rest of the year.I don’t expect us to hit good pitchers like the starters of the Nats,Giants and Mets but we have to beat up on guys that are average at best.Not taking anything away from what Davies did today but we have to score against him don’t we.Last night in a blow out game we should have scored 4 or 5 but we are so aggressive we start swinging during the national anthem.Today 2 walks,the only 2 we had,got the run across because of Hamilton’s speed and if he doesn’t score then we probably won’t score.

  12. preacherj

    “Unfamiliarity between Peraza and Zack Cozart cost the second out…”

    I have the solution for that. ..

    • Shchi Cossack

      Just the opposite of the OF working together…familiarity breeds success. The same issue exists with the bloops hit into medium RF. Peraza and Bruce are just not comfortable with each other in that no-man’s-land so they both tend to be less aggressive when dealing with those situations.

  13. Shchi Cossack

    Multiple contributors mentioned the possibility or desire for an automated system for controlling the strike zone. With inconsistent strike zones between different umpires, inconsistent strike zones during games for some umpires, inconsistent strike zones enforced for 1B and 3B zones and inconsistent strike zones enforced for certain hitters, I really hope this issue is addressed in the next CBA, similar to the implementation process for reviewed plays.

    Begin the process with selective implementation during some spring training games, then proceed to full implementation during all spring training games before full implementation during regular season games. With the technology readily available, there really isn’t a valid reason not to utilize the technology, except for the sqealing and belly-aching by the umpire’s union. Shoot, if necessary, add a 5th member of to the umpire crew responsible for managing the electronic strike zone calls.

    • pinson343

      I’d love to see this, and it’s an inevitable long term development, but the umpires’ union will oppose it bitterly.

    • Brett Witterstaetter

      I would be one of these contributors. I’ve seen three games now (I don’t get to watch many) where Votto struck out on pitches that were balls. Some close, but a few were just terrible.

      Is there a site the tracks these kinds of stats? I’d be interested in seeing how often players like Votto (who have very good to great sense of the strike zone) are being affected by bad calls from umpires.

      • ohiojimw

        My eye test perception is that Votto takes a lot of borderline pitches. I’m not at all sure that the current state of the technology, at least as presented to the viewing public is any better or even as good as an ump’s eyes at determining if some of them are balls or strikes. At two strikes, perhaps he shouldn’t be trusting the umpire’s eyes to be as good as (he thinks) his own are as often as he does.

        Another thing to keep in mind is that even if Votto fooled by a borderline pitch and takes one he actually feels was a strike, if he acts surprised by a strike call, he has perhaps planted a seed the seed that will get him the call on the pitch in the future. Along these lines, I’ve heard Joe Morgan comment essentially that he realized certain umps trusted his eye over their own and could often get a call his way with a convincing take even when he was fooled.

      • vegastypo

        I’m convinced that Votto doesn’t get nearly the respect from umpires that other top-tier hitters around the league get. And I’m curious whether these are “old-school” Marty-ish types that have bought into the idea that while other hitters will take the walk if they don’t get hittable pitches, that Votto actually “wants” to walk instead of hitting.

        But having said all of that, if the strike zone boxes that are superimposed on the screen are of any value, he has been getting hosed on some pitches lately, regardless of anyhing else.

    • DEN

      This is a game played by humans, nothing will ever be perfect and that is what makes this game fun. We don’t need automated balls and strike calls.

      • MrRed

        The game will still be played by humans if balls and strikes go automated. Are people paying to watch umpires? Probably not. So let’s let the players play and get the umps outta the way!

    • lwblogger2

      If the technology really is up to it, then perhaps it is time to do it. The question is how do we know the technology is up to it. They are doing it in tennis now for most close line calls but that’s a lot easier for the electronic eyes and sensors to sort out. The strikezone varies from batter to batter as far as height and I’m not convinced that all pitches measured by BIS and Pitch/fx are where the tech says they are. Why do I feel this way? Well, for starters, BIS and pitch/fx sometimes disagree with each other as to where a pitch is and this often leads to one believing that a pitch is in the zone and the other not.

      Having said all that, it would still be much more consistent than human umpires are. I would miss having the ump back there calling balls and strikes. It’s just a part of the game to me and the inconsistencies and quirks are part of what make baseball great. I can’t stand replay and likely won’t care much for the electronic umpire either. At least the electronic eyes shouldn’t do anything to slow down the game.

  14. Shchi Cossack

    “Multiple contributors” on the game thread…

    • Playtowin

      Why trade a young, inexpensive pitcher?

      • Shchi Cossack

        Starting pitching and relief pitching is scarce this season and in high demand. That makes it a seller’s market for pitching.

        If the Reds can trade a young, inexpensive pitcher for a young, inexpensive hitter, why not, as long as the Reds get quality in return.

      • Steve Mancuso

        I’m all for this if the Reds can get that kind of deal for Straily.

  15. JB WV

    I don’t see the reasoning for moving Straily. He’s under team control for the next several years, only 27, and has a better idea of how to get guys out than the vast majority of current Reds pitchers. The return would probably be a wash, with some “prospect” that may never amount to anything. IF our much bally-hooed young starters pan out, he’d be a solid piece in the pen. God knows we need ’em.

  16. pinson343

    Brantley after Hamilton stole 3rd base: “Smith is going to want to throw Bruce breaking balls, but if he bounces one and it gets past Lucroy, this game is over. ”
    He didn’t have to be brilliant to call that one but Brantley is an excellent observer.

    A couple of days ago he observed that Hamilton’s swing is returning to what it was before the concussion, I think he’s right.

    I’m overall optimistic about Hamilton’s developing into a valuable, core player.
    My main long term concern is his staying healthy, with the way he crashes into walls and slides head first.

    • Playtowin

      There are 8 ways to score from 3rd base. Hamilton will be a major star if he can get on base more.

    • Shchi Cossack

      I like both the color analyst used on the Reds television feed. I find their knowledge and experience easily translated through the broadcast. What I have been surprised with is the play-by-play from Jim Day on the television broadcast. While I don’t find his presentation particularly dynamic or enthralling, I do find his knack for not getting in the way of the game or the color analyst very refreshing.

      • preacherj

        I have been pleasantly surprised by him as well.

      • Jack

        +100 . Just call the game and leave the negativity out of it. Jim Day does a great job. I also agree on Hamilton not batting at the top. Batting him 9th is where he belongs. 7th is pointless. If Peraza,starts do you think he should bat next to Hamilton and utilize their speed?

      • Shchi Cossack

        Since the Reds do not have a good leadoff hitter (Votto excepted), I would let Peraza have a shot at the leadoff position, putting Hamilton and Peraza back-to-back in the lineup. I don’t think Peraza has rthe on-base skills to lead off effectively, but this is a season about finding out who can play and how they can be utilized most effectively.

        With the current roster makeup, I actually like Barnhart/Cabrera leading off with Votto in the #2 hole. Getting on base if Votto’s forte and the skill the Reds lack most in their lineup. Votto simply MUST hit #1 or #2 unless other good hitters with good (not just average) on-base skills become available.

      • NorMich Red

        +1. Shchi. Have enjoyed the broadcasts much more with Jim Day at the PXP mike. Doesn’t over-talk the on-the-field action, pleasant to listen to, personable without the grating edge that Thom brings too often. Day seems like a guy that would be flat-out impossible not to like in any walk of life. Also have liked UC Voice Dan Hoard as part of the pre-game the past couple days. The guy he replaced seems to be disinterested in his role and doesn’t bring or add much. Maybe he’s just too much in waiting for his coverage of that Big Community College football team 100 miles north of UC. (Yes, I also get tired of Thommy yapping about them during Reds’ telecasts…) Cossack, always enjoy reading your views of the game and the team.

      • Shchi Cossack

        OMGoodness. TYVM for the kind words Normich. I echo your sentiments from above regarding the content and banter on this not-so-little-anymore site Chad created. I simply love the passion expressed here and that’s a direct reflection from Chad’s vision and more recently Steve’s dedication and commitment.

      • lwblogger2

        Jim Day has been solid. He’s getting better too.

  17. JB WV

    Peraza’s strength right now is hitting the ball, making solid contact. Doesn’t take many pitches; hopefully he’ll improve his discipline there. But if Billy continues to improve his OBP with Peraza hitting behind him…

  18. seat101

    Steve, thank you for the explanation on Straily earlier in the thread. Frankly, of course I hope he does get better, for as the saying goes: you can’t have too much (good) pitching. But, even on his good days I’m still surprised can get through the batting order twice. By my eyes, and admittedly they are old eyes (I turn 62 next month), I think he tips his changeup.

    • lwblogger2

      If he tips the change, I would think it wouldn’t take until the 2nd/3rd time through the order to exploit it. I generally look to see if a pitcher might be tipping but it’s often hard from that CF camera angle. It’s certainly not out of the question and I hope the Reds are always vigilant in trying to detect their hurlers tipping.

  19. ohiojimw

    Sunday in Louisville, Stephenson had what’s become a typical sort of outing for him recently. 2ER in 6 innings on just 2 hits but with 5BB’s, 94 pitches/54 strikes. That’s a WHIP of 1.17. Over 94 innings his WHIP is 1.3 (by comparison Reed’s WHIP was 1.18 at AAA over 64.2 innings).

    The Reds are supposedly worried about Stephenson’s walk rate. Clearly the increased pitch per inning count it creates means he isn’t likely to get past the 6th inning very often, However his overall WHIP is not that far out of line because he allows relatively few hits (his HIP is .77; BBIP is .54; again by comparison Reed’s AAA numbers were HIP .92; BBIP .26).

    So, for anybody still with me, is there a theory or 2nd tier metric which says or indicates it is indicative of a relatively worse outcome if a significantly larger portion of WHIP comes from BB rather than hits?

    • ohiojimw

      Got my wording crossed above….should have been

      if a relatively large portion of WHIP comes from BB rather than hits?

      • I-71_Exile

        Isn’t a walk worth less than a single in run creation? That would indicate to my simple mind that a WHIP constructed more of walks than hits would be an “emptier” WHIP. Still, pitch counts would be a big problem—as you point out.

      • reaganspad

        OJ, I thnk one of those you can fix (walks) verus the alternative.

        If Stephenson was getting hit and not walking guys, giving up 7 hits per 6IP with now walks, would he be a more intriguing prospect?

        I think that the top of the rotation guy who only gives up 2 hits in 6 innings is more interesting to me. He misses a lot of bats. I think that can be fine tuned.

  20. james garrett

    Stephensen just like Reed has nothing to prove at AAA.We could argue all day just like we have with Reed but learning at the big league level tells you a lot about the person and the player.I feel getting knocked around as a pitcher in the big leagues can be a good thing because it happens to the best of them not named Kershaw.Its how you handle it that makes the difference.Stephensen has swing and miss stuff just like the rest of the young guys so get him up here.