Titanic Struggle Recap

Three home runs lead the Reds past the Braves

The Reds offense came to life on Monday evening, as the Reds beat up on the lowly Atlanta Braves 8-2. Cozart, Votto, and Suarez each homered to lead the Reds offense. The Reds bullpen also added four scoreless innings of relief.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (34-58) 8 12 0
Atlanta Braves (32-61) 2 9 1
W: Finnegan (5-7) L: Wisler (4-9)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

Positives

Finnegan

Brandon Finnegan did give up 7 hits in 5.0 innings, but he limited the bad Braves offense to 2 runs. A 4.36 FIP on the night against the lowly Braves doesn’t impress me, but Finnegan allowed 13 ER in his last two starts. It was good to see him at least have a positive outing.

Zack Cozart hit his 15th home run of the season, tying his career high set in 2012. It’s only July 18th. What a season, and what a turnaround for his career. I’m guessing that someone is going to have to make a big offer for Cozart at the deadline. If he is indeed traded, I wish him nothing but the best. Cozart is awesome.

Joey Votto hit his 15th home run of the season in the 4th inning, giving the Reds a 3-1 lead. He also had an RBI single later in the game. Votto continues to dominate pitching of late.

Eugenio Suarez hit his 16th home run of the year. It’s been an inconsistent season for Suarez, but 16 home runs in the big leagues in your first full season is a good thing.

Billy Hamilton showed off his wheels in the 4th inning. He induced a balk by Braves pitcher Matt Wisler, and then stole third base without a throw. He stole another base later in the game, and now has 27 on the season. This dudes speed is unreal.

bruce

Jay Bruce has been criticized for his defense because of his metrics this season, but he made a couple really nice plays this evening.

Blake Wood pitched a perfect 6th inning with 2 strikeouts. Wood now has a very impressive 3.05 ERA/3.45 FIP. In a season with an all-time bad bullpen, Wood should be celebrated. He has been terrific.

Raisel Iglesias pitched two more scoreless innings. Iglesias now has a 0.56 ERA as a reliever (16.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 8 BB, 19 K).

Negatives

Nothing to see here.

Not so random thoughts………………

The Nick Senzel show is underway in Dayton!

Up Next:

Braves at Reds
Tuesday, 7:10
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Cody Reed (8.39 ERA) vs Tyrell Jenkins (4.50 ERA)

 

All statistics courtesy of Fangraphs, ESPN Stats and Info, and Baseball-Reference, including Baseball-Reference Play Index. All photos courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, and are used by permission. 

68 thoughts on “Three home runs lead the Reds past the Braves

  1. It was nice to hear some chants from the Reds fans tonight!

    VOTTO VOTTO VOTTO!

  2. 3 hits for Billy tonight too. He is fun to watch. Wood looked great getting out of that first and third with no outs in the sixth.

  3. I saw where the Orioles have only averaged 3.6 runs per game in their last 14 games. I guess they’re not a fit for Bruce and don’t have much in the pipeline? The Mets were going to go Wheeler for Bruce. I’d take Gausman for Bruce….only 1 win on the season which is really weird and shows why thats such a fickle stat but throws 98 mph!

    Fantasy baseball reminder….PATIENCE! I cut Hamilton on one of my 2 teams. Not.a.smart.move!! Cut Suarez too and now he’s guaranteed to hit 20 HRs in the 2nd half!!

      • He means he has a great arm anyway? Obv is doesn’t make Jumbo a good pitcher but Gausman was a high 1st rounder.

        • Let me try that again

          Obviously velocity alone doesn’t make a guy a good pitcher as is the case w/Jumbo

        • Point taken, but the issue of pitchers being unable to pitch as many innings as they used to and seemingly spending more time recuperating from injuries does raise the question about the possible negative impact of increased velocity. Also (eye test alone), it doesn’t seem to me that many of the most successful starting pitchers are throwing in the high nineties very often, if at all. Fun to see fast fastballs, though, I’ll give you that.

    • I’d take Guasman for Bruce but don’t think the O’s would make that deal.

  4. I really hope Suarez could turn things around as he’s projected for a 25 HR / 80 RBI season. Tonite he showed flashes of good defense.

    • Suarez has a good stroke and good plate coverage, but his problem is he lunges too much at pitches. He put himself off balance a lot by lunging. When he is patient and has good swing timing, he can make solid content more consistently.

      • Sounds like a problem Todd Frazier had, diving out over the plate to get the outside corner pitches he had no business hitting.

  5. Get the lead into the 7th and let the pen do what they do.Wood’s job in the 6th was outstanding.Its nice with Iggy and Lorenzen in the back of the pen to close things out which also lets Price use the other guys in low leverage situations.Pen as a whole is getting it done with 4 more scoreless innings tonight.Yeah I know its the Braves and we just played the Brewers but we now have a major league bullpen.Key to this game was what Wood did in the 6th.In the past we could have imploded.

    • I realize it was the Braves who are not a good team offensively but Wood looked like a Major League pitcher with some of his breaking stuff. Had their hitters way off balance.

  6. seems like a total team effort here. Is Billy figuring things out? One can only hope.

    Anyone here the news on Mesoraco? Guess we can assume that he won’t be ready for 2017 if ever. 3 major surgeries in 2 years, you’ve got to wonder if he ever comes back from that and if he does just how productive can he be?

    • At this point I would prepare for life without him behind the plate and just be really pleasantly surprised if wrong.

    • According to reports he is expected to resume his training in January, but at this point you have to wonder if his body can handle catching anymore. Surgeries on both hips, one shoulder, and most likely multiple concussions in his career. If he switches to the outfield there is already Duvall in LF, if Bruce in RF with Winker waiting to take over when Bruce’s time is up. I am not sure where he fits in without a DH. There would have to be some combination of trades and position changes to find Mesoraco a place to play

  7. Didn’t get to see any of this game but love the outcome and the box score. Great to see Finnegan pitch pretty well after such a long layoff and after Lamb got demoted. Great to see Billy on base, running, scoring. Great to see some power from Votto supplementing the on base numbers. Great to see (another) strong night from the bullpen. Go Reds!

  8. Another good start for Amir Garrett tonight at AAA. 6IP; 1R (unearned); 6H; 5K; 0BB. 85P/60S.

    He may force his way by some folks by the start of next season if not sooner.

  9. I would NOT trade Cozart. If so, make some team OVERPAY. Bruce should be traded for a haul. I obviously would like to keep both, but that won’t happen. Suarez is gonna be fine. Can you imagine if we still had Todd?

    Cozart, Votto, Frazier, Bruce, Duvall, Phillips, Suarez, Hamilton

    We would still be terrible, but man if we just held onto Chapman/Frazier till this deadline, EVERY team would be calling, lol. We would have 4 major major trade chips. We could clean up and speed up the rebuild fast by trading Chapman, Frazier, Bruce and Cozart. 3 of them at least. Oh well, fun to think about.

    • First off, you cant make a team overpay.

      Second, Bruce and Cozart will probably fetch a couple decent prospects. Neither one will bring a haul, though hopefully the reds can find another under rated, high floor prospect like Disco.

      Third, the Reds should trade them anyway. What’s the point of holding onto them? They will both be gone after next year, and the Reds would need an absolute miracle to contend next year.

      And finally, the whole reason the Reds didn’t get a great return on Frazier and Chapman is because they held onto them for too long. Now you’re suggesting they do the same thing with Cozart and Bruce. Zack, most likely, will never be more valuable as a trade chip then he is right now. And unless Jay morphs into Joey Votto in the next couple months, his trade value is only going to decline as well.

      • The Yankees will probably get more for Chapman than we did. That will put to rest the idea that we held on to him for too long.

        • And the Reds would have gotten way more than the Yankees will get if they had traded him at the deadline last year. And that’s not just criticizing in hindsight. Almost everyone on this site was bewildered when they didn’t trade him last July.

          Ergo, they held on to him too long.

        • Who exactly was offered for Chapman last July? I hear this narrative over and over again, but no one can offer anything to support it’s validity.

        • Yes but he won’t have the domestic violence allegations hanging over his head. The Reds traded Chapman at a time when his value was at an all time low. Since they held onto him that long, I was kind of surprised when they traded him when they did. They could have held him until the deadline this year. I think they were ready to get rid of him and that the ~$7-million (minus any suspension money) it may have cost them to keep him for half a year was weighing on them.

        • @Chuck – I don’t think specifics were ever mentioned but apparently both Arizona and LA put together strong offers for him last July. I’ll see if I can dig up more. Without specifics, we won’t ever know for sure though. Anyway, the Reds certainly would have gotten more than they did when trading him during the domestic violence turmoil.

      • Well, the thing is we usually don’t know the exact specifics of trades that don’t happen. I haven’t heard about anybody offering anything specific for Trout or Harper. By your logic, this means they have no trade value.

        The Diamondbacks and Astros were very interested in Chapman. The Yankees were in there too, as well as a couple of the ever present “mystery teams.” Arizona was said, by Bob Nightengale, to be offering Braden Shipley and “one or two more of their top ten.” Nightengale later said that the Reds were receiving much better offers than that from other teams. As the deadline winded down, multiple sources inferred, or just directly said, that the Reds were receiving good offers but weren’t pulling the trigger cause they were asking for the moon.

        All of this is on the internet. No, we can’t know the exact offers but it’s not hard to read between the lines here and see that the Reds were being offered much more than they ended up getting.

    • I agree on Cozart. I didn’t think he would come back from the knee surgery to be this effective. You offer him a 3 year extension and see if he bites. If not then you trade him to the worst team in baseball and make him suffer for it. Just joking on that last part…. but you trade him to the highest bidder and get what you can while you can if he doesn’t take the offered contract. We have talent at shortstop brewing in the minors but they are still 3 to 4 years out at best.
      Right Field… Yes, we need to trade Bruce this year to see what Yorman Rodriquez has to offer and to potentially make a hole for Jesse Winker. Of course the Reds could trade Duvall believing that his value will never be higher and try to extend Bruce or make 2 holes in your outfield to try out the youth movement.

  10. What *is* the deal with Bruce’s defensive metrics? I can’t believe he is as bad as they indicate.

    • He has a plus arm, but is awful at going back on balls. In fact he just doesn’t seem to get to very many balls that aren’t right at him..

      • Yeah…I’m under no illusion he is a great or even good OFer. But, the worst defensive player in baseball (as fangraphs has him)?

        • I’m not buying that either? Bruce just went above the line and robbed somebody of a HR the other night!

  11. Tyler Stephenson 4 for 4 and now bating .236. .342 over the last 10 games. Nice to see improvement like that from the 19 y.o. Power of course still lagging.

  12. I don’t see any point in trading Cozart at the deadline, because there doesn’t seem to be any contenders actively needing a shortstop. If a contender’s shortstop gets injured soon, and if they knock the Reds socks off with a top hitting prospect at about the A+ level, then they should pull the trigger.

    The Reds need to ditch an infielder after this year to create room for Peraza, and then maybe Stenzel after next year, but the guy they need to ditch first is Brandon Phillips.

    Cozart’s last arbitration year comes up this winter. Resign him for one more year, and make the decision when/whether to trade him next season.

    • It doesn’t work like that. Players don’t sign 1 year contracts 1 year before free agency.

      • Yes, they do. He is arbitration-eligible next year, and the Reds are the only team he can sign with.

  13. I’m starting to think the Reds should trade Joey Votto. I don’t expect the front office to be proactive enough to consider this, but here’s my reasoning:

    If the Reds are going to be competitive in 2018, that would be Votto’s age 35 season. We have a lot of evidence that indicates that players enter a fairly steep decline around these years. Let’s say Votto follows the same path of someone like Albert Pujols. Pujols, in his age 35 season last year, put up 3.1 WAR which fits his stead WAR decline since his age 30 season in 2010. There is no guarantee what sort of numbers Votto will be putting up in 2 years’ time, but we can almost be 100% sure he won’t be as productive as he is now. Generally, players in their 30s begin losing about .5 WAR each year they play. It’s not a perfect science, but the fact players begin declining when they are about Votto’s age is fairly well known.

    Worse, he will continue to decline just as the Reds begin to enter their supposed next “competitive window” (if the Rebuild is actually on track). As great as Votto is, the Reds really can’t afford to have a 1st baseman in the twilight of his career if they are going to compete in 2018 and beyond.

    If the Reds trade Votto right now, it accomplishes 3 things:

    1. It takes advantage of Votto while he still is putting up really solid numbers, thus maximizing his value. Some team should be willing to trade some really good can’t-miss prospects for a player of Votto’s caliber. Heck, we may be able to get Votto’s replacement, a young up and coming 1st baseman, who could slot in and begin producing (and improving) just as the Reds enter their next window. They would only need this hypothetical 1B to produce 3.0 WAR to replace Votto’s production.

    2. It gets Votto’s salary off the books and frees it up for the Reds to fill their needs via free agency. If 2018 comes and the Reds still are a few pieces away, the money saved from trading Votto can be used to fill those gaps. A solid starting pitcher? A catcher? Outfielder? The Reds could compete to sign a very good, high priced free agent if need be. Or they could make a few small upgrades across the board (such as bullpen and bench). This moeny alone could potentially replace Votto’s lost production in 2018 and beyond.

    3. It goes all in on the Rebuld and sets the team up for the future. If Votto becomes a 3.0 WAR player in 2018, and a 2.5 WAR player in 2019 and so on, shouldn’t the Reds try to replace him with a player that should be improving (read: younger) during that time instead of getting worse each year?

    I guess what I’m asking is, why SHOULD the Reds keep Votto if they aren’t going to be competing in a few more years and Votto is just now entering his decline years? It seems they should trade him as soon as possible and maximize the return instead of waiting for him to enter his decline years in earnest. Votto could be different and could be productive into his late 30’s, but there is a mountain of evidence that this is a risky bet. There has to be a team in win-now mode who would be willing to part with a young 1B prospect to get Votto. I haven’t looked around the league to know enough to suggest who would be a good match for a Votto trade, but if the Reds want to be proactive and are serious about this Rebuild, they really should look into what they could accomplish by trading Joey Votto.

    • Others here can address your suggestion more knowledgeably than I can, but there seems to be a lot of thought that Votto would be difficult to trade because of his contract and because the other teams know how old he is. He might make a dandy pinch-hitter in his declining years, though. Maybe the best in baseball history. Of course that’s a luxury, but the Reds are already on the hook for the money, and a contending team looks more formidable with a great bench. Also, the DH might become universal (mixed feelings here).

    • It’s not the worst logic in the world. Votto has a no-trade clause. I don’t think it will ever happen though.

    • There are some challenges. The no trade clause is a challenge. The fact that few teams can just add 20 million in payroll….the Reds are going to want prospects or controllable players…not anyone making real MLB money.

    • It’s not out of the question but the Reds would have to be pretty creative. I would imagine the deal would be similar to the Fielder for Kinsler deal or the return would be perhaps one good prospect and a marginal prospect or two. The amount of money left on the deal is what it comes down to. If the Reds don’t take on any salary, the return will be less. There is also Votto’s no-trade clause to consider. He says he doesn’t want to go anywhere.

      • Unless Votto changes his tune, he isn’t going anywhere. He’s stated that numerous times. Although the length of his contract is very unfortunate, I still think there is a good chance that overall it wasn’t a bad deal financially as we see other salaries rise. That’s also assuming he remains healthy and doesn’t completely lose his batting eye/stroke.

        • Pretty much fully agree here. Towards the end of that deal, slightly above average MLB players will be making close to $25-million/year in free agency. Scary but true.

        • Financially, it probably wasn’t a bad deal in the long run. But practically, the Reds can’t afford to have a declining Votto at 1st base if they are going to begin competing in 2018 and beyond. It’s not a question of overall value, it’s a question of how that value benefits the Reds and the timing of when the value is there.

          The Reds are getting good value out of Votto now. That doesn’t help them much in 2018 and beyond.

  14. i’d keep cozart. shortstop too important.
    is yorman hurt again? can’t seem to find this nugget anywhere.

  15. The Reds might want to act fast on Jay Bruce….Here are his July stats: (SSS)
    48 plate appearances, his slash line of .167/.271/.286

      • I understand that it takes 2 to tango, and things don’t operate in a vacuum. Other teams never seem to have problems with making the obvious trade. Be proactive, and get something before JB loses what little value he has. (Circa 2015)

  16. Great night for the Reds future yesterday…

    Joey Votto (MLB) .265/.395/.463
    2-3 w/ 1-HR & 1-BB

    Jesse Winker (AAA) .293/.388/.381
    3-3 w/ 1-2B & 1-BB

    Nick Senzel (A) .322/.420/.528
    4-5 w/ 1-HR & 1-3B

    Looking forward to seeing those 3 hitters in the top half of the Reds lineup by 2018!

  17. I just love the way they are using Raisel. I don’t know if people have already talked about this, (I haven’t been on the board for a few days), but on Friday night’s radio broadcast I heard them say that Iglesias is growing fond of the bullpen role and *might* even want to be come the closer….

    It was really awkward when I had to stop jogging at that point and tell passing motorists that no, I wasn’t having an emergency, and no, nobody I loved had died.

  18. Not only did the Reds start Phillips at 2B when he was obviously MUCH less than 100% capable of playing, but they sent De Jesus in as a pinch hitter when they pulled Phillips from the lineup in the 7th inning.

    The Old Cossack is becoming convinced that the Reds now envision Peraza as nothing more than a utility player at the major league level. That’s kinda like the apparent views by the Braves and Dodgers before they traded Peraza, but certainly contrary to the Reds viewpoint when they made Peraza the cornerstone of the Frazier deal.

    • That would surprise me. Why trade Frazier for him if that’s how they really view the guy? Why not just take what the Sox gave LA? I think this is just Price actually trying to win games rather than following the rebuilding plans.

      • I don’t think the Reds considered Peraza as a utility player at the time of the trade, but have apparently changed their opinion since aquiring Peraza, just as the Braves and Dodgers had apparently changed thier opinion before they traded him away.

        You may be completely on point that this is just Price making decisions contrary to the ‘plan’. If that is the case, then I go back to my comments from yeaterday, that Williams needs to deliver an ultimatum to Price regarding how his (Williams’) team will be handled during the rebuild process.

        If Williams does not have that authority or does not view the way Price handles the team as a problem, then the Reds are in a world of hurt and I see very little hope for the organization to pull out of this rebuild in a competitive manner.

        • Honestly, I have very little hope for the organization being able to pull out this rebuild. I’m way on the outside looking in but I don’t like what I’m seeing myself, what I’m reading from others with a little more inside knowledge, and what I am hearing from the few remaining contacts I have around the game. Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone at all in the Reds org anymore so nothing is really firsthand. I guess that provides some hope that what I’m hearing is all wrong.

    • I think you are probably reading too much into the decision to play DeJesus instead of Peraza. The game was pretty much over. Price likely just wanted to get DeJesus an AB and some defensive innings. We’ll see who plays tonight.

      • And here’s the (not very surprising) answer …..

        1. Zack Cozart (R) SS
        2. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
        3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
        4. Jay Bruce (L) RF
        5. Adam Duvall (R) LF
        6. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
        7. Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
        8. Ramon Cabrera (S) C
        9. Cody Reed (L) P

  19. From ESPN’s Power Rankings:

    “Since May 30, Joey Votto is hitting .328/.462/.560. Despite a slow start this season, Votto has actually posted the highest OPS (.978) of any National League player since the 2015 All-Star break. — Chad Dotson (@dotsonc), Redleg Nation”

    Redleg Nation gets a big mention there!

    • The only knock on Votto this year is against LHP. His OPS against righties is .934, but is only .659 against lefties. Billy Hamilton, by contrast, has an OPS this year against lefties of .679.

  20. Trying to win games is secondary to audtioning players for future roles.You lose nothing by playing Peraza every day because BP is now a singles hitter with no speed and declining defensive skills who is now less then 100% from a health standpoint.Peraza has speed and is what 23 or 24 so let’s see what he’s got.

  21. It’s amazing to me the way they cater so much to Phillips and his ego. Maybe benching him is the only way he would accept a trade? At this point, I realize his value is way down but just clearing him from the roster would be a positive. I really don’t get Price or whoever is calling the shots on Phillips remaining a starter.

    • The manager makes the lineup….not Phillips. Everybody that has had success at anything has an ego (especially pro athletes) . No need to act like BP has the only ego on the team.

  22. That’s not my point at all. At this stage, it’s pretty much accepted that we are in rebuilding mode and Phillips will not be part of the end result. The focus is not winning so much but development and evaluation. Peraza should be starting in Cincy or Louisville.

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