2016 Reds / Legend of Jay Bruce / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Welcome back, Scott Schebler

Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals (56-50) 5 10 2
Cincinnati Reds (43-62) 7 11 0
W: Diaz (1-1) L: Oh (2-2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–With the Reds down 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth, Joey Votto led off with a single to right field. Adam Duvall followed with another single. Brandon Phillips popped out to left, but then Scott Schebler strode to the plate.

Schebler, of course, was making his first start since being recalled to the Reds in the wake of yesterday’s trade of Jay Bruce to the Mets. Did he wanna make us feel better about the fact that Schebler is playing instead of Bruce?

Well, he absolutely destroyed a baseball, a long three-run bomb down the right field line. A walkoff homer, to cap off a 3-5 night in his first game back. Welcome back to the big leagues, Scott Schebler!

–That Joey Votto guy is pretty good at baseball, you know. Tonight, Votto went 4-4 with a walk. He’s now hitting .293/.425/.500. The guy is just a baseball genius, and we need to enjoy watching him every single night.

–Duvall hit a two-run homer in the seventh to give the Reds a 4-3 lead. When’s the last time the Reds had a slugging right fielder?

Oh yeah, it was yesterday.

–Dan Straily had another pretty good start: 2 runs allowed on 5 hits in six innings.

–Tucker Barnhart had a homer and two walks. Productive night.

The Bad
–A Reds reliever — Blake Wood — surrendered a home run to the first batter he faced. Never seen that before.

Wood proceeded to blow a 4-3 lead in the eighth. Not one of his best nights.

–Jonathan Broxton, as if trying to make up for the occasional jam he put the Reds into during his tenure here, loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth, with the Cardinals leading 5-4.

Billy Hamilton struck out. Ivan DeJesus Jr. grounded into a double play. Ugh.

–Zack Cozart bruised his thumb during batting practice and was a late scratch from the lineup. Or he was traded to the Mariners. I can never remember.

–None of the Reds’ relievers — Wood, Ross Ohlendorf, Jumbo Diaz — were any good, but Scott Schebler ensured that we wouldn’t care about that.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
image–This has been one of the worst seasons we’ve ever endured, but I’m enjoying this season for some reason. Probably because there were no expectations. But games like tonight are always going to be fun.

–Joey Votto leaned over into the stands to try to catch a foul ball, and a fellow with a Reds shirt on interfered with him, Bartman-style, causing Votto to miss the ball. In the heat of the moment, Joey grabbed the Reds logo on the guy’s shirt as if to say, “You’re supposed to be one of us!” It wasn’t a good look for Votto.

Joey realized it pretty quickly, and signed a baseball for the guy the next inning, then took some pictures and talked with him as the crowd cheered.

–I’m enjoying this season in some ways, but the picture above makes me really sad.

–Raise your hand if you predicted, back in the spring, that Duvall would have 26 home runs on August 2.

–Exciting game tonight. Go Reds.

122 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Welcome back, Scott Schebler

    • I caught the highlight from FS1 announcers and was waiting for them to say whether the ball cleared the stadium. Sure as heck looked like it.

  1. This was the most fun game of the year for me… probably because of the big swings throughout the game juxtapositioned with the departure of Jay Bruce.

    Nights like tonight are the reason we watch, day-in and day-out, regardless of the terribleness or how emotional we (I) may get about certain managerial decisions.

    • You captured what I was feeling really well. This kind of game is what makes me believe baseball is the greatest game. The ups and downs, especially from the 7th inning on, hard to believe, I’m emotionally exhausted.

      The phrase “certain managerial decisions” is a very diplomatic way to put it.

  2. Votto is so locked in right now, it’s really incredible.

    Was Price managing this game to lose? Except for Wood (who was not good), he used his second tier relievers tonight. Weird.

    This Scott Schebler, he got some powah!

    • Had the same thought about Price managing the game to lose. Why the B list of relievers in a game like this against the Cardinals after an off day ? Do Igelsias and Lorenzen have sore arms ?

      Not a fan of DeJesus batting 2nd either, had me in a fit with the way the bottom of the 8th ended.

        • Is there some rule if there is a late scratch they cannot adjust their line-up, could Dejesus only replace Cozart spot in the line-up?

        • Hmm.. Maybe, Vic. I don’t know.

          My problem was more of the strategic variety.

          I understand this call would be been pretty unorthodox, but with Votto on deck, 1 out, down by 1, and the bases loaded, I thought to myself “Dejesus not swinging the bat gives us the best chance to win.” It’s not second-guessing because I thought it before the GIDP. There’s no reason you should let a AAAA player swing when Joey is on deck.

          Like I said, this would have been the type of thing perhaps only Maddon thinks of, but the fact that Price didn’t realize getting Joey to the plate was the #1 priority really, really irked me… as any of the 6 people who follow me on Twitter know. 🙂

        • I thought the exact same thing- probably Renda getting safe actually hurt the Reds. Not sure Cards bring closer in there with Hamilton and Dejesus coming up, doubt if you intentional walk Hamilton either

        • @Vicferrari – You may change the lineup right up to the point that you present it to the umpire.

    • Wondered about bullpen usage as well. I would think Wood is 4th option at best. So was Iglesias just not available, got to questiion why you pitch him 3 innings if he cannot pitch 3 days later. But the real question is why not Lorenzen in the 8th if Iglesias was not available?
      And another thing…is Sampson and Josh Smith on this roster? I think the Reds were out of position players since Cozart was out, seems pretty poor planning considering all the off days

  3. Saw Pete Rose during the post- game wrap-up. What a curmudgeon! Doesn’t think the Reds should’ve traded Bruce and needed to back peddle with his stance on Icharo. Used to be my favorite player but time has not done him -or my memory bank- any favors. I find our current situation intriguing and hope this all works out. Even with Bruce we were 20 games under 500. There are variable degrees of suck-age….and we have, simply put, sucked. Bruce’s variable performance, while overshadowed by recent months’ performance, has been maddening. Time to move on !

    • Homer Bailey had much stronger statements to make about the Reds trading Bruce.
      I give him a pass, because Jay is like family to him, but he should understand that right now he needs to pitch, not complain about the management that paid him $106 million.

      • Thought he said some pretty demeaning things, something like the new guy better be the next Cano. I wonder what his opinion is on the Cueto trade. He must realize that this will be a teammate?
        I think a lot it is the emotion of losing a player like Bruce, and I hope they rally around this and make it a point to not be a 100 loser team but Bailey has to realize they cannot over pay everyone during their declining years

  4. I’m really glad Joey did that! If you don’t go to games all the time then you don’t realize how hard it is to take your eye off the ball when its coming down near you! He probably didn’t even see Joey! Walkoffs vs the Cards are always good::))

    • +1. The ball was in the stands. I can understand Joey giving him a look but don’t grab his shirt. Glad he made quick amends.

        • Votto’s post game comments indicated that he let his temper get the best of him and that he was out of line. Good for him to make amends. If the fan had reached out onto the field I could understand if he was upset but he didn’t.

        • I thought Votto showed a lot of class in the interview I saw, he said the fan apologized to him at some point and he said I am the one that needs to apologize.
          To do this in the middle of a tight game while he is reaching base all 5 times, shows tremendous focus on the game and the fans

      • I saw a game in Washington this summer in which Joey showed his anger towards a nearby fan. I think he may have taken issue with the heckling of an obnoxious Nationals fan, and refused to toss a ball into the stands for a young boy. He was jeered by the fans in the 1st base stands for the rest of the game.

        I realize these were hostile fans, but I expect a professional such as Joey to maintain his cool under pressure. I hope he can step back from the heat of the moment to rethink his responses.

        • Are you sure you’re not talking about what happened in Philadelphia ? There was a heckler that Joey faked tossing a foul ball to. The Philly tv guys said he’d refused to toss the ball to a young boy, and that became the story. Votto said he didn’t even see the boy.
          He also said he was having a “fun back and forth with the Philly fan(s), because he likes their spirit.” I’d say that part of it was open to interpretation.

        • But if you saw the game in person, obviously you were not in Philly. Awfully similar to the Philly thing, except I think the refusing to throw the ball to a young boy there was a fabrication.

        • Joey is a professional ball player, not a professional diplomat. We’d prefer it if he, and all other players, didn’t display temper, but it probably isn’t a realistic expectation.

        • He did it twice. One in Washington and once in Philadelphia. I don’t have a problem with him doing the fake toss of the ball into the stands. He was acknowledging the fan’s heckling so I’m sure they had fun with it.

  5. Saw the Bats in Durham on Saturday night and told everyone who was sitting around me to pay attention to Schebler’s plate appearances since he was going to be someone we would talk about “seeing him when”. I’m hoping that tonight is just the start of a beautiful friendship. I’ll miss Jay Bruce, but I am looking forward to seeing what this young man can do for the Reds in the future.

  6. Schebler cannot be contained

    man, where did that land

    Up our collective #*$+&

    Copied directly from a Cards blog….lol

  7. I posted a comment a couple nights ago about how I was already a fan of Schebler. Why ? Remember that game where the Reds had to take a late lead 4 times over the Pirates before finally winning it, because the bullpen blew the lead 3 times ? Schebler got the big hit in two of those 4 rallies, with ringing doubles.

    We don’t yet know how things will go for Scott, but he is not a choker.

    • He’s got bat speed! I wonder if he’s still on the hardest hit ball list for the Reds? He’d been sent down for 2 months and still had like 2-3 of their 5 hardest hit balls at the time.

    • “We don’t yet know how things will go for Scott, but he is not a choker”

      It’ debatable whether or not such a thing as a “choker” exist…..but, assuming it does….you’re taking a sampling of 2 games to determine that he isn’t a choker?

      • I do believe that chokers exist: Deer hunters have a different name for it, “buck fever,” and I’ve known (and been one) musicians who messed up due to the pressure of having all eyes on a solo, but I agree that it is more reasonable to say that Schebler didn’t choke, and hope that he doesn’t in the future.

  8. I never knew you could post video here that is cool! Hey check out this Schebler highlight, he has a tendency to hit the big fly in his first game with a team, like here:

  9. “Watching Jumbo Diaz cover 1st base was the best part of my week so far”

    “definitely better than watching Jumbo Adams cover first tonight”

    These guys on the Cards blog are funny….have to get them that much!

      • He’s definitely got potential at 3rd, he’s very quick (as was the young EE). He needs help with fundamentals like footwork.

        • As I was watching him last night I was thinking that he really does have the arm for it. I don’t know if he will ever have the glove to even be mediocre but I keep reminding myself that he’s young and can still improve. He definitely looked good last night.

  10. Hey, what about Tony Renda beating out a bunt for his first MLB PA? Besides of course beating the Cards in walk off fashion, this game was fun to see some young new guys do well tonight!

    A Highlight moment of the year for sure. Great win, Go Reds!

    • Yes that was cool, a good bunt. It was correctly ruled a sac and an error, but who cares. I was thinking it was the first contribution made to the Reds by a player they got in return for Chapman, but I’d forgotten about Cotham.

    • Renda looks like he’s 14 years old! I mean, he looks even more of an awkward teenager than Buster Posey!

      This is not meant to be negative. He just doesn’t look like a major-league player. Hope he does well though.

      • Sort of like the pitcher for Milwaukee who looks 15 and weighs about a buck-twenty. But he was pretty effective last time he faced the Reds.

      • Danny Graves was another one… Cam Atkinson for the Blue Jackets (NHL) looks like his mom just dropped him off at the game.

  11. Given that Votto is in a universe pretty much of his own, when was the last time two (other) Reds “sluggers” put together ABs in the same high leverage inning like those by Duvall and Schebler in the 9th? Don’t know how often they can do it but it was enjoyable to see. Free all the Reds young and hungry young players to see what they are and bring to the table!

  12. Adding to the Bad…. Brandon Phillips 0 – 5 tonight with a strikeout. Why is he not batting behind Barnhart. Seriously… Reds need to send this guy a message. Let us trade you for a bag of peanuts, so we can get these kids in to see them. Now that we are rebuilding its time for Phillips to go part time. maybe 4 games a week to get the kids some at-bats. Always loved Phillips style and play ethic but honestly its time for him to be a mentor to who is next. Thank you for your great seasons Phillips. I will remember your amazing defensive plays and those seasons you where a pretty good hitter.

    • I’m glad you mention the way BP played when he was young. He still has some of his uncanny baseball instincts, such as when he nearly averted a DP on the bases last night.

      It’s sad when an athlete gets old, he’s always the last one to recognize it.
      But the Reds have to man up and tell him he’s a part time player.

      • Agree on all counts; but, they also must make the hard choice to man up on the situation with Cozart and also sit him to allow the new pair to work together.

        • There is an important difference here though. Cozart is still a productive, tradeable player. I have no issue with the Reds continuing to give him starts. He will add value by continuing to play and it is likely the Reds can move him in a trade this offseason.

          • With the passing of the nonwaiver trade deadline, I don’t think the point that playing Cozart to increase his trade value remains a valid reason to hold back the rebuild process.

            As I said on another thread, if Cozart continues to play and produce as he has to date, he might actually decrease his off season value because he will increase the salary he would be able to pull in arbitration. Right now he is at just under $3M, which is a depreciated amount because he was coming off the serious injury. Given his production this season, that could easily double with him being a 3rd year arb eligible guy.

            So what’s the trade value for a middle infielder making $6M+ in his walk year which is also his year age 31 season, especially given that prior to this season he was seen as a defensive specialist who was an offensive liability?

            If he were to be reduced to a part time player now to allow the Reds rebuild to take another step forward in earnest, teams would recognize what was going on and not undervalue him any more in the off season than they will anyway knowing the Reds are essentially dumping him then to get on with their rebuild.

            So, it comes down to which is more important to the Reds, getting on with the rebuild or trying to milk a slightly more legitimate middle/ low tier prospect for Cozart? I say the rebuild.

        • Cozart should play everyday. His situation is not like BP’s at all. He needs to keep building his trade value. Sitting him will not help us maximize his value. Hope he finishes the year strong and healthy and there is a team with a need for him this winter.

        • I agree with MRRED here. I’ll also add that it’s very hard to justify benching a very productive player such as Cozart to the rest of the baseball world. The objective is to win baseball games. Let the front-office do the ‘tanking’ if you really want to play those younger guys. Right now, they have enough ammunition to bench BP potentially, depending on who in baseball you ask. They don’t have any ammunition or excuse for benching Cozart other than “we want to see what the young guy can do”. That isn’t going to fly well in the world of baseball and it may not fly well with the Comissioner’s Office.

        • LW, I had not considered the “integrity of the game” angle. You could be correct there which underscores my main point that they need to get Cozart on the waiver wire. Hopefully the winning claimant will offer more than than the waiver fee so they can move him then move forward with the rebuild without having the situation drag on into the offseason.
          I stand by my thoughts that regardless of when Cozart is dealt, he won’t bring more than a low to mid tier prospect unless, as was rumored to be the case in the misfire with Seattle, he is bundled with a prospect from the Reds to offset the single year of remaining control, his advancing age for a middle infielder and likely 5M+ 2017 salary.

        • Jim, I would respectfully submit that there’s no way that the Reds trade Cozart via the waiver wire. He’s providing too much value for the salary he’s being paid for teams not to pass on him and make a low ball offer if for no other reason to block him from going to a team that could benefit from his services. A true market value for Cozart really can’t be established until the offseason when the waiver dynamics aren’t at play.

          You make a reasonable point that there is value in not playing Cozart so that the youngsters get playing time in the big leagues. But unless they’re going to have BP sit as well so that both SS and 2nd are being covered simultaneously by their replacements, I don’t see it as a compelling enough reason to sit Cozart.

          LW also makes a good point about the optics of sitting Cozart while he’s still a productive player. I think the Reds have to be keen to this consideration as well.

          • I admit in large part being impatient for the Reds to get on with the rebuilding process. It seems like there is always one more situation that needs to be solved or waited on; and, meanwhile, time’s awasting.

            They appear to have two guys in Herrera and Peraza that they want to take a look at as their potential 2B/SS combo. So, for once do something bold. Sit both BP and ZC and let those guys play at the MLB level.

            Cozart sat out again Wednesday evening. The first word was that he had jammed his thumb in batting practice Tuesday. However, on the official Reds Radio pregame show injury report before Wednesday’s game, they said he had a bruised right ring finger. I think it is fair to wonder if they are holding him out until they see who gets the waiver claim on him in order to determine if a deal will be feasible.

            If ZC would end up being disabled, that would allow them to bring Peraza back immediately as an injury replacement; and, it would be easy enough to ship Renda back in favor or Herrera. But there would still be the Phillips situation to handle…… Always something unless they take the old Nike advice, Just Do It!

  13. Joey Votto had a great night. With that said he put his hands on a fan in frustration and for that he should be suspended. I don’t care what kind of night he had you don’t do that. He makes multi millions of dollars and that fan who knows maybe will make 1 million in his lifetime. Probably just reacted to the situation without thinking to grab the ball, whereas Votto is exposed to that just about every single day.

    • Why does Votto’s income…or the fan’s “theoretical” income matter? If we find out that the fan is the CEO of P&G and makes more than Votto then does that change anything? Had it been Suarez…making the league minimum….would that change anything?

      A baseball player overreacted to a situation. He apologized….as all reasonable and responsible people do when they’ve done something wrong. He didn’t punch the guy. No crime was committed. At worst, Votto acted like a jerk and apologized.

      End of story.

      • [Comment deleted for violating site guidelines. Comments should be about Reds and not writers or other commenters.]

    • Suspended? Really?

      I can’t tell if you’re being serious here or not. If you are… hoo boy. Chill with the Votto hate for a bit.

      The fan did not get hurt. Votto did not take a swing at him, just grabbed his shirt. As a result, the fan got an autographed ball, a picture with the greatest Reds player of the last decade, and a story to tell his grandkids about.

    • What Votto did was wrong. He crossed a big line when he initiated contact with the fan. I think Votto’s handling of the situation after the fact, very well may have saved him from possible disciplinary action from the league. Because of those actions, I see no disciplinary action as warranted.

      • Yeah, it was wrong. But it wasn’t like he assaulted the guy. I think Joey did the right thing afterward, and the guy came away with a signed ball and a nice picture for his troubles.

        That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if he got fined by the league. But anyone calling for a suspension is being ridiculous.

  14. The Reds right now are playing the best baseball they have played in two years. Could you imagine what next season’s lineup could potentially look like?

    1) Hamilton CF
    2) Schebler LF (Winker called up in June to get extra year of control?)
    3) Votto 1B
    4) Duvall RF
    5) Suarez 3B
    6) Mesoraco/Barnhart C
    7) Peraza SS
    8) Herrera 2B
    9) P

    With a rotation that could consist of Bailey, DeSclafani, and three of either Straily, Finnegan, Reed, Stephenson, Garrett, or possibly Iglesias, this team could be on the road to contending sooner than initially expected.

    • Lets not get ahead of ourselves…..they’re still on pace to lose 97 games.They were on pace to lose 115 at one point. Over the past 2 months, they’re a couple of games under .500 after being historically bad for 2 months.

      Peraza, Schebler, Herrera and Mesoraco are giant question marks…..Duvall and Straily have extreme analytical red flags.

      I would love for them to be good…. now…..but, this team is still long way away.

      • Agreed, and well-stated.

        If EVERYTHING went right next year, they might wild card contenders. But, in 20+ years of watching baseball closely, I’ve never seen everything go right for a team… except last year’s Royals, that is…

        • The 2012 Reds were pretty close to everything going right till the Cueto injury in game 1 of the LDS then the Hannigan passed ball and following Roland error in game 3.

        • Since the All-Star break, the Reds are playing really well, and we aren’t mentioning it (as I’m not mentioning it now) either because we think it’s an aberration or we don’t want to jinx them, or both. It is starting to change my view of this season, though, and making me a little more hopeful for next year, questions and all. Do you suppose that the FO may be altering its rebuild strategy in light of the improvement?

    • Wow, if you didn’t know it was a cards article you would think you are reading about the Reds …

    • I pretty much disagree with most of what was written there. Now, if he was batting Molina 2nd or something, sure, that’s insane…

      Letting Oh bat seemed like the right call to me. He’s been one of the best relievers in all of baseball this year. I think I want him on the mound again in the 9th.

      It didn’t work out, but that’s not what managing is about. It’s about putting your team in the best chance to succeed, and letting your best pitcher face the opposition’s best hitters is the right call every time.

      • I agree with you on Oh batting. His presence on the mound gives you the best chance to hold on and win that game. He was brilliant in the 8th and has been brilliant all year. Who are you going to bring in to get 3 outs that justified maybe a 30% chance of saving that one out offensively? Also, who did Matheny still have on his bench? He had already made a lot of substitutions.

  15. I got a pretty good feeling about Schebler and not just because of last night. Makes we wonder about outfield situation in the future when you throw in Winker. Do we move Duvall to 3rd perhaps or maybe have some sort of rotation in the outfield and infield? Future will be pretty interesting.

    • Kind of reminds me of early eighties, when they had Householder, Milner and Redus when Duane Walker went on a tear. Ended up getting Buddy Bell past his prime for Walker and none of the others panned out, then built a foundation of Eric Davis, Kal Daniels, Tracy Jones, and Paul Oneil. To do a true rebuild you need over twice legit candidates, the Reds got it with the pitching but not much else.

  16. Didn’t Price try Schebler at leadoff a few times in April? I thought going into the year that he might benefit from hitting in front of Votto but solo HRs aren’t as much fun so maybe he is a middle of the order guy! Bottom line is I just don’t trust Billy at leadoff although he has been pretty good since the AS break. I hope Lville has Peraza or Herrera at leadoff.

  17. I’ll just toss this out there… of the 157 qualified batters in MLB, Brandon Phillips ranks 156th in Win Probability Added (WPA).

    This is a “new school” stat that “old school” people should love. It gives credit based on the situation… so a single in the 9th with the bases loaded counts much, much more than a single in the 3rd inning with the bases empty and the team up by 7 runs.

    Only Alcides Escobar has a lower WPA.

    • [Comment deleted for violating site guidelines. Comments should be about Reds and not writers or other commenters.]

      • Pretty good general rule that when your comment starts something like “you shouldn’t write that…” that it’s a violation of the site guidelines. Keep the comments substantive. Doesn’t matter what side of the issue you are on, keep the focus on the issue, not the writers or other commenters.

        • I certainly hope that the writers are held to the same standards. The whole your disdain for was a retread of one of the writers here to me.

          • Writers are held to the same standards. Don’t misunderstand. The issue isn’t your viewpoint. It’s that the comments in question weren’t about the Reds, they were attacks on people who write here. That covers writers and other commenters. If you think writers are attacking you personally, point it out. Keep in mind we don’t have professional, full-time monitors of the comment threads. So we don’t always catch everything. But I think you’ll notice the site is pretty much devoid of personal attacks and it’s going to stay that way.

  18. I agree with Chuck in that this team is a long way away but when young guys like Schebler perform it gives you hope for the future.Lots of question marks going forward but this could be a 500 team next year if some young position player step up and I think they will.Like I have said several times we must improve in getting on base.Billy didn’t have anything to show for it but he battled to a 10 pitch walk his first time up and saw 22 pitches the next 4 times.Things like this pay off in so many ways for the player and the team as was the case last night the starter is gone after 5 innings.I predict this will be a really exciting team in 2018 and beyond if the front office can get out of its own way and let the rebuild really begin.Finally I really feel for BP regarding his performance on the field.

  19. Patrick’s info on BP posted right before my thoughts and just adds more wood on the fire as to what needs to be done.No harm in playing him some but its getting to where it has to be embarrassing to him and to his fans that can remember what he used to be able to do.

  20. ALERT – ALERT – ALERT: VOTTO UPDATE AHEAD…

    Votto’s 2nd half surge of .500/.620/.889/1.509 continues to make a mockery of NL pitching. His impotent early two-week struggles have yielded to a 2nd half offensive explosion that exceeds even his own 2nd half offensive explosion from last season.

    During the past 45 games, Votto has increased:

    .160 OPS from .765 to .925
    .079 SLG from .421 to .500
    .080 OBP from .345 to .425
    .072 AVG from .221 to .293

    There are 57 games remaining in the season.

    Votto’s full-season results of .293/.425/.500/.925 leave him:

    .093 OPS behind NL leader Murphy @ 1.018 & 6th in the NL
    .123 SLG behind NL leader Murphy @ .623 & 18th in the NL
    .005 OBP ahead NL 2nd place Carpenter @ .420 & 1st in the NL
    .063 AVG behind NL leader Murphy @ .356 & 21st in the NL

    Murphy is also on a tear of his own with a 2nd half surge of .413/.453/.804/1.257. Unless Murphy falters, the NL MVP looks like it’s Murphy’s to lose, no matter what Votto does over the final 2 months. Votto continues to reel in the entire NL offensive leaders, except Murphy, in huge strokes but 2 months is a long time and Votto is absolutely locked in at the plate and winning virtually every battle.

    • I believe that Joey was abducted by aliens and replaced by a body double the first two months of the year. He escaped into Area 51, and hitchhiked to Denver to join the Reds for the series with the Rockies. Thus the reason why Joey’s turnaround seems to have started on May 30.

    • Thanks for the Votto update, Cossack. I’ll be looking forward to further good news next week!

      Murphy has surprised me with his performance this year. Even more so than I am surprised by Harper’s dropping off. I just don’t see Murphy being this good of a hitter. Not by a long shot. Where has this surge from the 31 year old 2nd basemen come from? Can he sustain it?

      • Murphy has credited the Mets hitting coach with helping him adjust his swing and pull out of a tough slump to begin last season, but even over the last 3 months of 2015, Murphy only maiontained a .471 SLG & .785 OPS, right in line with his career numbers.

        His .623 SLG & 1.018 OPS this season is a complete outlier for his career at age 31. Beats me where his offensive performance is coming from, but Murphy’s having a spectacular season. Sometimes it happens.

        I do recall his manager having a couple of hitters playing for him when he managed in SF & CHI that would put up these kinds of offensive numbers. I believe their names were Bonds and Sosa or something like that.

    • I still think Bryant has a shot at the MVP. Probably will all depend on how they perform in September and how heavily voters will weigh Murphy’s OPS versus Bryant’s superior HR/RBI/Defense/Base Running.

  21. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves on Schebler. I think he can be a legit MLB starter but that’s far from a given. I think the more likely scenario for his career would be as a 4th OF and it’s possible he’ll never amount to much of anything. There are a lot of questions about him.

      • Yeah, that’s kind of how I felt about Duvall too. I still don’t like his peripherals from a numbers standpoint. From a scouting standpoint, I still think he guesses too much and commits too early. That said, I want him to keep proving me wrong.

    • I think he is going to be one of those guys that when he hit them they stay hit. The question is how often will he hit them. Interesting to hear Price on pregame radio Tuesday basically acknowledge that Schebler’s arm is likely adequate only for LF over a long haul. It made me wonder if outfield throwing is in any way a learnable skill. Obviously you aren’t going to make a guy with limited throwing talent into a top level arm but can range and accuracy be improved with work on technique?

      • I feel pretty sure that Schebler can atleast be a good platoon LF and CF backup for Billy. Actually he’s decent vs lefties too but I don’t think he’s seen them regularly in the big leagues. If you had a 2011 version (or whenever it was) Jonny Gomes/Schebler platoon in LF then they could do some damage!

    • Schebler, like Duvall, is going to have to hit for lots of power if he wants to be a starting OF. I do think he would be a fine 4th outfielder, but hopefully there is more there.

      I really hope he tears the cover off the ball and creates a logjam in the OF. If he and Duvall prove to be solid starters, and Winker continues to develop, then that is a good problem to have. One could always be dealt to fill another need or to add more young prospects.

    • Yes. And per Marty, Reds relievers have given up 22 homers on the FIRST PITCH. August just started. Thats gotta be some kind of record.

      • He also said that Hamilton was “clearly looking for a walk” with the bases loaded when he struck out earlier in the game. He may have been but what bugs me is Marty said it with certainty. He shouldn’t be allowed to continue to express his opinion as fact. There is a big difference between saying “Boy, it sure looked like Hamilton was looking to walk in that at bat” and saying “And Hamilton was clearly looking for a walk!!”

        • And he says it with disdain.

          He’d probably rip Hamilton for walking but would have praised him for a sac fly.

          Marty, unfortunately, just isn’t very smart at baseball. And I stand by that statement 100%.

  22. I hope Duvall gets planted in RF now and stays there. He looked uncomfortable and tentative on his routes and going into the corner or foul territory yesterday. I don’t think it’s an issue with his defensive capability on RF, just his lack of familiarity with RF defense and reading the ball off the bat in RF.

    Duvall has also been making adjustments at the plate. He is still stiking out a lot, but he has workled on a better plate approach and is walking more and working deep into counts more. This has come at the expense of power, but this type of adjustment is promising as pitchers have adjusted to his power.

    • I mentioned in the game thread that Duvall’s at bat that ended in the 2-run homer was a thing of beauty. He took five pitches: three balls just outside the zone and two low and in strikes that were probable ground outs to third/short. On the sixth pitch he got something right over the heart of the plate and drilled it. Maybe Votto is rubbing off on some of the other Reds?

      Don’t swing at balls. Don’t swing at strikes that you can’t handle with less than two strikes. Pound those that you can.

    • Regarding outfield defense, I played all three positions but mostly left because of my noodle arm. Center was the easiest and most fun because the balls hit were easy to judge and you have priority to go all out after balls in the gap. After playing in left for most of a season, I was shifted to right as an injury replacement and it was tough getting accustomed to the spin. I feel for Duvall, but he’ll get it after a while.

  23. OHIOJIMW is right when he speaks about Schebler in that when he hits em they stay hit.Just like Duvall it all comes down to plate discipline and how much contact he makes.I liked what I saw from him in,April and I really liked that once he got regular at bats in the minors he took off again.If he turns in to a 250 hitter with a 300+ OBP he plays a lot on my team

    • With his power, I’d say if he can take a few walks and hit at least somewhat consistently, he definitely can play LF on my team.

      • I really wish minor leagues had batted ball data that was easy to get ahold of and sort through.

        I’d love to see if Schebler was doing something new/different last last few months.

Comments are closed.