Jason Linden had an interesting piece over at Cincinnati Magazine yesterday:

I know you remember 2010 just as well as I do. The Reds were good. Really good. And it had been a long time since that had happened. Joey Votto won the MVP and Johnny Cueto started to become Johnny Cueto. It was a good year.

The year before, 2009, wasn’t as memorable. The Reds were not very good. And they didn’t make the playoffs. But by simple virtue of proximity, the two seasons are related. And, in fact, that 2009 team was good down the stretch. They won 27 of their last 40 games after “starting” the year 51-71. That shouldn’t be surprising.

You can see where this is going. Go read the entire piece and let us know what you think.

26 Responses

  1. Redgoggles

    Encouraging comparison! I do think the Iggy/Lorensen for Hoover/etal trade has been just as much a part of the turnaround as the SP “trade” listed.

  2. mdhabel

    Over the last 52 weeks:

    Cueto: 7.6 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 0.86 HR/9, 3.58 ERA, 3.45 FIP, 3.68 xFIP, 4.3 WAR
    Disco 8.4 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 0.85 HR/9, 3.61 ERA, 3.25 FIP 3.63 xFIP, 3.1 WAR

    Make the comparison! Disco will be an ace…Billy Hamilton will win the MVP….Reds will win the division next year.. only problem is those dang Cubs. Ill settle for the Wild Card

  3. james garrett

    The Reds will be better in 2017 and much better in 2018. Its just in our division we have the best team in baseball in the Cubs and a top 5 ran organization in the Cards.It will be a hard mountain to climb.

  4. CI3J

    The Reds do seem to suddenly be clicking, as if the young guys have suddenly started figuring things out. Steve had a piece on that here: https://redlegnation.com/2016/08/23/six-weeks-of-bridled-optimism/

    If the Reds keep going like this, and add a few pieces in the offseason and/or addition by subtraction (see ya, Cozart and DatDude), they could “arrive a year early” just like the 2010 team was said to have done.

    Which is what makes it all the more painful that Peraza hasn’t gotten more playing time up until now. But if he, Senzel, and Dilson pan out, and the Reds can pick up a decent corner outfielder in a trade this offseason, they could definitely go places.

    • Jim t

      Winker will be one corner outfielder. The other is up in the air. I’d say Duval will have first shot at the other.

    • lwblogger2

      I don’t know if I could call Cozart and BP leaving as addition by subtraction, primarily because I don’t think that the players that replace them will be as good right away. Is the potential there for them to be better than the current incarnations of Cozart and BP? Sure, but it’s likely that they won’t be as good in their first full seasons of starting. I’m not saying that the Reds shouldn’t try to move both players. I’m just saying that doing so isn’t likely to make the Reds better in 2017.

  5. ohiojimw

    The biggest issue the Reds may have going forward is catcher. To expect much out of Meso in 2017 after essentially two years away from the game, even with the extent and severity of his surgeries aside, is a reach.

    Barnhart is a solid 1/2 to 2/3 of the everyday solution; but they need somebody to catch a couple of games a week to keep Barnhart at his peak. I don’t think Cabrera is that guy going forward if the team is to be more than a marginal .500 team.

      • ohiojimw

        You’re slightly less optimistic about Barnhart than I indicated I was; and, you may well be right, especially as to his ceiling.

        I like to apply what I call the “Sparky” (Anderson) test to backup guys thrown into the everyday fire. Sparky used to say that if a bench guy played often enough, he would remind everyone why he was a bench guy (and to be fair to Sparky he would say it was his job as manager not to let that happen if he could avoid it).

        The times this year when Barnhart has reminded me he was a bench guy have been when he was playing 5 and 6 days in a row over a stretch of several weeks. Since Price has started using Cabrera every 3rd day or so, I haven’t seen the drop in Barnhart’s level of performance either offensively or defensively I saw consistently when he was catching almost literally “every day”.

        The Reds need to find an at least equal to Barnhart to form a tandem. A latter day Ramon Hernandez would be even better.

    • WVRedlegs

      I think a trade is in order this winter for a Catcher. Hard to say where they can go obtain a good one. There are two young C’s that have a little ML time in NYY’s Gary Sanchez and Seattle’s Mike Zunino. Zunino is the better defensive C, will be 26 next year, but has good plate discipline. But he was a 1st round pick #3 overall in 2012. He played a lot in 2015 and 2014 for Seattle but has seen mostly AAA this year.
      At the AAA level is Colorado’s Tom Murphy. And at AA is Baltimore’s Chance Sisco. Both bat before glove though both’s glove isn’t that bad.
      If Mesoraco’s can hit in spring training and not field the C position or an OF position, a trade will be necessary to an AL team.

      Nice article too Chad. Sounds like the Reds officials think Mesoraco will be the second coming of Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man.

      • lwblogger2

        I like Sanchez, Zunino, and Sisco a lot. I haven’t seen Tom Murphy play at all. I think prying any of those guys away would take some serious work. I don’t think Weiters will be with the O’s next year and SIsco could likely be the starting catcher.

        I’d be thrilled if the Reds landed Sanchez, Zunino, or Sisco but I’d be a little concerned with what they may need to give up. The Reds also need to be banking on catchers they’ve recently drafted to develop, at least in the next 3 years or so.

    • Steve Mancuso

      I’m more concerned that the shoulder recovery will hurt his hitting than I am that the hip surgery will hurt his catching.

      • ohiojimw

        I’d agree. However, he has a lot of rust to get out of his catching too. He did not look comfortable or good behind the plate in his short go this year.

      • lwblogger2

        Twin hip impingement surgeries. At least he isn’t coming off both at the same time. Throw in the shoulder injury and the rather extensive surgery he needed to correct it and I have lots of concerns about rather or not he can be a starting player, let alone behind the plate. Guys come back from hip surgery pretty regularly but there haven’t been too many catchers, none in MLB that I’m aware of. Do you know of any players who have come off of hip surgeries to both hips? I can’t think of any.

        I am a big Mesoraco fan and I’m hoping that he can come back and be productive. I don’t think the Reds should be counting on it though. If he does, they should view it as a pleasant surprise.

  6. Dewey Roberts

    Chad, you are more optimistic than I am about the 2017 reds, for sure. I think there are definite difference between the 2009 and 2016 Reds teams. The 2009 team had lots of young talent that was just emerging, both in position players and pitchers. I don’t see the young future stars among position players on this year’s team. Maybe you will be correct when all is said and done, but I don’t see it at this time. The 2009 team finished 6 games below .500. This team has a ways to go to get there and not much time to do so.

  7. Earl Nash

    Reds dealing Bruce basically says to me they are penciling Winkler into the outfield for next year or going with one of the other guys if that fails.

    I think Tucker Barnhart would be fine if you could find a vet like the Reds did in Ramon Hernandez to pair with him like they did with Ryan Hanigan. Splitting up the duties seemed to improve both of them and kept them both fresh.

    Reds are going to need everyone to have a good year like they did in 2010 to be close to the playoffs. I don’t think the pitching is as near as it was in 2009, but maybe they all take a step up together.

    At this point, I don’t think you can count on Devin Mesoraco at all. The guy has missed two years and bad hips have ended more than a few careers. I don’t think you can count on him at all at this point. They are on the hook for his money, so they could let him rehab and hope for the best, but I’ll be surprised if he really ever is a regular in the big leagues again.

    • gaffer

      I think it says more that Bruce is not likely to help this team win long-term than they know who is replacing him (heck look at his numbers in NY and maybe not even now!)

  8. Shchi Cossack

    OhioJim and the Old Cossack have both made the observation that Barnhart is a good primary catching option if he is limited to ~60% of the starts behind the dish and Cabrera is not a good option for catching 40% of the games. Between the hip surgeries, shoulder surgery and 2 year layoff from any significant baseball activity, no one knows what to expect from Mesoraco when he shows up for spring training next season.

    The good news is that Mesoraco had his surgeries early this season and should be fully recovered and participating in baseball activities prior to pitchers and catchers reporting next spring.

    The Reds should pencil in Barnhart for primary catching duties to begin the 2017 season with Mesoraco taking 40% of the catching responsibilites at the major league level. After 2 months, the Reds should have a pretty good feel for what to expect from Mesoraco going forward and can make decisions about the remainder of the 2017 season and the 2018 season at that point. If Mesoraco proves everyone wrong in spring training and/or the firsdt couple of months next season and brings the big bat to the middle of the lineup, then welcome back Devin Mesoraco and buckle up for the ride!

  9. john lucia

    meso should catch one third of thetime and play left the other time. Duval regular rf.

    • Shchi Cossack

      For the 1st 2+ months, until we’re solidly past the super-2 cutoff, that’s a solid plan. Once the super-2 cutoff passes, it’s time to bring up Winker and make a decision regarding the best use of the available players at that point.

      After 2+ months, the Reds should have a better idea of what to expect from Mesoraco at the plaste and behind the dish. They should also have a real expectation regarding Duvall carrying over his 2016 offensive production to 2017 and his lont-term prospects as a starting corner OF.

    • lwblogger2

      What do you do with Winker in that instance? The Reds have invested an awful lot in him. Do you bring him up as your 4th/5th OF?

  10. StillRed

    Why is everyone so down on Cabrera? It looks like he may have put on a little weight, but I like his swing and could develop into a good doubles hitter…and pitchers have praised his game calling.

    • Shchi Cossack

      A .617 OPS and average catching defense, at best.

      • doofus

        Agree, he’s a mediocre defender behind the plate and doesn’t make up for it with his bat.

  11. lwblogger2

    Chad, I’m not sure if I agree about Chad Wallach having a respectable defensive reputation as you said in the article. On the few occasions I’ve seen him, he wasn’t very good. I asked Doug on his last RLN article if Wallach’s defense has improved. Is answer was that it had but he still had a long way to go.

    • WVRedlegs

      This is only on the premise that Mesoraco won’t be able to be the Reds Catcher.
      Wallach is an interesting case. I am not putting any chips down on him just yet, but not counting him out either. Up above we mentioned Sanchez and Zunino, but they are having sort of breakout years now for their teams, so very unlikely at all to be obtained by a trade now. Sisco, on the other hand, maybe. Sisco is about a year away but could make the leap over AAA to pair with Barnhart by next year. Solid bat and average defense.
      But a more reasonable young Catcher to peruse on another team’s roster might be the Angels C Jett Bandy. Love his name. He was promoted from AAA to the Angels earlier this year. He has risen through the minors on a steady pace after being drafted out of college. A late round draft pick. But he is 26 now, a RH hitter to pair with Barnhart, has a little power and plate discipline, and is a pretty good defensive C. He has had 22 runners steal a base, but he has also thrown out 18 base runners. Pardon the pun, but he would be a nice catch.