In your life, expect some trouble.
When you worry you make it double.

Cincinnati 2  Arizona 11 |  FanGraphs  | Sing it note-for-note

Homer Bailey pitched one sad inning. For the second start in a row he didn’t strike anyone out. Nor did he give up a walk. The problem wasn’t control. What he did surrender were singles, five of them. All three earned runs scored on routine ground balls. Bailey’s fastball velocity was down again, often below 90 mph – even lower than his previous start. In his two starts before that, against Miami and Milwaukee, his fastball *averaged* 95 mph. Concern is reasonable.

[Update: See Bryan Price’s extensive comments on Bailey after the game. Then come back here and finish reading the recap.]

On the other hand, Bryan Price had Bailey bat. How hurt could the Reds starting pitcher be if he was allowed to hit? If Price’s worry was the depth of his bench, any number of other pitchers (Finnegan, DeSclafani) could have batted for Bailey.

It’s not Ramon Cabrera’s fault that since Devin Mesoraco’s injury in April, the Reds have carried a back-up who isn’t a major league catcher. If you don’t believe me, go with the other 29 major league teams. Cabrera was DFAd by the Tigers in 2014. Then DFAd and released later that year by the Pirates. Or you can believe Cabrera’s catching stats.

Ramon Cabrera as defensive liability has been thrown into stark relief this week as Tucker Barnhart sat out with an injury. Cabrera has had obvious difficulties catching strikes all year. Catching the ball seems like a BFOQ if the name of your job is Catcher. You can time his release to 2B by Presidential election cycles. The DBacks scored several runs in this game when Cabrera’s poor defense played a role. The stats say he has 7 caught stealing plays this season. I’m at a loss to remember any of them. Do pitcher pick offs at 1B count?

Yesterday’s Home Run Derby atmosphere returned for three glorious minutes when Brandon Phillips and Scott Schebler hit back-to-back long balls to left-center in the 2nd inning. Schebler’s blast was his third in two days.

This ends the highlights portion of our show.

Billy Hamilton led off the top of the 6th inning with a single. I know this seems like rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic recap now, but the Reds were only four runs behind then. Setting up a big inning was much more important than getting an extra base. Trying to steal second, even with Hamilton, is a dumb, dumb strategy in that situation.

The Reds threw in the Ohlendorf in the top of the 7th. But, hey they have to see how the 34-year-old can handle the situation. What they saw was the Old School Wind-up allow three more runs. That Ross Ohlendorf is still getting playing time at all, even garbage innings like today, instead of a young pitcher like Keyvius Sampson, is a failure of Rebuild.  Jumbo Diaz is another player I wouldn’t mind never seeing play in a Reds uniform again. Reminder that he’s 32.

Jose Peraza didn’t start today, but did pinch hit for his 125th plate appearance with the Reds. I like that Peraza has been hitting line drives all over the field since his return from AAA-Louisville. I don’t like that he has just 2 walks.

Just one more thing to look forward to: Tyler Holt (.215/.289/.262) playing the DH in Los Angeles. Hey, Holt is no Neftali Soto.

You may have noticed irrational frustration with the roster as a recurring theme of this recap. Yes, in a few days the active roster expands and all the Reds problems (except a major league back-up catcher) will be solved. But it sure feels like the Reds personnel management is stumbling to the end of August.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 13 Comments

  1. The voice of positivity. I love it.

  2. Those of you forgiving Jocketty his trespasses in yesterday’s recap comments should remember his perennial failure to manage the roster proficiency… constantly this team delays sending injured guys to the DL, mis-asseses injuries, plays short-handed provides at least two sub-standard relief pitchers that are sure to find their way into high leverage situations, and a host of other ailments. He does seem to have a knack for finding talent on the cheap but his veteran signings are unmitigated disasters and the roster management atrocious.

  3. Marty and Cowboy went off on the catching situation today. Cited it as another example of the refusing to look for outside help when a regular went down for the season. They didn’t directly compare it to the left field situation of 2013; but, that’s the inference I drew.

  4. I also wasn’t happy with then way Price managed the troops he does have at his disposal. I felt like he let the game needlessly slip away by trying to milk an additional inning out of Smith; and, then after than cost him a run to put them 4 back, it was too easy just to send on the suicide squad. I don’t understand why he took this approach when he had a totally rested pen, 3 days of DH baseball ahead and then an off day which just happens to be the roster expansion day.

    Also I don’t see why Bailey batted in the 2nd when he wasn’t coming back out to pitch. The Reds had been absolutely drilling the DBacks pitcher in the inning and had a man on base. Why give the out away when the pitcher isn’t going to stay in anyway. Of course its not like the Reds had anyone on the bench that might run into one and tie the game.

    I really wonder sometimes about the Reds situational awareness, both of the front office and game management personnel.

    • “Suicide Squad” now that is funny. I will never think of the bullpen the same way.

  5. Don’t worry, put Homer out there every 5th day and we will lose that game. We will not make the playoffs and should try to get the highest draft pick for 2017. Reed, Stephenson, Sampson and Garrett should be making multiple starts in September. It doesn’t make sense to finish in the middle of the pack and pick 12-18, when we can play our younger talent, getting them experience. Win/loss record should not be of any concern the rest of the year. Positioning for the highest draft pick possible and giving younger talent valuable experience are the keys for the rest of the season.

  6. For all the very positive vibes that the 2nd half has brought, this game gives a dose of reality.

    Homer might not ever be the same, and Price’s double talk (I mean after “accountability” in late 2013 I never believed a word out of his mouth) wasn’t encouraging.

    The lack of a backup catcher? Ridiculous. Not playing Peraza given the last two weeks? Batting Homer when you’re not going to pitch him the next inning?

    This franchise has very serious problems with both roster construction and management. It’s very possible that the Reds will have the talent to compete next year, but it seems quite unlikely that they will know how to utilize that talent correctly.

    • I’m not so sure that this game’s reality outweighs the rest of the second half. No argument, there are strange decisions being made (and enumerated frequently at RLN), but I don’t think the positives are an illusion. Cheer up.

    • This is the same team that didnt carry a backup first baseman while Joey was hurt. How on earth can you not have someone on your roster who can play first? We had to use a guy who last did it in high school. I am not shocked in the least.

  7. I’m not one to be overly critical of players and I’m sure Ohlendorf and Diaz are trying their best, but if I never see them in a game again it will still be too soon.

  8. We faced 3 minor league piitchers in the set against the DBacks and only hit one of them in game two.That was the cause for not winning the series along with the same bullpen guys doing the same things they have done all year.Wood,Ohly,Diaz,Smith and probably Cingrani won’t be here next year along with some other guys on this roster but until then it is what it is.Hopefully in a few days we start seeing more hitters and pitchers as we look toward next year and beyond.Lets don’t forget that Walt and others packed this year in way back in April with the way the roster,especially the pen,was constructed.The future is bright once we get this next month out of the way.Go Reds.

  9. Catching the ball is indeed a BFOQ for a catcher, especially one that is supposed to be good enough to play in MLB. I was ok rolling with him as a 3rd catcher in the beginning of the year over Pacheco but I’ve never liked the idea of having to give him anything resembling extensive playing time.

Comments are closed.

About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


Titanic Struggle Recap


, , , , , , , ,