2016 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Welcome back, Jay Bruce (plus Simon happens)

Final R H E
New York Mets (72-66) 5 10 0
Cincinnati Reds (57-79) 0 8 0
W: Colon (13-7) L: Stephenson (2-1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–The Reds didn’t commit any fielding errors today. (I’m trying hard to look for “good” things to say.)

–Nice start by Robert Stephenson in his return to the big leagues: 5.1 IP, two runs allowed on six hits. Most interesting part of his stat line was this: 9 strikeouts, 1 walk. Given the fact that Stephenson struggled most with his control in AAA this season, that was certainly good to see.

–Jose Peraza had two more hits. He’s now 7 for his last 12 at-bats. This kid can play.

–Adam Duvall threw out Mets 2B Wilmer “I’m a crier” Flores on the basepaths twice today, once at second and once at third. (Unfortunately, Duvall left about 48 runners stranded today too.)

–Wandy Peralta and Keyvius Sampson pitched effectively out of the bullpen. Even Ross Ohlendorf pitched a scoreless inning. But…

The Bad
–This game was close — a two-run game in the seventh — until Alfredo Simon walked in from the bullpen. Game over.

Simon got the first hitter on a ground out, then it was walk, single, single, single. By the time Simon finished vomiting all over the mound, the Reds were down five runs and if you were surprised, you haven’t watched Alfredo Simon — ERA 9.36 — pitch this year.

–Joey Votto only reached base twice today. That’s terrible.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Jay Bruce returned, but he went 0-4 with two strikeouts. I still miss Jay. Glad to see him again.

–Simon happens:

–Non-Simon tweets:

55 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Welcome back, Jay Bruce (plus Simon happens)

  1. The Old Cossack was in the middle of changing a garbage disposal (somehow it seemed appropriate) when I heard Tom B. trying to make some point about Peraza being 2-4 with a .500 OBP and a .500 AVG. I couldn’t really tell what point he was trying to make since as usual he was pointlessly rambling, but whatever it was, he sounded like a complete idiot. I think Chris was kinda lost and bewildered trying to support whatever he thought Tom B. was trying to make.

    • SHCHI, I totally agree with you on Thom and as his Peraza comments. Thom talks too much and sometimes the brain and tongue are not coordinated. He always tries to create some controversy with comments like “I don’t mean to criticize but…..how do you explain getting 2 hits with no one on base but make outs with runners on base”? This was said about Peraza. Thom, what did you mean? Marty and Thom must be a blast when they get together to talk about Votto. A couple of weeks ado Marty and his radio partner were discussing who would be the next Reds Hall of Famer? Marty said “it certainly won’t be anyone on this Reds roster”. We now know Votto would not get Marty’s HOF vote. Thankfully Marty does not have a vote.

    • I agree 100%, Thom made himself sound like a complete idiot with those comments. He was essentially saying that Peraza was “useless” for getting two hits with nobody on base, and stranding runners on 3rd his other two at bats. Thom must have forgotten that the one time, Peraza hit a medium fly ball to right field, that should have been plenty deep enough to score Iribarren from third, yet he held up, even after Bruce airmailed the throw.

      • The point of his comments, if there was a point, was that SABR alone doesn’t account for Peraza”s performance: .500 OBP, no RBI. Chris explained that these things are circumstantial, Thom hastened to say he wasn’t being critical of Peraza, and they both agreed that scouts are not obsolete. Thom lacks the capacity to provide enlightenment.

        • Most broadcasters in most sports are subject to ramblitus on the idea that dead air is bad…Some have raised it to an art form (Vin Scully) but most will eventually open mouth and insert foot.

  2. The Reds no longer need to pitch Simon. The expanded September roster gives them enough bodies. If they want to be generous to Simon they can keep him on the roster so he gets his September salary and his meal money on the road. I do not see him as part of the future. If the Reds see him as essential we have more of a problem than any of us realize. Peraza looks to the real deal. Cozart has been in 10 week slump.

  3. I left the game disgusted when they put Simon in.

    It was otherwise a great day despite the loss. Robert Stephenson pitched extremely well. The Reds had a classy and emotional (at least for me) video (LINK) and tribute to Jay Bruce before the game. Jose Peraza keeps hitting line drives all over the yard. Adam Duvall made two spectacular defensive plays. Free pizza.

    Lots of promising stuff about the future.

    I made it to my car in time to hear most of Simon’s inning on the radio. Brantley had the call, since it was the 7th. After the second Met reached base, Brantley had already seen enough. He said the Reds needed to get someone up right away, that Simon was throwing like he has all year. Brantley crushed Bryan Price and the Reds for putting Simon in a close game and not having a quick trigger to relieve him.

    The Reds probably wouldn’t have won even if the score had remained 2-0.

    But with all the pitchers they have in the bullpen now, there is no case at all for using Alfredo Simon. None.

    It’s like Bryan Price has two lists of pitchers, one for when the Reds are ahead (Lorenzen, Iglesias, Cingrani) and one for when they are behind. In this game, the Reds were behind, so … let’s see who is on the list, oh, Alfredo Simon.

    As Matt Wilkes said aptly in his Tweet above, the fact that Alfredo Simon is still wearing a Reds uniform is an embarrassment to the organization, for more than one reason.

    I can only hope that this was the final straw for the Reds and they’ll release Simon tomorrow. The idea they’ve let other players go – even ones with little promise – to protect a roster spot for Simon is incomprehensible farce.

    • Up until today, I was saying to myself: “Bryan Price is growing into a very wise and effective manager.” But bringing Simon when the score was still close and we had all the other arms reasonably rested in the bullpen? Why oh why? Makes no sense. I’m sure he had his reasons, but I can’t think of one to justify that. It is time for Price to go. He’s a lovely man and I am sure a fine person, but he simply cannot manage the Reds in the future.

      • “Bryan Price is growing into a very wise and effective manager.”

        I have never once thought that.

  4. “Joey Votto only reached base twice today. That’s terrible.”

    I can not think of another player in either league where an .833 OPS would actually seem like a bad game, but for Joey Votto, it does seem like a bad game.

  5. A possibility for good things about today’s game…. The Reds saved about 3 months of MLB service time on R,Stephenson because they were convinced he wasn’t ready to pitch in MLB. This offsets the 2 months of service time they wasted on Cody Reed trying to prove to the world he was ready to pitch at MLB……

    All sorts of things could happen between now and the end of the season, let alone over the off season; but two or three more performances by RS like today and we’ll go into the off season saying that the questions about the Reds rotation for 2017 are Bailey’s readiness and who get’s the 5th spot joining, Disco, Finnegan, Stephenson, and Bailey, if Homer is ready to go.

  6. Preconceived perceptions bend reality?…… Duvall goes 0/4, strands 4 runners and records 1 K. Cozart goes 0/4 strands 5 with 1 K plus has a GIDP to boot. Which one had the worst offensive game?

    • For the record, it also seems to me that Duvall is struggling mightily to keep the training moving right now too..:-)

  7. Price will probably say, “Simon and Jumbo D” can only get better if they keep pitching and “work things out on the mound”. He has said that junk before with bad pitchers. That is like saying a Bad Employee (and we all have seen them at our job or jobs we have had in life…can only work better if they continue to be employed by the company.

    • What’s he suppose to say ” These guys suck, shoot them”? He knows they suck. It’s a rebuilding year and they save the real pitchers from exceeding their innings limits.

  8. With regards to Simon, we must keep in mind the organizational plan – enhancement of draft position. I say we run him out there 5 days a week.

    • Yes, someone gets it. Get behind, less stress on the young guys with game out of hand, then bring in the young guys and tell em, hey, games already lost, just pitch like you know how.

      Would it be wrong to try and extend Simon now, before the market for him explodes?

  9. Simon and Ohlendorf should be released. Really, what’s the point? They will still get paid.

    Alternatively, Wandy Peralta has been very impressive. There are parts of next year’s team that are beginning to shape up nicely.

    • Wandy Peralta:

      2013 Age 21 Class A => 1.547 WHIP; 1.93 SO/BB
      2014 Age 22 Class A+=> 1.542 WHIP; 1.69 SO/BB
      2015 Age 23 Class AA=> 1.620 WHIP; 1.33 SO/BB
      2016 Age 24 Class AA=> 1.132 WHIP; 6.67 SO/BB
      2016 Age 24 Class AAA=> 1.155 WHIP; 1.65 SO/BB

      Until this season, Wandy Peralta was a very pedestrian pitcher, mostly as a starter. This season, he was used almost exclusively as a reliever. His performance at AA this season (just 17.2 innings) was outstanding (10.2 SO/9, 1.5 BB/9, 0.5 HR/9) but his performance at AAA (58.0 innings) this season (5.9 SO/9, 3.6 BB/9, 0.3 HR/9) was more mediocre. He has not previously performed effectively for use as a LOOGY (2016: .721 OPS v LHB & .554 OPS v RHB; 2015: .835 OPS v LHB & .771 OPS v RHB). In his outing today (0.1 innings) to face Jay Bruce with a runners on 1B & 3B with 1 out, Bruce hit a screaming line drive at Votto that Votto fielded and turned into a double play. The result was the best possible, but I certainly wouldn’t bank on much success giving up screaming line drives.

      Peralta made improvements this season as a reliever over the previous seasons as a starter, but nothing really indicative of a solid prospect. Peralta does represent the type of pitcher who should be getting the opportunities over pitchers like Ohlendorf, Simon and Jumbo. Maybe Peralta can prove capable at the major league level if given the opportunity, but the Old Cossack certainly isn’t sold yet.

  10. The Reds are not very good and on a pace to have a 68-94 record this season. Given the situation having a good draft position will help assuming they scout well and make good selections. The Reds owe baseball solid effort against the teams (Pirates, Cards, Mets) who are in the running for playoff spots. I hope they finish playing good baseball.

    My guess is the Reds will have a tough time next season. Overall the roster will have the same issues. There will be modest improvement in some areas and some retreating in others. Will Duvall and Phillips be better next year? Can Votto keep this up? Will this be Hamilton’s best hitting season? The pitching remains very uncertain. The Cubs, Cards, Pirates are still much better from a talent standpoint. “Are the Reds better than the Brewers”? Do the Brewers have a better plan? Will they keep Counsel as Manager? Are they more in the long term than the Reds?

  11. Impressive pitching today from 43 year old Bartolo Colon and 23 year old Robert Stephenson. Things are slowly coming together for the Reds in spite of Alfredo Simon still being on the roster.

  12. We will continue to get angry when we witness irrational moves happening on the diamond and question them with a rational mind. I am at a loss that a club owner like Castellini can look at this org. compared to others and think we’re okay. Yes, we have had a good couple trades and a decent draft, but how will we know who is going to be good, great, or bust, if they’re called up to sit on a bench? There has to be a form of tanking going on because it makes zero sense to put Simon in a game period. Now, I’m trying to rationalize the irrational and I too am growing frustrated and angry…

  13. We will improve next year if we say good bye to those who don’t belong and play the guys who do,Our pliching has to be better because we already know who doesn’t belong in the pen.I will still say we finsh at 500 or better for the second half because we will get to the late innings in several games with the lead and have Iggy and Lorenzen to slam the door.Yes we will still have those games where guys pitch that shouldn’t and we lose because of it but if we hit a little we will win our share.Today’s game is an example of if we just score 2 or 3 runs when we had em at third with no outs then Iggy and the better pitchers are in the game and not Simon,Diaz,Ohly etc etc. Personally I would rather see anybody then those three guys.

  14. Really good game be Stephenson, the 2 solo HR notwithstanding. He will have to learn how to pitch in GABP effectively, but 9 SO in 5.1 innings with his lone BB coming as he neared 100 pitches is a reasonable place to begin.

  15. Very clear the Reds mgmt, including Price are trying to lose as many games as possible. They must have been aghast when they saw how well the team played from the All Star Break to Mid-August. Thank goodness Simon is back.

    • Sadly for Price that is not true. He is defiantly trying to win (to the detriment of player development) but he just stinks as a manager. Period.

      • Sorry – If he is trying to win, he would NEVER insert Simon into a game.

  16. Here’s my silver lining. The Reds took two of three from the Cards, hurting them in the playoff hunt. The Mets are in hot pursuit. Therefore, by taking the series from the Cards and losing to the Mets, we are in small way playing spoiler to the Cards. If we were to get swept, this would be the team to be swept by. I guess if you root for a basement-dwelling team, you have to really scrap to find something to root for.

    • Not that hard to find something to root for, is it? Promising young players, last draft looking good so far, Votto excelling, BH playing transcendent defense and learning to hit from Votto…?

  17. I was at the game today and was stunned at the way they threw out the red carpet for Bruce. Sure, he had a few good years with the Reds, earlier in his career–and he no doubt has a great family and a good heart. (He apparently did a lot of good work for the community.) But my lasting memory of Bruce AS A PLAYER is his role in the team’s second half collapse in 2014. (And last year’s abysmal .180 average with runners in scoring position.)

    So, frankly, I’m glad he’s gone. One of the best trades the Reds ever pulled off.

    • That’s unnecessarily harsh. The fans paying to come watch the train-wreck of this season wanted Bruce to be honored. Those who pay get what they want (unless you are the Marlins). Bruce needed to be traded and I bet the Mets regret it already but he is a decent guy.

      • This fan paid to get in and was embarrassed for the Reds, when they did that whole pregame tribute thing. It struck me as overkill. And I guess I’m annoyed at the way Reds have always minimized Bruce’s flaws and exaggerated his strengths. Of course he’s a decent guy, but I’d rather have him be a cheating bastard who finished a season hitting .300.

        • My lasting memory of Bruce is the HR he hit against Houston to clinch the Central Division, which I paid to see. I’m struggling with what your big complaint is about the Reds honoring the on and off the field efforts for the team and community from one of their former players.

        • You must have felt out of place, what with the rest of us standing and cheering Bruce.

          Batting average to evaluate players, hmm. Nice 1990s reference. While you’re at it, how do you feel about the TV show Full House?

          Bruce won two Silver Slugger awards. Since 2009, he’s hit more home runs than any player in the National League, all for the Reds. He donated to countless charities and gave his time to them. He completely stayed out of trouble. Bruce played almost 9 years for the Reds and you begrudge a five minute tribute.

          Tough days for the Jay Bruce haters, now that he’s gone. I guess show up on his tribute day and complain about it.

        • Steve Mancuso feels that batting average is an outdated stat, so let’s look at one of the more fashionable ones: WAR.

          Bruce earned an impressive WAR in two of his years with the Reds (2010 and 2013).

          He earned a terrible WAR (<1) in four of his years (his rookie year of 2008 and his last three years with the Reds–2014, '15, and '16). In 2014 he actually had a negative WAR. In the remaining three years (2009, 2011, and 2012), he achieved a WAR of 2.0 or less. (The kind of WAR you'd expect from a "role player", but not a "solid starter", according to the folks at fangraphs.com.)

          So what's the exception and what's the rule? It seems clear that this is a player who had two very positive, memorable years with the Reds where his individual achievements contributed heavily to the team's achievement.

          But on the other side of the ledger we have SEVEN seasons of substandard performance. The kind of seasons you'd expect from a role player or worse. You could go as far as to say that almost 80% of his time with the Reds was spent performing at the role player level or worse, but that the 20% of the time that he excelled is what fans are fondly remembering.

          In any event, I get that Bruce has done a lot of great work in the community. I congratulate him on that. And I am glad the Reds donated to his Texas-based charity. I'm sure he's a friendly fellow and I get the sense a lot of people have an emotional connection with him. So I can see how my critique went over like a fart in church. Apologies if I've been inappropriately direct in my observations on Bruce. But I do think that if fans look at the record objectively, they'll realize that this isn't a player headed for Cooperstown.

          • So your big reveal is that Bruce isn’t headed to Cooperstown? Stop the presses.

            Seems like you might be trying to pull a fast one on the stats. You use FanGraphs interpretation of what the WAR levels mean (1-2=role player, 2-3=solid starter) but you didn’t use FanGraphs own WAR calculations. Why not? If you did, you’d have reported this instead:

            2008 – 0.9 WAR rookie season, 108 games, extrapolates to 1.4 WAR, he was 21
            2009 – 1.8 WAR over 101 games, extrapolates to 2.7 WAR, not “substandard”
            2010 – 5.1 WAR Superstar level
            2011 – 3.0 WAR Solid Starter/Good Player
            2012 – 2.5 WAR Solid Starter
            2013 – 4.2 WAR All-Star
            2014 – knee surgery during season
            2015 – great through July
            2016 – strong hitting season

            I’d call your cherry picking something other than “direct” and “objective” (your words).

            Again, other than garden-variety Bruce hate, your hot take is that the Reds overdid it with a 5-minute tribute for a 9-year player because he isn’t going to Cooperstown.

        • The WAR I cited came from BaseballReference.com. (I originally used the WAR definitions from Fangraphs because they were the first ones that came up when I Google “WAR definition” (or whatever it was that I Googled, because I wanted to make sure I was interpreting the stat correctly.) So yeah, I goofed on that particular aspect of this debate. It was an honest mistake, though. I wasn’t trying to pull a fast one. I was a huge baseball fan in the ’80s and stopped following it for almost two decades. But when I started following baseball again (maybe in 2009 or so?) it was with a passion. (Watching every Reds game on TV, occasionally going to GABP, taking in more than a few Louisville Bats games, etc.) So, yes, WAR is something I’m still learning about but I’m not a troll or a newbie.

          Putting that aside, Here’s the Baseball Reference interpretations of WAR.

          8+ MVP
          5+ All-Star
          2+ Starter
          0-2 Reserve
          <0 Replacement level

          Here's the link to the WAR information I cited, just to show I'm on the up and up here. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/bruceja01.shtml

          Now, you can plea "knee injury" all you want, but if we look at Bruce's WAR for 2014-2016 you see consistently subpar performance. (Placing Bruce at the "Reserve Level" or AT "Replacement level".) My hunch is that Bruce's career has been a casualty of the increasing use of defensive shifts.

          You may have a point about me overreacting to this. (Here I am posting a lonnnnnggg message about a player the Reds traded away, and I have better things to do.) But I've long been annoyed that the Reds organization (and many fans) treat Bruce as some sort of golden boy/Superman when he's not. Maybe I see things differently because I grew up on the East Coast, and we tended to be more openly critical of players than fans are out here in the Midwest (I've been out here 13 years, but I suppose old habits die hard.)

          In any event, I've long-respected your analysis of the game here on Redleg Nation and on Twitter, Steve, and apologize if I came across as strident, trollish, or bitchy.

        • Best outfielder of this Reds era and core player for a winning Reds team that hadn’t won in over a decade from 2010-13 time…. All Star. Reds Defensive POY in 2013, Gold Glove finalist…… Leader in Home Runs in GABP…future Reds hall of Famer….. 7th all time HR leader for the Reds……one of only 3 players to hit 20 HR in first 8 seasons. Bench and Robinson other 2….Back to back Silver Slugger awards in 2012/13…Look up Silver Slugger…..pretty strong award….Eric Davis was the last Reds outfielder to win one.

    • @Nicole. Get over it. Bruce had a number of good years and was a solid teammate and citizen.

      • Agreed. Embarrassed is 100% the last word I would use to describe the pregame ceremonies yesterday. Stop trying so hard to make sports not fun!

  18. So. it is a wrap for the AAA Bats. I’m wondering who if anybody will be called to the Reds especially after Price’s statement that it didn’t make much sense to call up players if you had high salary guys who were going to play most of the time.

    The Reds had already leaked that Amir Garrett is not coming up; in looking over the Louisville roster, the only pitcher that seemingly leaves in question is Josh Smith; and, I think Price had indicated he expected Smith to be back. Then perhaps when Pensacola is finished with the AA playoffs pitchers Rookie Davis and Abel DeLosSantos who are on the 40 man MLB roster might get a sniff.

    On the position side I’m guessing we could see Tony Renda return because they seem to have some potential depth issues because of injury; and, Renda can play probably anywhere except C, SS, and CF. Also, Steve Selky is back playing if they want a RH bat with a little more potential pop coming off the bench. I’m guessing Winker does not get the call seeing as how we’ve heard nothing to indicate he was under serious consideration.

  19. IS THERE ANY REASON IN THE WORLD to pitch Simon? Mr. Price, HELLO!!! It’s September and the rosters have been expanded. You have plenty of pitchers. Do you really need to see any more from Simon?

  20. If the Score is 12 to 2 in the 9th inning, Reds losing, then they can let Simon pitch if they are going to keep him on the roster.

  21. I really enjoyed watching Stephenson pitch today. Going to enjoy watching him in the rotation next year.
    Loved the Bruce tribute.

  22. Every time I see Simon pitch I am more impressed that Uncle Walt somehow convinced the Tigers to give up Eugenio Suarez for him. What a trade!

    That said, he should be DFA’d immediately……unless, of course, the goal is to tank.

    • Yeah, even if Suarez is never better than an average player, that deal is one for the ages. It was pretty obvious Simon was bad, even then.

      • Yeah, there was a lot of chronicling on RLN of how he was way outperforming his peripherals back in 2014 before the Reds traded him to the Tigers. Though he earned an All Star nod, the numbers told otherwise and he plummeted in the 2nd half. It’s not like the Tigers couldn’t have seen this coming. I’m just really chagrined that the Red’s FO negated good wisdom by bringing him back, even on a 1 year desperation deal. I was available to pitch at league minimum and couldn’t have done too much worse.

Comments are closed.