2016 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: The Dan Straily Experience

Final R H E
Milwaukee Brewers (64-81) 4 4 2
Cincinnati Reds (62-82) 6 10 0
W: Straily (12-8) L: Garza (5-7)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Dan Straily was magnificent tonight. He pitched eight innings — the longest outing of his career — and gave up two runs on three hits (two solo home runs). He struck out eight and walked just one.

–Joey Votto was 3-4 with his 24th home run, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. He’s now hitting .318/.434/.531. But yeah, he’s overpaid or something.

–Adam Duvall had two doubles and knocked in two runs. Scott Schebler went 2-4 with an RBI.

The Bad
–Oh, Tony Cingrani. After Straily’s outstanding performance — and with the Reds leading 6-2 — Cingrani entered in the ninth inning and proceeded to walk the first hitter on four pitches. One out later, Chris Carter smashed a home run, cutting the lead to two. He ultimately escaped the inning, but sheesh.

–Straily went 0-1 at the plate, dropping his slash line to .000/.043/.000.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Five straight wins for the good guys. Reds are only 1.5 games behind Milwaukee for fourth place!

–The Reds are 30-25 in the second half. That’s a .545 winning percentage which, if extrapolated over a full season, would equal 88-74. They currently have the fourth-best record in the National League since the All-Star break. If the season had started on July 11, the Reds would be in line for the first wild card spot. #glasshalffull

–You may have seen this interview with Dan Straily over at Fangraphs earlier today. You have to love that guy. He’s very aware of all the advanced data, and he’s using every tool at his disposal to improve his performance.

Straily is now 8-2 in the second half, and he just keeps getting better. I can’t believe how lucky the Reds were to have this guy fall into their laps for free at the end of spring training.

–Jose Peraza wears a helmet with earflaps on both sides of his head, but the earflap that covers his right ear has no padding in it. I noticed it recently, and now I can’t see anything else when they show him batting. I need help.

–Tim Adleman gets the start tomorrow. Go Reds.

67 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: The Dan Straily Experience

  1. Since Cingrani became the closer, I have no fingernails.
    However, I am very happy for Dan Straily. He now has 12 wins on the season!
    Votto is playing out of his mind since the All-Star break.

  2. Thom could not have sounded less excited for any of Vottos hits. I bet Thom would have downplayed Willie Mayes contributions or Mantle.

    • Thom thinks Marty knows baseball. Marty talked more about HIS golf tournament than the game.

  3. Amazing what Votto is doing. What can you say?
    Straily with another gem. He had a couple of struggles last couple of times out, so it was very nice to see him rebound. He set a Reds franchise record tonight on number of starts with 3 hits or less. He hasn’t run out of gas yet. Thank goodness the Phillies passed on Straily on the waiver wire back in March. Where would the Reds be without Straily this year? Leading the tanking, or race, for the #1 draft pick? Oh well, I am glad he is on board.
    CoCo Cingrani made the 9th inning interesting again tonight. Luckily he won’t be the closer next year. He gave up a 9th inning HR to a guy with eleventy billion strike outs. Nonsense.

    • Reds have won 7 other games he did not receive a decision. He probably will not get his WAR that much above 3.5 but I seriously doubt they could have found a replacement player that would caused them to have more than 58 wins at this point- considering Simon and Mellville were in the rotation

  4. is there a consensus on whether Cingrani has a future with the Reda? I don’t see him as the closer, but is he even the loogy?

    • I thought the reason Wandy Peralta was brought up was to help figure out if they needed to hold on to Cingrani at an arbitration level salary in 2017. But it seems like Peralta is being used very little.

    • Cingrani does not inspire confidence—but he does make autocorrect want to call him “Kingpin” for some reason. So, that’s good for something. I don’t really know what to make of him truthfully. How about average relief arm/bullpen piece?

    • Its hard to say when he walks so many people. His value even as a LOOGY goes to zero if he sends them down to first.

    • The Reds have a lot invested in Cingrani. He’s only going to he 1st year arbitration eligible. I would be very surprised if he isn’t still with the team next season.

  5. If the Reds can come up with a strong bullpen, they could be in the race for the second wild card spot in 2017.

  6. Interesting interview with Stailly post game. Said he’s been “preaching to these kids about keeping runners off the bases and not to worry about the occasional HR”. Wizened veteran, who took no credit for that remark by saying he was told that early on but “still tried to miss bats”. Kind of the ol’ pitch to contact mantra, but placing pitches where the hitters can’t make solid contact. Isn’t this the kind of guy you want around the next couple years to not only provide solid innings, but mentor these young, talented arms coming up?

    • I see shades of Arroyo in Straily, maybe a little LeCure mixed in. He has embraced a mentor role, and at least with Finnegan we’ve seen some positive results.

      • Strailey made a lot of sense in the interview after the game. He could be more special than any of us thought. Smart pitchers can be very good. Note Hendricks on the Cubs.

  7. A few thoughts:
    1. The FanGraphs interview with Straily was pure bliss. To hear a Red talk about consuming and reacting to advanced metrics is very refreshing. While it’s possible many Reds do this and we don’t know about it, Straily just moved up on my favorite Reds list. Here’s hoping he’s an important part of next year’s rotation as well.
    2. Votto is an absolute beast. It’s criminal how underappreciated he is among even casual Reds fans, much less the idiots who call the games.
    3. The Reds bullpen is still a mess. If the front office decides they want to compete next year and invests some (smart) money in the pen, this team could be interesting. Not “we’re going to compete with the Cubs”-level interesting, but certainly 85+ wins interesting. After the first half of this year, I think we’d all take that.
    4. The Reds FO is going to have some tough calls to make on potentially selling high(ish) on certain players this offseason.
    5. I don’t like BP, and never have. I thought the Reds should have sat his butt down for the season when he refused the trades. But I have to give him credit for his play of late.

    • Never have liked Brandon “Gold Glove” Phillips? Agreed with you until that last silly comment! He’s been phenomenal and STILL keeps on giving!!! I hope he’s still our 2nd basement next year if we get lucky enough for him to turn down one more year of trying to trade him off!

      • I’m fine with Brandon Phillips in the “2nd basement” next year. I just don’t want him at second base…and it’s not because he hasn’t been great. It’s just that he won’t be a great second baseman once the Reds are once again contending.

    • Agree with almost all of this. Although I don’t know if investing in the bullpen is ever smart money. Relievers tend to be volition year to year in general (see Hoover), and for the most part easily replaceable.

      The Reds have several starters that could/should transition to the pen due to the lack of starting opportunities. Moscot and Lamb, among the more notable for next season. Combined with Iglesias and Lorenzen, who have been great, and Cingrani, Wood, and Sampson, who have been solid. That’s a good foundation, and a couple options to mixin. Just don’t see a need to invest money when these guys will likely be just as effective and cheaper.

  8. I’m starting to wonder if Winker could turn into trade bait while Schebler and Duvall keep the seats warm for the wave coming after Winker. I.E. Elizalde, Aquino, Friedl, Trammell, possibly Senzel, or Suarez if he gets bumped from IF by Senzel and a couple of others.

      • No prospect is 100%. The Royals were widely panned for trading Will Myers and have been in two WS, winning one. They will probably be on the outside looking in this year, but myers is already on his second team during his team control years. He is putting together a solid year, but its hard to say he has lived up to the billing when he was traded to TB.

        If Winker can get the reds something of value that can’t be found in the system already, you have to at least have that conversation. Personally I’d keep him as a combo of Winker, Duvall, Schebler, Hamilton, and Holt certainly has the makings of a good outfield both in D and O.

      • Here is my perspective. First off, I don’t think Winker can be considered as a direct replacement for Duvall because of the RH bat/ LH bat difference. The Reds need an RH bat with some pop aside from Suarez. That’s Duvall until they come up with somebody else better in that role. If the somebody else is an OF, they are the direct replacement for Duvall. If they play another spot that could open the door for Winker to replace Duvall in the OF.

        On to Schebler.This year at Louisville, dress it up and spin it as one may, Schebler out played Winker for the extended RF trial created when Bruce was traded. After his slow restart back at MLB, Schebler has produced well at MLB and continues to do so. Injuries don’t count as mulligans here. If a guy has a chronic injury that is keeping him out of the line up and/ or impinging on his power over a going two year period such as Winker’s wrist has done, that is a negative on his ledger.

        A quick look “behind” Winker. Sebastian Elizalde is a year older than Winker and also a LH bat. He was at AA this year, OPSing at .711 to Winker’s .782 at AAA. The difference to Winker’s favor being in OBP. The two figure to start the season together at AAA unless Winker can make the MLB club out of ST.

        Closing rapidly on both these guys is Aristides Aquino who was just named the Florida State League player of the year at the A+ level Daytona team, Aquino is 22, a RH hitter and figures to start the season at AA. However if he continues to produce as he did in the 2nd half of 2016, he could see AAA in 2017.

        Then there is Senzel; the big question is whether he starts the season at A+ or AA. However indications from this year are that the Reds will fast track him as long as he produces. I think most folks expect to see him at AAA before the end of 2017.

        And I haven’t even mentioned Phil Ervin who OPSed at .761 at AA this year and like Winker has suffered a power shortage (.399 slugging in 2016) related to a wrist injury…..

        • Unless it’s a platoon, I don’t understand why handedness matters. The Reds will have Suarez, as you mentioned, and hopefully Mesoraco. I understand not wanting to pencil in Mes, but he’ll be a Red and starting a fair share if healthy. He has demonstrated good pop in the past. I haven’t looked, but don’t believe Winker sports dramatic splits at the plate.

          I don’t understand the point about Schebler other than he earned his audition. I’m glad the Reds gave him an extended look over starting service time for Winker. Beyond that, I don’t know that a half year of a guy mashing at AAA when he’s two years older and repeating the level constitutes as having leapfrogged Winker as a prospect. Last year Schebler struggled more significantly in AAA than Winker has this year (and honestly I wouldn’t say he struggled, more so he didn’t hit for power).

          I think Schebler, Duvall, and possibly Rodriguez will eventually battle it out for the corner spot opposite of Winker. But Winker should be penciled into line ups starting at some point next season, there’s no realistic reason to believe he won’t hit for average power, as he’s demonstrated in the past he’s capable.

        • Winker is neither trade bait or a sure prospect for the Reds. That said he is the best near term outfield prospect which is borderline sad. Maybe he is a .275 hitter. If he can hit 15 HR ‘s with GABP as his base he will join a long line of players who can do that. Ervin looks like he is ready for Japan or Korea baseball. Schebler is doing fairly well and deserves a long look next season. I hope Aquino is the next coming…the Reds need some one like that.

    • I think Winker is much better than Duvall, other than a blistering month he is well below average as a hitter.

      • Duvall plays hard, plays good defense, has good power.. Winker, by reputation is a good hitter and nothing special in any other aspect of the game, though he’s young and could certainly improve. Duvall could, too, and is showing signs of improved plate approach. Keep them both.

        • Before this year Duvall did not play good defense. The question had been whether he could make the transition to the OF because of subpar defense at 3rd. He’s answered that question well.

          Winker is certainly special at getting on base, having an advanced approach at the plate. He can hit for a high average, get on base at an elite rate, and plays solid defense in the corners. His power is not as bad as he showed this year after a wrist injury. He should hit for average power.

          Will Duvall get on base at an average rate? There are some signs his BB rate can improve, but that’s come at the expense of his power to this point. He has not shown much of an ability to hit for average either. For me, there are a lot more questions regarding Duvall sticking as a starter than Winker coming in and contributing.

    • The problem the Reds have is that outside of Votto there are no above average hitters in their lineup. Guys like Duvall, Schebler, Suarez, and Barnhart have all proven to be solid role players. They would all look good batting 7th or 8th in a good lineup, or as platoon players. But Duvall and Suarez are the 2nd and 3rd best hitters in this lineup and that’s a problem.

      Winker has a chance to be an above average hitter and he’s nearly ready. He’s gonna have to get his power back or the walks are.gonna dry up, but he’s the best bet in the Reds system to be a 120+ wRC guy in the next year or two. Because of that, I think he has more value to the Reds than most other teams. I mean, what would they trade.him for? They’ve got middle infielders. They have young pitching. He is the kind of guy they need most.

      Add to that the fact that his stock is down a little and I don’t see any reason.the Reds should trade Winker

      • See my extended explanation which posted above your reply. Schebler is the guy Winker has to beat out because of the LH/RH hitter situation. I’m not sure Winker can do that given Schebler’s ongoing body of work at MLB.

        As things stand now within the org, Aristides Aquino or Nick Senzel eventually force Duvall to the bench or out the org. An OF spot which Winker might take could be opened here if Senzel arrives ahead of Aquino and is used as an infielder. However there seems to be growing talk of using Senzel as a corner OF to get his bat to MLB more quickly.

        • I hope the Reds don’t play an inferior player because they care about right and left handed splits in the lineup. If that’s true, we are in trouble.

          Hotto4Votto is right above. Taking a complete track record and age into account, Winker’s a bether bet than either Duvall or Schebler. Doesn’t mean it will work out that way, but Winker has a higher ceiling and floor than both.

          Also, Winker should solid power at every level before this year. No reason to think he won’t return to the norm.

          • Inferior is a 360 degree term. There is no reason to believe Winker will be more than an average defensive OF. Duvall has turned out to be better than average in his first year in the OF.
            It is hard to compare what a guy might do at MLB based on two guys who have done it over a nearly a season.

            Winker’s power shortage would seem to be related to a 2 year in the past wrist injury. The onus is on Winker to prove his power is back, not on the team to believe it will be.

            These are not easy nor cut and dried decisions to make. This time a year ago, the talent pool was Winker and maybe Ervin. Now it there are about 5 other guys in the mix; and, Winker’s inability to grab the opportunity makes him another face in the crowd.

        • Winker’s wrist injury was literally this season. He’s had others in the past, but he had one this year that he played through for a while until he physically could not hold a bat and then missed significant time. If you think that a 22 year old whose worst season was one in which he had a .397 OBP in AAA is another face in the crowd, then we just disagree.

          This year may well be Duvall’s ceiling or close. Based on track record, I think Winker is better than a 2.5-3 Win player at his peak.

          • When the same wrist or knee etc keeps being injured, especially in a case like this which doesn’t involve a bone fracture, I think at some point is has to be considered a chronic condition, i.e. a single weakness or injury that has led to that.

        • RE: Nick’s latest comment…. I see the power piece essential for Winker; and, he has to (at least begin to) prove that at AAA. Otherwise he is a corner OF with no better than average defensive skills and nothing special on the base paths playing in a position typically filled by sluggers.

          An average defensive OF and base runner who produces an OPS similar to better than Winker based more on slugging versus OBP may be a better choice for the team depending on the specific makeup of the team at the given point.

          Thus the face in the crowd statement. JW has to hit for more power to clear stand above them.

        • I have some reservations about Winker’s power but his plate-discipline and approach are well advanced of anyone else in the system perhaps. I mean Senzel hasn’t even played above A-ball yet, so I’m not ready to project him into any slot anytime soon. I asked Doug about Winker’s power and rather or not he had concerns and Doug said that Winker’s power will be fine. He’ll be around the 20 HR mark on a given year and has the ability to hit around .300 with an above average BB-rate. Doug knows all these guys a lot better than I do so I’m taking his word for it until Winker shows that he just isn’t going to get the power back.

      • Winker is over rated by many at the moment. He may not be any better than what he has shown so far which is a 4th outfielder on a losing team. He is not the future until he does something to deserve one. That said, he is young and could become the good player many project. It is no sure thing,based on the evidence to date.

  9. Does anyone else find it weird that the Reds had a 4 game losing streak followed by a 5 game losing streak sandwiched between 2- 5 games winning streaks. I wonder many times that actually happened, much less in a 4 weeks period.

  10. Would be happy to start 2016 with a line up of
    Hamilton cf
    Peraza SS
    Votto 1b
    Duval LF
    Schebler RF
    Suarez 3B
    Mez c
    Herrera 2b

    Waiting in the wings, Aquino, Winker, Trammel, Senzel and others moving up the ladder. Not sold on Duval or Schebler until I see better plate discipline but at the worst they are good Bench pieces with some flexibility or a nice platoon if you go that way. Keys will be getting Mez healthy if not Barnhardt has shown he is more then capable, moving Cozart and getting BP to accept a trade. I like where we are headed from a position side of things.Y-Rod still has a chance to be part of the future if he can get healthy.

        • the guy is healthy and hitting 290

          if that puts him on the bench then we are in great shape as I assume the starter would be doing better.

          Maybe Brandon at 4-5 days per week will be a 300 hitter again and stay healthy.

        • Rather the Reds need to play the young guys or not, there is no way that BP sits on the bench if he’s still hitting and fielding the way he is. He’s been just below average as a hitter and still is providing adequate defense at 2B. Baseball people, including the players and coaches in your own organization tend to frown on it when you bench (or DFA) productive, veteran MLB players in the name of rebuilding. BP is still productive. If the Reds want to play the new guys, they need to figure out how to move him. It’s that simple.

          His wRC+ is 93 at the moment. That’s not miserable for a middle infielder. He’s also slashing .291/.323/.414 and rather we all like it or not, a .290+ average over 500+ PA is still considered a sign of a productive player. Defensively, he has slipped by the eye test and by the metrics but both agree that he’s still a solid defender. His fWAR is 0.9, which is less than what his contract is paying him but still above the mythical replacement player. This isn’t a situation like with ARod or Crawford. They were both stinking. BP could have been benched when he was hitting and fielding pretty much for crap but he’s turned it around and the benching ship has sailed for now.

    • Mez is a major question mark. Two good months is not proof of anything. Two lost years only makes it more uncertain. Brandon would be doing himself and the Reds a favor if he would accept a trade to another team assuming that team exists. He will not be here after 2017 and he does nothing for the Reds in 2017. I’m not sure there is a contender who will want him which tells us all we need to know about his value. He should have taken the Nats trade but the Natsare glad he did not.

      • Mez is a question mark??? LOL!!!! Ya think???? He has been injured two straight years but is signed to big money. They will give him every opportunity to see if he can be the catcher. And you know what, they should. Next year is more of the rebuild and there are many questions that need to be answered. He is certainly one of them. The intent of my lineup is to answer those questions.

        Brandon is not interested in doing favors. he wants to get paid and if he is to accept a trade someone will have to pay him to do so. Otherwise he will be here next year. The last year of his contract. You are correct at his price and age he has little value.

  11. I forge to mention Ervin. he most certainly force his way into the conversation. Other then BA he had a very solid year at AA. Will be interesting to se where the reds start him next year. He has skills.

    • Ervin could be the wild card. His OBA was very good considering his BA and he showed nice power. He could make the jump next year with a hot first half in AAA.

        • That’s an awful quick judgement to pass on a guy that just turned 24 and has only 4 MiLB seasons under his belt. He’s a first-round pick. The Reds are going to give him every chance in the world to be an MLB player. He may not be a star but he’s probably going to play somewhere. He looks very much like a 4th OF to me as far as his floor. If the injuries continue or if he doesn’t show improvement in a couple more years, then we can talk about Japan, Europe, Korea, or whatever.

    • Ervin’s BA.is always low, though. Not because of strikeouts, but because he always runs a low BABIP. When a player is consistently putting up BABIP in the .270-.280 range at every stop, that tells me that he has a poor batted ball profile. Lots.of weak contact, extreme pull tendencies or both. With Ervin the scouting reports and my eye test say the same thing: he tries to yank everything down the left field line. The result is that he rolls over on a lot of pitches and many of his hardest hit balls go foul.

      I think minor league BABIP, over a large enough sample, is more important an indicator than people think, for pitchers and hitters. It’s one of the reasons I am not buying Sal Romano as a starter yet either. His BABIP is always high.

      • He fields well, he steals bases, has good power and his K to walk rate is acceptable. His OBP isn’t bad either. He has a shot to be a player. I agree he needs to BABIP needs to be a bit higher. I am not given up on a guy who does a lot of things well and gets on base.

  12. I like Straily. He does remind me a lot of Lecure in the way he pitches. He makes the most out of what he has and I hope that he is on the 25 man roster as well. We also need to be cautious, when Lecure lost the ability to locate pitches, he essentially was done. Not saying that will happen to Straily but just caution, Straily has also been the beneficiary of many of Billy Hamilton’s great catches.

  13. Good to see my boy Duvall pick up 2 rbis. His second half hasn’t been great but he drew 19 walks in July-August. The pitchers have changed their patterns and not challenged him as much and he’s been a little slow to adjust. Its his first season as a starter. I still believe in that short swing and we’re already getting outhomered by a million with this team so I wouldn’t be quick to replace him. He now has 89 ribs with 18 games left. I can see where rbis are kind of an outdated stat because they’re so dependent on the hitters in front of you….but racking up 100 is still pretty nice! He needs to get to work and close out strong!

    Schebler is tearing it up and then can always run him out to CF occasionally when (not if) Billy goes down. He should be an important piece moving forward. I like Suarez too! You can see him working the count in every bat and I think he’s hitting .288 since August 1st. Peraza looks good too! They absolutely need to move Cozart in the offseason….one way or the other. I think they’re 19th in runs scored. They would probably need to be top 12 or so to compete for a playoff spot. We’re going to give up runs pitching in GABP…no matter how much the pitching improves!

  14. I found this part of Mark Sheldon’s game story very revealing:

    “As Cincinnati tied its season-high five-game winning streak with a 6-4 victory over the Brewers, Straily gave up two runs on three hits over a career-high eight innings with one walk and eight strikeouts. He extended his own franchise mark by making his 11th start this season with three or fewer hits allowed, which also tied Cubs ace Jake Arrieta for the Major League lead in 2016.”

    I have read opinions throughout the year that Straily is a fifth starter at best or long reliever projecting to next year. If there are five starting pitchers better than him next spring, so be it. But I am not in favor of “giving” anyone a spot just because he is considered a top “prospect.” The Reds still have four years of control of Straily. He’s not Bob Gibson, but he’s not Eric Milton either. Even though advanced in age, he is still young on the development cycle. Other than DeSclafani, he’s been the team’s best starter all season.

    • I haven’t read anywhere that people think players should be given rotation spots. Straily has pitched well, and you can make a good argument for him to start going forward. You can also make a good argument that they have five better starters, especially with some of the concerning peripheral data for Straily.

      The Reds shouldn’t ignore Straily’s success or the concerning data. If he’s one of the five best next spring (there are service time considerations and such for others as well that will play a factor), start him. If not, he is still a great pitcher to have on the staff.

      Or trade him like they did with Simon for an impact player.

      • So much depends on Homer’s health and what the Reds do with Iglesias and Lorenzen….my prediction is Iglesias stays in the pen and lorenzen is given an opportunity to start in spring training. I also think Bob Steve will be given every opportunity. Reed needs to go to louisville as a starter next year and Garrett is next man up if he earns it.Best case scenario is every one steps up….then u trade Straily in july.

        • Straily may be the Reds best pitcher. Why trade him? If he turns out to be average or worse they won’t get anything for him. If he is Google they keep him. Bob Steve will be given every opportunity just as he has had in the minors. At some point he will need to prove he belongs. I am still waiting on Bob Steve to go 11 games giving up 3 hits or less at any professional level. When he does, is he trade bait? I hope not.

      • Wouldn’t potential trade partners have the same concerns over Straily’s viability as you, I or the Reds?

        He’s cheap and pitched well so if the Reds try to move him wouldn’t it be a reflection of their not believing his success is real? I just don’t see anyone offering anything of value for him at this point.

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