I Had Fun

There are just a couple of weeks left in the season. The Reds were bad, as we knew they would be, but they won’t be historically bad, so it wasn’t as awful as we feared.

But I’ll tell you, I had fun this season. The Reds weren’t supposed to be good, so there was no stress. At least for me. Because of that, I thought I might be nice to put together a list of things I enjoyed this season. Feel free to add yours below.

    1. Watching Joey Votto use his bat to tell the doubters to stick it – Seriously, his offensive numbers are exactly in line with his career averages. He’s such a marvel. If he got rid of the fielding/base running brain farts, he really would be perfect.
    2. Watching DeSclafani blossom – Check out this article from yesterday. We may have an ace, kids. And all he cost was a washed up Latos.
    3. Watching the kids in Louisville – I lost track of how many Bats games I went to this year, but I’m sure it was more than 30. And it was great. All those games explain why I’m a lot more optimistic about Cody Reed than others, for instance. Sure, he got knocked around, but that happens. He has the stuff. And then there’s Amir Garrett and Jose Peraza (who has been fulfilling his promise lately). And, of course, Jesse Winker, who is going to drive many of you nuts with his high OBP and minimal power (aside – Slugger Field plays big, I saw several balls that would have been out in GABP, but the wind almost always blows in off the river in Louisville).
    4. Eugenio Suarez in the second half – I wrote about this the other day, but those who’ve been paying attention know that I’ve been a Suarez believer since he came over in the Simon trade. There seemed to be too much talent and potential there. I feel like Suarez is finally hitting on all cylinders now that he’s adapted to 3B and won’t be surprised at all if he’s a .340 OBP/.440 SLG guy going forward. Those are excellent numbers for an infielder with a solid glove.
    5. The second half in general – It hasn’t been bad at all.
    6. Nick Senzel’s numbers – Seriously. I know it’s A-ball, but go look.
    7. Dreaming – In my mind, here’s what I can talk myself into in 2018:

1. Billy Hamilton 4 WAR
2. Jesse Winker 3.5 WAR
3. Joey Votto 5 WAR
4. Nick Senzel 4 WAR
5. Corner OF Bat 3 WAR
6. Eugenio Suarez 3.5 WAR
7. Jose Peraza 3 WAR
8. Catcher of Some Kind 2 WAR

I dunno about you, but I could stand to watch that team.

What about you? What did you enjoy this year?

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

Join the conversation! 21 Comments

  1. I’m happy that they didn’t panic during the dark days of May. They didn’t fire the manager or make some stupid trades in order to appease the fans.

    They were willing to lose games by using Adleman, Simon, Hoover, Diaz etc. so they didn’t have to overuse, waste service time or rush guys who have genuine future value.

    Reasonable people can debate the Chapman trade for the next 50 years, but the Frazier trade is looking better and better. Jay Bruce has been one of the worst players in baseball over the past 6 weeks.

    Obviously, some of the decisions regarding Perraza and Phillips are ” head scratchers” but we’ll see if there was a plan or if this was just buffoonery.

    All in all a good year.

    • Dont forget the likes of the other casts of May- AJ Morris, Wright, JC ramirez, Dayan Diaz (not sure if that is who you meant), Somsen, Hayes…somehow Jordan Pacheco amassed over 50 AB’s.

  2. The first half was tough, second half much more fun. And although there are Joey haters on other sites, he is the one person on this team I happily pay money to go see play, or should I say “hit”.

    • I’m happily going to go pay to see Joey play against the cubs. My question are Cubs fans as bad as Dodgers fan? I just don’t want to be marinated other peoples food all night.

  3. I am up and down on the season, but yes there is a lot of room for optimism, particularly in 2018. I am still down some on the Bruce trade. I know he hasn’t done well in NY but that could also just be the emotional drain he went through for the month before the trade deadline. I am not sure they received and real value for him. I could be wrong and Herrera might be a great player, but where do you play him?

    • I’m as big a Jay Bruce fan as anyone but they needed to move him. If Hererra is healthy, he’s got the potential to be an above-average all-around 2B. I think he’s at 2B no later than 2018 (if they can’t move BP). I would rather see him out there next year but even if by some chance BP is here and playing, Hererra will be a whopping 24 in 2018.

      • Yeah he really is a forgotten man in posts, as he can easily be worth what BP had been from 2012 to now for far less money. At minimum he covers us as we dump BP and trade Cozart.

  4. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see that there aren’t as many holes to fix moving forward as I thought there would be. Billy, Tucker, and Eugenio have a lot to do with that.

    Call me crazy, but (aside from Senzel) couldn’t our lineup produce that WAR in totality next year?!? it’s no stretch to say we have five 3 win players on the team right now. So the question becomes—do we cash in some of our chips (lesser prospects or maybe a Cozart/Straily package) to pick up a cost controlled position player to get another 3-5 WAR? In other words, press the fast forward button on the rebuild and sneak up on the league in the same way the 2010 team did. Like 2010 and the Cubs in 2015, sometimes these things gel more quickly than you anticipate. I think that’s a strong possibility and my preference going into this offseason is to be aggressive in acquiring a singular talent rather than stockpiling blocked prospects.

    • I agree I think with the depth we have we need to consolidate talent (i.e. do some two for 1 trades). I know WAR is WAR, but I’d rather have a 5 WAR player and a replacement then 2 players that are worth 2.5 WAR each(all other aspects being equal, salary, age, and great facial hair like the sultanofswaff)

      • Last year there were only 35 5 WAR players….this year there are 30. Most are extremely expensive veterans or cost controlled players that no one would dream of trading.

        The Reds aren’t going to trade 2 2.5 WAR players making an aggregate million dollars for a 5 WAR making 20 million….it makes no sense. Even if they could get a cost controlled 5 WAR player they’d have to give up so much it would largely negate any value….not to mention that the Reds would likely need to let the 5 WAR guy walk when he approaches UFA

  5. Votto, is the best hitter in the history of this franchise. I know the Reds have had some great hitters.But IMO Votto is the best of them all.
    I think Klu is the most underrated. His name don’t come up much when talking great Reds hitters. The guy regularly walked more times than he struck out in a season.

    • I think maybe some of the situation with Klu was that like Lombardi a decade and a half before him, he didn’t look like an athlete, even by the standards of the 1950’s-60’s. Because of his appearance, to many he was seen as a beer league basher as opposed to the all around hitter he was.

  6. Adan Eaton would look very good in your open Corner OF Bat spot.

    • His twin brother Adam might look even better in that spot.

      • He plays a good CF, and bats leadoff, so I think a BHam replacement is more in order. I am pretty sure Chicago won’t give him away.

  7. I’ve enjoyed Joey Votto at the plate this year, but that is one of the few points on my list that I DID expect. I’ve enjoyed watching Billy Hamilton become a gold glove lock center fielder, and watching him in Votto disciple mode smashing through the .300 OBP barrier. I am optimistic that he becomes a real offensive weapon for the Reds next year. I’ve enjoyed the development of some of the less heralded Reds, especially Tucker Barnhart and Michael Lorenzen (and the plenty heralded Raisel Iglesias). And I’ve enjoyed the progress of so many young prospects throughout the system. Senzel, Winker (when healthy), Schebler and Peraza, Garrett, Reed (yup, I think he’s learning and will be good eventually), Romano and Sampson. And one old prospect Hernan Irribaren who has been an absolute delight to discover lurking in the Reds system. His pregame victory two nights ago and his teammates’ response was wonderful and I hope he’s earned a bench slot for next year. I think he’ll be a great influence on the young Hispanic contingent in Cincinnati. Yes, Jason, it has been fun.

  8. I’ve found myself looking forward to seeing Duvall bat early on and now in the last month or so also Schebler. They both had some really good ABs Tuesday.

    I think Duvall is really physically run down right now. With all the focus on pitchers and innings limits, it is easy to overlook that position players making the step up to MLB also have to play a month longer. Duvall’s game appearances and PA numbers aren’t going to look a lot higher than the last two seasons when he played the AAA season then came up to MLB in September. However, we have to factor in that for the first time in his professional career he’s played the OF essentially every inning of every game versus playing 1B or 3B. This has to represent much more wear on his legs and may well explain why a lot of his seeming well hit balls of late are being run down on the warning track instead of making off of or over the wall.

  9. You forgot Duvall!

  10. I would have liked to see Homer get some more starts together but there was no sense rushing him back or pitching through any flare up of discomfort. But all in all, lots of silver linings to a cloudy season.

  11. Jason, love the optimism. I think the reason it felt fun was mostly because there was zero chance of competing so no one cared when they lost. It’s probably misplaced in regard to what we learned for the future. We gave 500 PA each to 2 guys who have no Reds future, and another probably 500 PA to scattered scrubs. While the 160 innings to Finnegan probably have some value, it’s unclear the 100 innings from Reed or Lamb will benefit the team or them. Did the 170 innings help our future from Strailey? I assume I don’t need to mention the 100 plus innings from half a dozen bullpen guys not named Iglesius or Lorenzen.

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About Jason Linden

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.


2016 Reds