2016 Reds / 2017 Reds

Dick Williams on off-season priorities, Raisel Iglesias, Michael Lorenzen, Brandon Phillips…and the state of the rebuild

Reds General Manager Dick Williams — and he is the GM now, with Walt Jocketty moving into a more advisory role — met with the legacy media as the season ended, and he had some interesting things to say. Williams began by saying, essentially, that the hardest part of the rebuilding process is now in the rear-view mirror.

When asked what the priority of the baseball operations staff would be over the winter, Williams pointed to the pitching staff:

“I’d say the priorities are to supplement the pitching, and the bench is obviously an area we can improve. The day-to-day position players, we’re in pretty good shape.”

“We won’t be playing in the high-end of the free-agent market. We do anticipate having some money to invest this year. Hopefully, it’ll depend on where the best values are for the team. I could see spending some money on the bullpen.”

Another area that needs to be addressed in the off-season — and about which we’ve written ad nauseum — is what should be done with Brandon Phillips. Williams spoke about that:

“We’ll talk to him again about where we are in our lifecycle and what he wants to do, since he still has the ability to control his destiny, somewhat,” Williams said. “That’s an area of depth right now, middle infield, and that’s a good thing.”

The portion of the discussion that is likely to raise the most eyebrows, however, dealt with pitchers Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias.

“We’re going to meet with the coaches tomorrow and begin that process of evaluating what we saw this year, what we see going into next year — not just how Lorenzen and Iglesias are doing, but how everybody else is doing, how it complements the whole package is important to determine where they add the most value next year. If they are in the bullpen, I know what you’ll see is they’ll be used in such a way that we maximize their innings. I’ve had a lot of talks with Bryan (Price) about it, Mack Jenkins, Walt and Ted Power, and we’re all of the mind that you’ve got really talented pitchers there and if you do put them in the bullpen, it’s not going to be with the intent of making them one-inning guys. They’re too talented for that. I think we would anticipate using them in such a way, you’ve seen some of that with Iglesias, a little bit with Lorenzen, you hope you’ll see more, using those guys in multiple innings. Hopefully, we’ll put some other guys in that bullpen that can pitch multiple innings. As a smaller market team, you don’t have the luxury of paying for the premium guy just to get three outs all the time.”

Perhaps I’m reading between the lines too much, but it sounds an awful lot like the Reds are making peace with the idea that Lorenzen and Iglesias are going to be relievers in the future. That dismays me a little, mostly because those guys are so talented, and you generally want your best pitchers throwing as many innings as possible. Matt Wilkes has made the case here in the digital pages of Redleg Nation that both need to be given opportunities to start.

On the other hand, Steve Mancuso has prepared a blueprint for how you can get maximum value from those guys in a relief role. Those of you who were able to attend the Q&A with Cincinnati’s baseball ops guys (Nick Krall and Sam Grossman) at our Meetup in September will remember Krall’s comments on this point — essentially that Iglesias could be as valuable as a starter, if he gets 120 innings out of the bullpen.

When you consider those comments in light of Williams’ statement above, you start to get a little intrigued. Sure, I want Iglesias and Lorenzen to succeed as starting pitchers. But if they are destined for the bullpen, and if the Reds are committed to using them in a manner that we’ve not really seen in baseball for two or three decades…well, that could be fun. It’s outside-the-box thinking, and I’ll be very interested to see how it plays out.

Frankly, just seeing a Reds GM talking like this is disorienting. This isn’t “by the book” at all. I like it.

Anyway, there are lots of other good quotes from Williams that I didn’t mention above; check out those quotes plus some good analysis from both Trent Rosecrans and Mark Sheldon. I have a feeling that this off-season is going to be more interesting than most.

58 thoughts on “Dick Williams on off-season priorities, Raisel Iglesias, Michael Lorenzen, Brandon Phillips…and the state of the rebuild

  1. This is very exciting. His comments about small market teams paying substantial dollars for 3 outs is spot on. What if we had not one, but two Scott Sullivan type pitchers in our pen? Furthermore, Iglesias and Lorenzen are obviously more talented pitchers than Sullivan was. That would do wonders for the rest (and rest) of our staff, bullpen and rotation. It seems like no one is willing to go that route because if you try something new in this beautiful, old-school game and it fails, your not going to find many supporters. I’m very happy to see that we’re willing to explore different, non-traditional options. That’s how you get ahead of your opponents in almost any field, right?

  2. I thought after the Q&A that it was pretty apparent that Lorenzen was going to be a bullpen guy. I don’t like it (using a #1 for a BP guy), but I could live with it. But I hate the idea of them giving up on having Igleias start, I just think his stuff is too good to give up on the idea this easily.

    • I think Raisel’s shoulder will determine whether he starts or works from the bullpen and it sounds like the Reds are going to try to maximize his innings based on what he can handle. The big question is if they try him as a starter again and his shoulder blows up again, does that that set him back developmentally or damage his long-tern effectiveness out of the pen?

  3. Incredibly disappointing if true about Lorenzen and Iglesias. It’s the development equivalent of taking a relief pitcher with your first pick in the draft. Oh, right, Nick Howard. *facepalm*

    I agree with Williams that the starting 8 is set. Problem is, besides Votto there’s not a single premier talent anywhere else on the entire roster, pitchers included (based on the aforementioned bullpen roles). If you squint really hard you could maybe see Hamilton taking that next step to All-Star consideration (maybe Mez if he bounces back). MAYBE the sum is greater than the individual parts, but this is a team full of guys with 2-3 WAR potential at best. All I know is that maybes aren’t a recipe for success in the NL Central.

    The impending trade of Cozart combined with a roster full of pre-arb players means there’s money in the budget to take on a sizeable salary. The free agent market is thin, but the team has talented prospects at the lower levels who will be blocked for years to come. It’s time to package a couple of those guys with a Duvall or Schebler or Suarez to make a trade for an impact position player. The corner outfield spots would be my first consideration. This isn’t an ‘all in’ move so much as it is a consolidation of some resources to yield maximum benefit. Given that offense isn’t as precious a commodity anymore, there should be willing trade partners.

    • Can’t agree more with your disappointment about Lorenzen and Iglesias. I love the idea of multiple inning relievers but why these two? If the doctors think Iglesias is at serious risk of injury with a starter’s workload, then fine. But, he is likely their best starter if he can do it and must start if physically able.

      With his new cutter and sinker, there’s a good chance Lorenzen is one of your best four starters right now. He’s not close to the same guy he was in 2015 with a straight fastball. And the curveball looks like a legit offspeed pitch now.

      Let all of the young guys compete for the rotation and put the ones who don’t make it in the bullpen as multi-inning relievers. Why not Finnegan or Reed, or Stephenson, or Garrett, or Lamb in this hybrid role? Just don’t understand, outside of the physical considerations for Iglesias, why the multi-inning relievers have to be these two.

    • Do you have in mind any people you believe are impact position players that may be available? If so, at what cost in salary? Duvall, Schebler, Suarez, and any prospects have minimal salaries for the next few years. My impression was that Williams is thinking of putting money into the bullpen and bench, not corner outfielders, although I suppose if the right person was available he could change his mind. I have no confidence that Mesoraco will be able to catch next year so I also hope they find a more capable defensive minded catcher than Cabrera.

      • Yes. If you’re going to have a light-hitting backup catcher on your roster, you should at least try to find one who can, you know, catch!

    • I think it’s the opposite of disappointing. Why force a guy to be a starter if his arm isn’t going to hold up? In the past, the answer to this question (read: Aroldis Chapman) was “He’s not as valuable coming out of the bullpen.” Well, what if Iglesias and Lorenzen are MORE valuable coming out of the bullpen?

      With the Reds plan (or, what seems to be and what I would really like to be their plan going forward), you’re maximizing innings. They’ve talked to coaches and the training staff, and have decided that forcing these guys into a starter’s role will only result in injury, and due to time missed on the DL, likely under 100-120 innings. If you can have them go for three or four innings in an outing at a time, rather than striving for seven or eight, you’re putting a lot less pressure on their arm, and getting to 120 is more likely. If, as a club, you’re comfortable with a high probability of 120 innings from Iglesias as opposed to a range from 50 (bad injury) to 200 (probable max), you take it every time.

      Also, when talking about premier talent, you need to keep in mind that we’re in the middle of a rebuild. How many teams, outside of the perennial playoffs team, have more than one premier talent? Our premier talent is still developing. That’s why this team didn’t win 70 games this year, but we’ve got more minor league accolades for our players than most other teams.

      Will we be good next year? Probably not. So why spend assets trying to get better in a year we know will be spent giving playing time to players who are still developing? Why sign an impact player only to create another blockage for the young guys? We’ve got impressive depth at just about every position except first base, and the guy we’ve got starting there isn’t going anywhere.

      • Zach Buchanan reported a couple weeks ago that Lorenzen’s health issues are in the past, and his health is not a consideration for the Reds in determining his role. Brian Price said Sunday that he is confident that Lorenzen could handle a starter’s workload, so your injury concerns only apply to Iglesias.

        • So Price wants him as a starter and Lorenzen wants to be a starter and lots of fans want him to be a starter. So…..why does it look like he isn’t going to be a starter? Could it be Dick Williams and Tim Kremcheck and advanced scouts have met and determined its too much to ask of his elbow? Every MLB scout and analyst targeted Lorenzen as a reliever for a reason.

          The Reds gave Lorenzen….a converted outfielder who pitched 0 innings in 2011 and 22 innings in 2012 and 22 innings in 2013…..a shot at starting in 2014 and a huge ramp up of innings in 2015. When he began spring training in 2016….his arm failed because of overuse for something it wasn’t use to doing….pitching lots of innings every 5th day for the first time ever

          That’s not to say Lorenzen isn’t the 1 guy out of a million who couldn’t overcome years of not pitching as a starter and years of not building his innings mileage…..but maybe Tim Kremcheck said its a hard thing to become a starting pitcher in MLB for the first time at age 24, particularly when you injured your elbow the first time you threw 150 innings in a season and is it worth the risk? Raisel Iglesias….ditto for the shoulder. I’ve never seen a 200/400 meter runner in his early/mid 20’s switch to a marathoner the next year. I don’t think the body works that way.

        • I don’t think Price wants him as a starter. He just said he thought Lorenzen could handle the workload. Reading between the lines, Price seems to prefer Lorenzen in the bullpen.

          Either the Reds are withholding informaton on Lorenzen’s health for no good reason or lying to reporters and Bryan Price or the reports that there are no health concerns with him starting are true. Seems wayyyy more likely they aren’t concerned with his health and just want him in the bullpen.

        • It’s obvious that a starter is more valuable than a bullpen guy, but it’s worth considering that the Reds, with Bailey an unknown because of his rehab, have only one proven starter–DeSclafani–who is barely proven at that. They may be anticipating needing an unusual number of high-leverage innings from the pen on a regular basis.

        • There have been many instances where a bullpen guy was much more valuable than a starter. Just because someone is in the starting rotation doesn’t mean he’s inherently worth more than someone who pitches out of the bullpen. I don’t claim to know what Brian Price is thinking, but I’d assume he’s got the full weight of the front office, including the medical staff, the statistics department and the scouts advice for how to win with Lorenzen. Perhaps his confidence level is different coming out of the pen. Perhaps he’s x times better the first time through the lineup as opposed to the second and third times.

          Maybe its just that Price was tired of watching his bullpen blow games and decided he needed some stability back there, and Lorenzen was the best choice for bullpen stability and getting three to six outs every time he steps on the mound. There are so many reasons this decision could have been made, and so little information available to those of us outside of the organization.

          There is something to be said against putting all of your faith in the words of a major league baseball manager. There’s definitely coachspeak all up in everything he says. But, judging from what I’ve heard people I do trust say about this new Dick Williams led front office, they know what they’re doing. So, until further notice, I’m deciding to trust that they have a plan.

      • Great analysis. Interesting point about which role is more likely to produce 120 innings from these guys.

      • That’s the thing though. Lorenzen hasn’t been given a chance to start so we don’t know if he has more value coming out of bullpen yet. Correct me if I am wrong but, I think Lorenzen has even previously stated that he would prefer starting over relieving. When you look all all the spot starters we used this season, you would have thought there could have been an opportunity for Lorenzen to get at least one or two starts in.

  4. I feel like the fates of Bailey and Mesoraco can/will change to way this rebuild looks and feels a great deal.

    I, personally, have no confidence in Mesoraco ever being a contributor again. I’m rapidly getting to that point with Homer.

    • I’m definitely in the same place as you on Mesoraco; witness my suggestion here last week that the 40 man roster spot he would occupy over the winter was valuable enough to risk exposing him to outright waivers to allow the spot to be used to protect another player.
      I don’t see any way Meso is up to speed and capable of approaching his 2014 levels coming out of spring training. The team needs to go on and plan as though they will get nothing from him, leave him behind at extended ST to play his way back into competitive shape, and be pleasantly surprised if he makes it.

      I think 2017 is the bellweather for Bailey. TJ surgery is much more a known quantity. Homer is not yet seriously behind the known recovery curve but will be if he can’t perform in 2017.

    • I think the Reds know a lot more about Mesoraco than we do….If they sign a free agent catcher….Mesoraco is done….if they do nothing…they feel good about him. Homer???? flip a coin…I do think he will have an offseason to build back up…If he doesn’t dominate in ST….I am giving up on him…. but I will be optimistic till April.

      • True the Reds should exactly what’s going on with Meso. Still from afar, we know that in the last two years he has experienced failure in both the ball joints on the left side of his body leading to major surgery on both and subsequently had what was termed preventive reconstructive surgery on a third ball joint, his right hip. That leaves his right shoulder “unaccounted” for. Given how heredity works and the history with the other three ball joints one has to at least wonder if that remaining shoulder isn’t a ticking time bomb.

  5. It’s all very nice to hear, but color me skeptical. I know Williams is supposed to be the new “wunderkid” on the block, but we’ve been burned by this FO too many times paying lip service to one idea then turning around and doing something completely different. (Look no further than the “We’re going to sign a high OBP guy.” or whatever the quote was before they got Byrd.)

    Like I said, it’s great to hear, but we’ll see if they actually follow through this time. I want to believe.

    • Pretty much my thoughts as well. I’m happy to be proven wrong about Williams being different than Jocketty, but I’ll have to wait and see some actual evidence and not just talk to the media.

    • Yep, don’t want to go all in on a guy we know next to nothing about, but the trend is pointing up on Dick Williams.

      The front office is, for the first time since I’ve been a fan of the Reds, talking intelligently about player usage, sabermetrics, and Smart Baseball Stuff. That’s encouraging.

      What’s also encouraging is taking a look at the clear focus on OBP and intangibles of our high draft picks as of late. Almost every one of them came out this year and performed, and the ones who didn’t are class acts that we can only assume will right their own ships eventually. We’re looking at a 2018 lineup that will more than likely see the top 4 batters with an OBP > .350. When’s the last time the Reds had something like that? You could have five Miguel Cairos hitting after those four and you’d still score runs.

  6. An important assumption seems to have been made with respect to using Iglesias and Lorenzen in the pen, and that is that their health may be saved by that move.

    But I am not sure this assumption is correct. And I am really quite skeptical about it if we are talking about using them with for 120 innings a year. It seems to me that that approach blows out as many arms, or more, as using them as starters. . .

    • Ya we don’t know yet if moving someone to the pen actualy saves their arm. There have been studies that show that pitchers who throw harder are more likely to be injured.

      Here’s a quote from Jeff Zimmerman in a study in Hardball Times:

      “High velocity pitchers are more likely to go on the disabled list for an arm-related injury than those pitchers whose fastballs don’t register as much heat.”

      Relievers tend to have higher velocities than starters so based upon this study, putting Iglesias and Lorenzen in the pen actually makes it more likely they will get injured.

  7. I like the tone of the new GM’s remarks, especially the idea of spending some money on the bullpen. But let’s not have a repeat of why oh why did the Reds not make Chapman a starter. I think Lorenzen and Iglesias should be given the chance to start in spring training and then go from there. If one or both end up as starters or in the bullpen, it will be a positive for the Reds.

    • I just hope spending money on the bullpen doesn’t look like the big deals Broxton and Madson got.

      • The Ryan Madson signing was a great move. He was a borderline elite reliever who just put up almost 2 wins in only 60 innings. He had been offered a pretty big extension but had turned it down to test free agency, possibly at the urging of his agent at the time Mr Boras. His market fell apart and the Reds swooped in to take advantage, giving him a one year deal that was supposed to be a pillow contract.

        Yes, he got hurt and didn’t pitch for the Reds. Yes it was probably the final nail in the coffin for Chapman as a starter. But based on what we knew at the time, that was the best free agent signing Walt pulled off with the Reds. Its exactly the kind of move the Reds should be trying to make in free agency. They should have been inquiring about Dexter Fowler last year who was in a similar situation.

        • I agree there was no history or hint of an arm issue with Madson ahead of the failure. It just went.

          If Madson doesn’t break down, Chapman is likely in the 2012 rotation; and, all things things being equal that NLDS series almost certainly goes the Reds way and….

          The irony for me is that many folks here decry the Reds management for both the Madson signing and Chapman ending up in the pen apparently without seeing that the Madson signing was intended to keep Chapman out of the pen.

      • And Marshall and Masset. I hope it’s not bargain bin shopping either like Gregg, Ohlendorf, Simon, etc.

        I for one think spending money on the bullpen is a sucker’s bet. Relievers are too volatile from year to year (see Hoover, JJ) to invent money into them. The bullpen is something that should be formed from the farm system or the waiver wire (see Simon the first time around, Straily, Sampson).

        I brought it up on another site yesterday, but I asked what reliever in the last 10 years has been brought in as a FA and had a decent year. I offered Cordero as the only example I could recall off the top of my head. Another commenter said Rhodes (good call) and Affeldt. Although I believe Affeldt was brought in as a starter initially. I also don’t remember him being very good for the Reds (but haven’t looked at the numbers). Just goes to show it hasn’t been a fruitful investment.

        • Just because the Reds haven’t gotten much good relief pitching out of the free agent market doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I mean u could ask the same question of every spot on the diamond. What good starters have the Reds gotten in free agency over the last 10 years? What good right fielders? Just because the Reds haven’t found it doesn’t mean its not there.

          The problem with the Reds approach to free agency in general is that they never look at the mid tier guys. Its always the reclamation projects and 40 year old ex cardinals. The mid tier 10-40 million dollar contract type guys are where the bargains are at.

        • And let me ask you this: Who is the last dominant reliever that the Reds have drafted and developed?

          The Reds had one of the best bullpens in baseball in 2012-2013. Look at where those guys came from:

          Chapman: big name international free agent
          Marshall ; trade
          Broxton: Trade
          Arredondo :free agent pickup
          Simon: Waiver wire
          Hoover: Trade

          Those 5 all came from outside the orginization. The only 2 homegrown products were Ondrusek and LeCure, and Ondrusek was the worst of the bunch.

          Walt has many flaws. But he deserves credit for building a dominant bullpen pretty quickly. He messed it up by giving out expensive extensions though.

        • Well just from thinking back over the last 10 years or so, I can site Ludick (134 wRC+, 2.6 WAR), Gomes (126 wRC+, 1 WAR), A. Gonzales (99 wRC+, 2.2 WAR), Scott Hatteberg (114 wRC+, 2.1 WAR), Jerry Hairston Jr (128 wRC+, 2.7 WAR) as positive FA signings. Some other guys like Laynce Nix and Javier Valentin made contributions off the bench. How does that answer your question?

          The Reds shouldn’t be spending money in FA as a small market team. It’s usually not worth it, for any team. But that being said, it appears that they’ve been way more successful finding position players than they have bullpen guys.

        • Notice how none of the bullpen guys you listed came via MLB FA (Arredondo was a MILB FA and spent time in Reds minors)? Which was my point, don’t spend money in the bullpen through FA.

          Because the Reds haven’t built a strong bullpen through their farm system doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have. It would have been cheaper, both in contract cost and prospect cost.

        • You are missing the point. Who are the big free agent relievers the Reds have signed who were busts? Kevin Gregg? He was cheap and the Reds only signed him because of “closer experience.” Who else? Ryan Madson? As I’ve pointed out , that was a really good signing that went south because of an injury no one saw coming. So, who else? Who are these big free agent relievers that the Reds have wasted so much money on?

          You are using the fact that the Reds haven’t signed successful relievers as free agents as evidence that they should never sign free agent relievers. But that is flawed logic because the Reds have signed very few free agent relievers period and they have almost all been established closers or washed up veterans who are only getting paid because of “closer experience.” You wanna go after the mid tier guys who have been really good but haven’t had a closers job. The one recent time where they did that was Arthur Rhodes, and that worked out well.

          And no, you didn’t answer the question. The question was specifically free agent starting pitchers and right fielders. Should the Reds just forget about signing any of those guys because they haven’t been successful lately?

        • How can I miss my own point? Your logic is dizzying. You said you could ask about every spot on the diamond. I answered with free agent position players. The Reds haven’t needed a RF since Bruce came up. Why would they have signed a FA one?

  8. Iglesias’ shoulder has already failed the starter test twice; once in 2015 after 16 starts then again in 2016 after just 5 starts despite him being on a shoulder strengthening protocol during the off season between 2015 and 2016. The Cuban national team, no slouches at identifying and developing talent, for whatever reasons had him pegged as a reliever. The player says he is more comfortable as a reliever. The Reds have an outstanding contractual commitment of ~$20M to him.

    To me all this says find the most efficient and valuable way to use him out of the pen and be done with it.

  9. “I could see spending some money on the bullpen.”

    Captain Obvious or Captain Oblivious Dick Williams? The proof will be in the pudding. This year’s Winter Meetings are the most important for the franchise since at least 2000. If Williams makes a bold move for a quality bat it could be an exciting year. If he goes status quo on the starting 8 and rotation, then 2017 will be another long year, maybe only a few wins better than 2016. Time for Williams to shake things up a bit.

  10. I can see CIN signing Brett Cecil or Boone Logan and trading Cingrani. Wonder if someone like Dan Otero would make sense too.

  11. Let’s hope Walt Jocketty has no influence on Williams by the time November rolls around and players become free agents. The Cardinals are going to decline 36 year-old Matt Holliday’s option. If Jocketty was still in charge, Holliday would be a bench player on next year’s team.

    • The same ominous thought occurred to me when I heard the talk of the Reds wanting to add some “power” to their bench.

  12. The most important thing the Reds can do right now is not allow the guy who ran the organization into the ground to make any baseball decisions. Aside from an occasional shrewd trade, Jocketty is finished.

  13. With the middle infield, I will state it as “Some room needs to be made”. So, I could see letting Cozart go. I would like to get rid of BP. But, I don’t believe anyone will take him off our hands. BP was still stupid for not taking the National trade.

    • There is definitely a logjam in the middle infield.

      I believe there is also a logjam in the OF a bit, also. Hamilton and Duvall may be the leaders for starting positions, maybe along with Winker, also. But, I wouldn’t rule out several for at least the OF bench positions.

      Similar with the starting pitching, also. Even though all of these are problems, they are good problems to have. I could see the Reds going several different ways with all of this. It all depends upon if they want to be competitive for 2017, 2018, or a bit later. For instance, if they want to be competitive for 2017, I could see them holding onto several key players. If they look later, I could see them letting go of several key players, trying to get more high prospects for them, helping to ease some of the logjams. But, in turn, the entire organization would be stronger.

    • Bp was not stupid for taking the nationals trade….trae Turner is a phenom and he would be sitting behind a rookie….no where else dies BP have his ” power”…. every other team benches him which is why he isvnever leaving his “favorite” team…Reds don’t have the courage to attack his ego and bench him, like every other good team would. But…hes gone in a year.

      • I don’t see Baker benching a rookie over a veteran. Oh, I believe Trae Turner is a phenom. I just don’t believe he ever gets the shot to start with the Nationals in the first place.

      • Let’s see. Would BP rather be playing for a winner or a last place team? Would he rather be playing for a veteran manager he enjoyed playing with or a rookie manager? Would he rather have a showplace for his talents and possibly get an extension? Or, would he rather possibly end his playing days after next season (is there really going to be a team to pick him up after next season, at his price)? Most definitely, BP was stupid for not taking the Nationals trade. Oh, I can understand why he didn’t take it; he wanted to stay here. In short, he essentially said he didn’t care about any long-term career after 2017, though.

        • My point is BP will sit the bench on another team because he isn’t good enough…and that’s why he will veto all trades. His best chance of staying relevant is right where he is. He would never play over Trae Turner in Washington and there isn’t a market for a 36 year old $14 million dollar 2b.

        • You’re missing the point. If he had taken the trade, Turner would never have gotten a shot as 2nd base. Not with Baker there.

        • Trae Turner is perhaps the best young player in the NL behind Corey Seager. He is a rookie superstar and came up as a second baseman and BP absolutely saw him as a threat in 2016 if he took the trade. BP rightly knew his best bet to stay relevant was to preserve the only sure thing he had- his status as the Reds 2b. Turner has displaced veterans Ben Revere and Stephen Drew and looks to be the CF for now with MVP candidate Murphy back at 2b. The veteran Murphy did play over 20 games at first base to make room for Turner.

    • First priority is the bullpen, in my opinion. I believe that’s the main reason why Price is back. His background is as a pitching coach. I believe he gets one more season with this pitching staff, in trying to develop them. If he’s any kind of pitching coach still, he will be able to do this along with the actual pitching coach. Second priority is answering all of these logjams.

      Somewhere along the lines, I believe the Reds are going to need at least one more hitter, also, of some kind. We may have the hitter, also, with Devin (power hitter) or Winker (OBP hitter). But, question marks come with them. Will Winker be ready? Can Devin come back?

      I wouldn’t worry about being competitive in 2017. If it happens, it happens. But, I wouldn’t definitely look for some answers. For instance, with no changes in the middle INF, just who are we going to go with? Disco confirmed with me we can count on him being able to repeat success. Now, can he stay healthy. Raisel is most likely settled into the pen. But, I believe we need more answers with the pitching, especially with the young studs.

      I don’t believe Ohlendorf makes the cut for next year. I believe we need to consider letting a couple of other relievers, also. If not, then I believe Price is going to have his hands full in trying to get another year extension.

  14. The starting line up, as we could project it for 2017, is almost irrelevant.

    The only thing the Reds NEED to do is improve their starting pitching and bullpen.

    The only thing. Where several present pitchers end up will determine that.
    Cingrani will likely be traded away. I think the Reds organization is tired of him and his lost potential.
    Of course, Ohlendorf will not be back
    Possible that Jumbo Diaz will be.
    Wandy Peralta looks likely to be in the bullpen next year, as does Josh Smith as the long reliever. I also thing Blake Wood will be back. When he is not over used, he can be effective.
    Bigger questions are whether Iglesias or Lorenzen will be starters or relievers. Depending on that, will determine who the Reds try and acquire in the off season.

    The Reds presently have only three starters from this year they can count on: Desclafani, Finnegan and Straily. Straily does the best with limited ability, but would be a #5, if that, for most other ML teams.
    I have not been impressed with Stephenson. For being a top prospect in the Reds farm system, his stuff is not THAT impressive. He may be a 3,4 or 5 starter. He is not ever going to be a #1 starter for a ML team.

    I am not that impressed with Cody Reed, either. He has a good arm, but his location is poor. As such, until he fixes that, he will never be a successful Major League pitcher.
    Someone will emerge as a starter out of Spring Training. Reed, Stephenson, Garrett, Rookie Davis…..or someone else. Somebody.

  15. Great comments – by both Mr. Williams and the posters.

    Just because a pitcher may start in the bullpen doesn’t mean he is banished there for life. Over the course of the season he’ll get a spot-start and maybe he’ll take advantage and prove he needs to be in the rotation. The key is to stockpile the arms, put in the innings, learn from game situations and improve. We all know the good ones will rise to the top.

    I personally like the direction we’re heading. And I do agree, the key is the ability of Bryan Price to handle the young pitchers – Reed, Stephenson, Finnegan, Garrett, Davis, etc. This is THE reason for keeping him as manager.

    There’s no doubt Cincinnati can develop ML talent, just look at some of the names excelling in the playoffs… we’ll just have to put this next round of promising players together at the right time to make a solid 4-5 year run.

  16. Please make sure that we make good use of the time ahead in preparation for the new year—-we need a line-up that is secure in their abilities to play as regular comtrriputors to to the club.

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