2016 Reds / RN Radio

Podcast — RNR #151: Reds off-season plans, and how the Reds can win 117 games next year

Jason Linden joined me to unpack the recent comments from new Reds GM Dick Williams about his off-season priorities. We also discussed precisely what the Reds need to do over the next couple of months, and Jason predicts that the Reds will win 117 games next season. Really!

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13 thoughts on “Podcast — RNR #151: Reds off-season plans, and how the Reds can win 117 games next year

  1. First, like this year, forget 117 games out of your head. Realism would dictate that the Reds won’t contend next season, either. Could they? Sure. But, will they? Odds will be no.

    Biggest thing to consider, obviously, the bullpen if not the entire pitching staff. One reason why I believe Price was retained. His prior experience was as a pitching coach. So, in effect, we have 2 pitching coaches. Price has to use his time to develop them. I don’t believe there was enough improvement in them this season. I could even understand going out to go get a couple other vet FA’s or trading some a couple. I just hate to spend a lot of money on relievers.

    Yet, I don’t believe Price was a problem. Something about it I just can’t pin on Price for a losing record. I mean, we had loads of injuries the first half. Several that affected our relievers. Thus, the reason for the poor relief performance, especially with the first half of the season.

    Price can change the team strategy a bit on the hustle. I believe the team is running into a lot of outs. I like the hustle, unlike Baker. But, not, let’s run with our heads, not our hearts.

    I also believe we need at least one more hitter (no more than 2). The thing is, I can’t pinpoint one type, either a power hitter or an OBP hitter. The thing is, also, we could have them coming, in Devin (power) and Winker (OBP). The thing is, Devin has only done it one season up here, 2 seasons ago. And, Winker hasn’t done it up here yet. Do we go with that?

    Also, the middle infield is pretty clogged with players ready to play. Something needs to be done.

    I can understand most any direction the Reds go. But, the only way to compete for next season is to bring in some proven players, I believe. Either that, or several youngsters step up.

    • 2 pitching coachs led to the single worst pitching staff in Reds history, and basically as bad as the worst of all time. How is that a plus going forward?

      • Part of the worst was we hard lots of injuries the first half of the season. Not to mention still one of the youngest staffs in the league. Easy to explain the bad pitching staff. How would it sound to go further with 1 pitching coach?

        • I’m all for one pitching coach. That’s why I was not for extending Price as manager. It’s like having two supervisors on any job; it doesn’t work.

    • Votto a Cardinal? Yeah, in their dreams. πŸ™‚

      But seriously, all the other stuff pales in comparison to improving the pitching. The only way you do that is with talent. If the Reds want to improve their Pythagorean number, they have to score more runs or give up a lot fewer. Their offense was not terrible this year, but their pitching was. Big clue there (No, not the late Big Klu).
      The Reds may have enough in the top two levels of their farm system, but then again, maybe not. Coaching can make a pitcher better, if he wants to take the coaching. Compare Mike Lorenzen with our top pitching prospect, Robert Stephenson. I think that, besides all the other things said, that Bob Steve does not take coaching well. He has control problems, after YEARS in the minors. He still has some problems with his mechanics. Mike Lorenzen has learned (this year) to modify his grip on his fastball to make it sink and do more. Mike WANTS to learn. Cody Reed has a great arm, but has problems with pitch location. Is this coaching? Perhaps.
      Tony Cingrani is a guy with a great arm, who also does not seem to take coaching well, and actually appears to be regressing as a pitcher. I have my doubts as to whether he will even be a Red next year.

  2. I’m not sure the presence of a bunch of other pitching prospects is a good reason to keep Iglesias and Lorenzen in the pen as seems to be stated in the podcast. If they are two of the five best starters (and Iglesias can handle the workload), start them. If not, fine. Multiple innings in the pen.

    It’s not that difficult in concept. Start the five best starters, find alternative roles for the other talented pitchers.

    • I think the point was that, if the Reds do keep Lorenzen and Iglesias in the bullpen, at least there are a bunch of other prospects to fill out the rotation. Jason and I both think having those guys in the rotation is the best-case scenario, though.

    • I have put forth the idea that the Reds should have 5 starters and 3 long outing relievers. Disco and Homer, if healthy, should have 2 of the rotation spots. The other spots should go to Iggy, Finnegan, Lorenzen, Reed, Straily, and Stephenson with 3 of those guys going to the pen as long relievers pitching twice a week and 2-3 innings per outing. When someone goes down, you have Garrett, Romano Stephens, or Davis at AAA to step in.

      That being said, its not as simple as picking the best 5 starters. If one guy is your fifth best starter but is an elite reliever, then you put him in the pen. A truly elite reliever is worth more than a below average, numbed 4 or t starter. Put another way;Andrew Miller is more valuable than Dan Strally. I think Brandon Finnegan may end up in this situation . A 1 win starter but a 2-3 win reliever.

      • I still think that very talented young pitchers can be relievers ….for one or two seasons…..in the majors, and then transition to be a starter. They learn some things about pitching at the ML Level, without getting hammered, and contribute. I could see a couple of Reds minor leaguers in the bullpen NOW. Like Tyler Mahle.
        What I would LIKE to see the Reds do in Spring Training is identify some of their best minor leaguers (stuff wise, velocity, etc), and give them the chance to pitch at the ML level in relief.
        If they bomb at the ML level, you get them back down to the Minor League level they belong in. No more Kevin Greggs, that were over the hill seasons before. No more old guys like Ohlendorf, who just was never that good.

        • Agreed. The Reds should realize that time really isn’t on their side. They have one star and he is 33 years old. There are really only 2 other guys on the roster that I could see being stars and that’s Billy, who has already used up 3 of his team controlled years, and Iggy who might end up in the bullpen.

          After that, most of their top prospects are 23-25 and are at the age where they should be reaching the majors and becoming productive. And most of their young major leaguers are 25-27, the age which should be their prime.

          I am not all that optimistic about them contending next year. But they need to start trying to contend next year because the longer they wait, the worse the outlook gets in my opinion. If a prospect seems ready, then send him up. With the exception of Winker and Garrett who should probably be kept in AAA for the first few weeks at least, don’t worry about service time at this point. If they think Romano or Stephens could get outs in the bullpen right now then bring em up. They don’t have to make the playoffs in 2017, but they need to at least identify which guys can help them make the playoffs and what roles they will fill. The time is now to start trying to win.

  3. @ TCT

    Yes, the Reds should use their minor league pitching talent (at the top) aggressively to fill in holes in their roster needs. Don’t waste money and contracts on lousy pitchers thrown on the scrap heap by other organizations. We will largely get the same bad results. Lather, rinse, repeat.
    Straily was the one diamond in the rough found. Adelman does not have the talent to be any good at the ML level in a consistent fashion. So goes the rest of the second raters on the staff. Bring up enough of the young guys NOW to get some exposure and find out what they have.
    The rotation in 2017 HAS to be better to prevent the bullpen weaknesses from being overexposed, as they were in April and May of 2016. It can’t be 5 innings and out EVERY NIGHT!. Caleb Cotham was actually okay, until he got OVER USED and got tendinitis, which ruined his year. I think Blake Wood was overused which contributed to his worse pitching effectiveness later in the year.

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