Titanic Struggle Recap

Reds Keep Rollin’

Reds 6 Pirates 2 | Box Score | Win Probability

Fun fact: I struggle with these recaps sometimes. Because, I mean, what is there to say? In short:

Eugenio Suarez – Holy crap. He’s having a good start.

Hoo boy, Adam Duvall. Just keep proving me wrong, man. I’m good with it.

And Scooter Gennett, too.

And dear lord the bullpen. Do you remember last year? Like really, do you? What is this and how do we keep it forever?

And Bryan Price is now the manager we thought he’d be.

Joey Votto, please show up soon, just because we miss you. There’s no doubt here. Just waiting.

Rookie Davis, maybe walk fewer people.

It just, it all feels like a completely different team form last year. I know we’re only 8 games in, but this feels totally different. I think they might be good. Or at least decent.

We knew this was possible, too. It happens. The Reds are, I believe, the youngest team in baseball on average. Sometimes that means you stink because of growing pains and all that, but when a young team is ready, it’s ready and that’s just kind of it. Maybe they won’t keep it up at all. Maybe they will for a while and then fade down the stretch. Or hell, maybe they’ll keep it up all year. I don’t know. I do know that I won’t be surprised if they finish second. I think they have that potential. And I do know that, right now, I am having a lot of fun watching them do what they do.

Baseball. It sure can be a joyous thing.

91 thoughts on “Reds Keep Rollin’

  1. This was a very fun game to watch.

    Seems like every move Price is making with the pitching staff is spot on.

  2. Who is managing the Reds and what has he done with Price? Aggressive bullpen moves two nights in a row pay off. maybe he lost the book?!

    • I thought the Lorenzen move was excellent last night, but thought almost all of the moves were dumb tonight. It makes it a lot easier to manage when your bullpen does not give up runs, no matter who you bring in, and when your offense gives you big leads.

  3. At this rate though the bullpen will be gassed long before the all-star break right? Bailey, Disco, and maybe Romano are three pieces that we might really need down the stretch. I want to see this dream continue!

    • Despite what I wrote above, Price is doing a fine job at distributing the workload, not wearing anybody down, nobody is getting over used,
      Bullpen guys can get 80-90-100 innings with longer outings. Used to do it all the time in 70s and 90s. Plus starters might actually go 5 or 6 innings, I do not see anyone getting gassed despite needing 5+ innings per game

      • I’m not as optimistic as you about the bullpen’s ability to handle 4 or 5 innings every game. Starters decades ago weren’t kept in the rotation if they couldn’t regularly go deep into the game. Yes, the roles and use of relief pitchers have changed, and one of the changes is that most of them give maximum effort, so it may not be realistic to think that they can sustain that over a whole season.

  4. Price was a first time manager who was suddenly thrown into a full blown rebuild. He wasn’t going to keep his job/ get another managerial gig based on his stellar winning percentage so he seemingly just did what he was told. He played BP and made a number of other moves that were seemingly dictated by Walt and or Bob. He took a lot of crap for the poor decisions of other….albeit, he’s well paid.

    His contract expired last year and there’s no question that Williams could’ve gone a different direction, but he stayed with Price. The easy move would’ve been to hire his own guy, move on and appease the meatballs who wanted 98 year old Lou Pinella, someone named Jim Riggleman or any idiot that ” brings a lot of fire.”

    Williams obviously felt Price could actually manage in a data driven, logical manner and let’s hope it continues.

    • Still do not get why he bats Peraza 2nd, or bunts runner to third with pitcher spot coming up and a AAAA bat to come up, thank goodness Billy battled or this game would have been a mess. Peralta’s outing and Scooter’s homerun made a lot decisions easier

      • Bunting a runner from 2nd to 3rd with Tucker Barnhart at the plate was one of the more curious decisions I’ve seen in awhile.

        • especially in the 7th inning of a tie game with who was left in the bullpen, I cannot say enough about that AB by Hamilton as Alcantara faced the same strategy and despite fouling off a few he failed to put the ball in play, Hamilton not only made contact but smacked it into CF, saved Price… then Scooter made things a lot easier

        • and could have a big inning if Tucker gets on and Peraza lets Billy distract the pitcher by taking a few pitches

  5. The Reds are 42-39 now since the AS Break last year! This isn’t an 8-game fluke. They are 6-2 and crushing two tough divisional foes all with Votto batting .167! Let’s just keep this dream going!!! I’m loving watching this team!

    • I suspected they would be mediocre like they were after the ASB, but the bullpen has been phenomenal, I do not think they have given up an ER in any of the wins. To get 12 innings in 2 days is stunning. Curious what the record would be over a 2 day period

      • I have been negative about the rebuild, but I am beginning to think the Reds might have several pieces that will lead to a winning culture. The bullpen is very important. A good team always has a good bullpen- period. The young pitchers may be for real. Now if Mesoraco returns to form and when Votto starts hitting this team might have staying power. Desclafani and Bailey as starters sure would have been nice. I am not sure Arroyo has much left in his tank. 40 year old pitchers don’t normally win comeback pitcher of the year awards. But the hitting has been better than I thought it would be and so has the pitching. Duvall is very solid. I am hopeful Schebler can show he is for real. Hamilton has improved at the plate. Suarez is becoming a very good player. So there is a lot to like. The key will be the starting rotation. Can they continue to throw solid to great innings? If Meso comes back and anchors the 5th spot in the batting order, this team could be good. I know it is early but the way this team has started is very impressive. It reminds me of the way the 1980 team started.

        • I’m optimistic, but the rotation is question mark right now. By my count, only 3 of the 8 starts so far have been solid to great (Finnegan, Garrett and Feldman).

        • Meso may never be back and will need to be traded to the American league. We are lucky to have Barnhart. Meso will need to show he can do catching duties because there is no other place to put him.

  6. I like having an extra guy down there in the bullpen. It allows Price to be aggressive knowing he has an extra arm if he needs it. Personally I think the biggest test for the Reds is gonna be their first real “disappointing” loss where we blow a lead are make dumb mistakes. Since we’re so young seeing how we bounce back from it will me if this team right now is a pretender or contender.

    • It’s going to be a big test for all of us, too. A young team is going to have ups and downs, and I’m counting on all of us to disown them after their first four-game losing streak.

  7. Ryan Ludwick couldn’t hit at the MLB level until he was 28 years old. He then became a force for the majority of 7 years.

    Why can’t the same thing happen with Adam Duvall? I think that it already has – starting last year when he was 27.

    • I think when you factor in some of his battle with diabetes, it gives more indication of why he is achieving at an All-star level now that he had it under control and might explain how he tailed off post ASB as well. Not sure what Ludwick’s excuse was and maybe the diabetes has nothing to do with Duvall’s performance…just looking for possible factors

    • Same with Frazier and Cozart, right? The Leake trade, just like the Latos-Disco and Simon-Suarez (crawford headliner) deals all fascinate me. The Reds absolutely knocked these out of the park, in hindsight. Duvall had such a great year in AAA in 2014. .298/.360/.599 with 27 homers. How was held in such low regard? Dude has made incredible strides since becoming a regular, at the plate and in the field. At bats are way better and the swing has become so compact. Making that power pretty scary, especially in our ball park.

  8. Incredible start for the boys and I believe it will get only better with the growth of a number of players. 8 games in though there are good trends and Suarez is going to be a beast that could bring back a huge haul for the Reds, if played right. I love the player though with Senzel he could be incredible trade bait when the time is right. There is a great deal of potential on the farm and now is the time to leverage it.

    • and Suarez is going to be a beast that could bring back a huge haul for the Reds, if played right

      Wait, are you saying the Reds should trade Suarez? A 25 year old who is already averaging a 99 OPS+ in his two seasons here, and is under team control for quite awhile yet?

      No, that’s not how you build a winning team. Suarez is the kind of player you keep. He has an important role to play in the seasons to come.

    • Team control of a very good player. Senzel is in the minors, he has not been to AA or AAA and that can be two more years. Let’s have this conversation three years from now.

    • It’s a shame they are both lefties. Schebler is quite good against RHP and quite bad against LHP. No good platoon options on this roster, really. Even bringing Winker up wouldn’t help a ton since he’s a lefty, too.

      • They could platoon him with Kivlehan, who has a pretty good track-record against LHP in the minors.

  9. “Hoo boy, Adam Duvall. Just keep proving me wrong, man. I’m good with it.”
    ——————————–

    Do you think Duvall is proving YOU wrong, Jason? Pull up a chair.

    The hot start for Duvall made me curious to revisit some of what was said about the Reds-Giants trade involving Leake, Duvall and Keury Mella. I got a kick out of this one analysis. Cliff Corcoran, a contributing writer for SI.com, wrote that the Giants had strengthened themselves, if only because the guy Leake was replacing in he rotation, Tim Hudson, was struggling.

    To quote from the article, dated 7/31/15: “Fortunately, the Giants didn’t give up all that much for the two-month rental. Keury Mella was among the better pitching prospects in the Giants’ organization, but that strikes me as a damning comment on San Francisco’s farm. ,,, He has never thrown more than 85 1/3 innings in a season and, to my eye, could wind up as a reliever despite him having a thick starter’s build, good results in high A and some projections putting his ceiling as high as a No. 2 starter.”

    And then, this:

    “Duvall, meanwhile, will turn 27 in early September and, despite displaying 30-homer power in the upper minors, would seem to have no future beyond that of a right-handed bench bat as a corner infielder headed to a team built around Joey Votto and Todd Frazier. Truth be told, Duvall, whose 10 games in the outfield this season comprise the extent of his professional exposure in the pastures, is a defensive liability anywhere but first base and failed to impress in his brief major league look with the Giants when Brandon Belt was on the DL last year. Given that, this is very nearly a straight-up Leake-for-Mella swap.”

    Here is the link:

    https://www.si.com/mlb/2015/07/31/mike-leake-trade-giants-reds-keury-mella-adam-duvall

    • Sounds like a writer that isn’t worth the time of day to read. Totally out of line and apparently did 0 research on Duvall before such a scathing review. Either way I’ll take it. Besides….. Who reads SI these days? I don’t even read them online anymore after their partnership with CNN ended. Not to imply that I read CNN either…. another terrible news source. I’ll stick with Redlegnation for my reviews of players. Subtract all the fanboy glimmer and the information is spot on.

      • RLN was down on Duvall, too, and there’s still plenty of reasonable scepticism. The question about him revolves around his ability to learn to be more selective at the plate, which he will need to do in order to sustain his productivity. He’s got a nice, compact swing, plays hard and is good defensively. Lots to like. Lets hope he pays attention to Votto and makes them pitch to him.

        • I think the one thing no one expected was that Duvall would end up being a good defensive LF. He was fairly average LF offensively last year, but ended up putting up 2.8 fWAR and 2.5 bWAR because the defensive metrics liked his defense. As the SI writer noted, he was viewed as a pretty poor corner IF. That makes all the difference.

        • Agreed. Duvall’s most likely outcome was a right-handed bench bat with power. The good news is, sometimes players outperform their most likely outcomes!

          • And just as importantly (especially for the Reds), the scouts underestimated or overlooked his potential to play LF.

        • RLN was but this guy wasn’t! His very first atbat with the Reds impressed me. He got down 0-2 if I’m not mistaken and battled back versus some righty for the Cubs throwing 96 and hooked a breaking ball down the LF line for a HR! I said to myself “This guy is not just a hacker”!

  10. I think an infield of Senzel 3B, Suarez SS and Herrera 2B will really make some noise. Peraza is more suited for super-utility duties and Cozart should be on the move this season. Also, Winker should take over LF and Duvall moves to RF. Once Mesoraco is back the line-up should look like this: Hamilton CF, Votto 1B, Senzel 3B, Duvall RF, Suarez SS, Meso C, Winker LF, Herrera 2B, P. The starting rotation should look even better down the stretch, once Disco and Bailey joins the likes of Feldman, Garrett, Finnegan, Reed and Davies. GO REDS!

    • Maybe it’s just because first impressions can be lasting, but Suarez was a horrible SS. He has learned to play 3B and I for one, don’t ever want to see him at SS again. Maybe he’ll prove me wrong if they ever make that move but I cringe at the thought of him back at SS.

      • As somebody pointed out, he was initially horrible at 3rd, too, but he seems to be better than serviceable now, so he might be able to do the same at short, given the opportunity.

        • I believe he was also horrible as a SS in the minors and, someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve always thought SS is a harder position to play than 3B. If the Reds decide they want him there and it works out, great. I’m just far from convinced it would have a good outcome for him or the team. Otherwise, I like him a lot. Looking at his demeanor and interactions with teammates he seems to really love what he’s doing.

          • He was not a horrible minor league SS. His scouting report was that he relatively sure handed, with a good arm, and okay range, but that his bat would play. Yeah, he made some errors in the minors, but he was pushed through the minors aggressively and was young for his level(s).

            Long term, Suarez’ bat plays a lot better at 2B/SS than 3B. His wRC+ was only 20th among qualifying third basemen. He is young enough that he can continue to develop, and he is still valuable over at 3B, but the Reds & Suarez have to be cognizant of the fact that Senzel is coming, and Suarez’ bat is iffy at 3B unless he improves.

          • We never figured out what kind of shortstop Suarez would be. Still think he has average potential but more likely below average. Not terrible though.

          • Pretty much echo what CP said. Suarez could be perhaps an average SS but probably no better than that. He could perhaps be a plus defender at 3B. If he really could be an average SS, then his bat plays better there. I’m not 100% sure he could be though and with his growth at 3B, I’m not sure I want to move him around the diamond, even back to SS. I don’t think the Reds should be worried about that until Senzel is knocking on the door. Also, Senzel has played some 2B in college and has some athleticism that suggests he could play the OF. No matter what, cross the bridge when you come to it.

            As for what position is easier to play, I’d say 3B over SS but I’m biased. They require different skill sets though. 3B requires a quick first step, strong arm, soft hands, good reactions. SS requires a strong arm and good lateral mobility, with a quick first step and good footwork being pluses.

    • Suarez will stay at third with his only other position would be 2nd. Senzel has two more years in the minors because of control and learning the complete game. Peraza will be at SS after Cozart is traded later this year and if Mesoraco can not catch full time any more he will be traded to the American league.

  11. Lots of fun right now plus many positives but if our starters don’t begin to peel off seven innings soon, our bullpen’s collective arms will fall off by June.

  12. Warning: as others have noted, the Reds can’t continue to get this level of starting pitching and consistently win. In 5 of 8 starts, their starters haven’t made it through the fifth. They’ve incredibly won three of those poor starts, but they will not win 60% of their games where starters can’t get through the 5th.

    The bullpen has been great, but they will give up runs. They aren’t invincible.

    Offense and bullpen look great, but the rotation needs to be better or this joy we feel won’t last. Not convinced they should be giving Bronson innings that other young starters need at this point. Also, Rookie Davis has MLB stuff, but he has only made five AAA appearances, and I fear he made need more development. No need to rush him with all the other options.

    Those two changes could make a big difference depending on who they put in there.

    • You are definitely right about the starters needing to go deeper or it will get ugly for the bullpen. I’m optimistic that things will improve in that department but if not, watch out!!! What would you do with the starting rotation at this point? Move Arroyo to the bullpen, or off the team, send Davis down? Replace them with Reed and ???. Just wondering.

      • I think they could do several things that make sense, but here is my preference:

        AAA
        Rookie Davis
        Robert Stephenson
        Sal Romano

        Reds Rotation
        Brandon Finnegan
        Amir Garrett
        Cody Reed
        Michael Lorenzen
        Scott Feldman (The Reds want him to throw innings I guess. I would be fine with him in the pen)

        Reds Bullpen
        Raisel Iglesias
        Barrett Astin
        Blake Wood
        Drew Storen
        Tony Cingrani
        Wandy Peralta
        Bronson Arroyo (long man. When the young guys struggle, he throws three innings)

        I tell everyone but maybe Peralta that they may go two innings if things go well. If they absolutely have to have 8 people in the bullpen, I consider bringing up Jackson Stephens into the pen. He’s been a starter in the minors, but I think his future is a multi-inning reliever.

        With this construction, they have depth in AAA with the three starters, improve the rotation, and have plenty of guys who can go multiple innings in the pen.

        • I could live with that pretty easily although it appears to be off the table to put Lorenzen in the starting rotation this year. At least Price isn’t ruling it out in the future based on his post game comments Monday and his pregame comments yesterday.

          • Price has already said that some guys in the rotation currently will end up in the bullpen by year end, and guys currently in the bullpen could end up in the rotation. I think we can take Price at his word on this now. Nothing is off the table.

            Ironically, the one thing that could derail the Reds plan (outside of injuries) is outperforming their expectations.

          • Very true, CP. Don’t you hate it when players outperform expectations and dash the team’s plans? Yeah, me neither.

            I do think that injuries will unfortunately play a hand in switching roles, as will underperformance. But it would be nice for a change if some of these guys ended up surprising us with great performances this year.

    • The best thing about this team is that Uncle Ealt wasn’t around to sign 2-3 washed up relievers to the bullpen who would help the team get off to a disastrous start. I like putting the young guns in the pen until they are ready to be major league starters.

  13. I am not particularly sold on the offense at this point. A couple of players playing hot are carrying the offensive load. I am not sure they can sustain for the season. But the good news is Votto’s start is similar to last year. and we know how that ended up.

    • But it is also likely that other players will then step up and carry more of the load. That’s generally how it works.

      • That was my first reaction also. Kinda how the game works. Steady production from several guys, with a few hot at any one point. Just startling that one of the guys still on the interstate is Joey.

  14. This Price team reminds me of his pitching staffs when he was the pitching coach. They grew more and more confident in high leverage situations and push/encouraged each other to execute. It might have taken Price a while to figure out the hitters (and I think guys like Phillips actively resisted him). But, now, this is his team and these young guys only know Price as their manager.

    It took John Wooden 15 years at UCLA to win his first national championship. Then he won 10… in a row. I’m not saying Price is John Wooden. I am saying that his coaching process has been proven to work with pitchers and it might just work with the entire team. I’m glad ownership didn’t get impatient with him because I think he’s the manager for a long time.

    • ” I’m not saying Price is John Wooden.”

      Early candidate for understatement of the year? 😉 Just playin!

  15. The Reds are 6-2 and playing pretty well. Except that they’ve had a bunch of short starts and Davis and Finnegan have both struggled to varying degrees. And Votto isn’t Votto yet. And Mesoraco isn’t even in Cincinnati. And red hot Cozart is down for a couple days. No, the bullpen isn’t likely to get better (that’s literally not even possible relative to 7 perfect innings a couple days ago), but everything else could get even better. That’s reason to be excited about the 2017 Reds. So far, so fun.

    • Cozart was hot and Scooter leads the team in rbis. Price is being creative with his 13 man staff and now he has a chance to copy Maddon and be creative with the lineup! They can go with the best matchup to get Scooter at-bats and move Peraza to the outfield as well! Mesoraco is coming too….could be a pretty scary lineup!

      • That’s the sort of knee-jerk reaction you see all the time on the Reds’ MLB site. Six plate appearances is nothing in the marathon that constitutes a baseball season.

      • Well since you put it that way, Chad, Craig says yes! And let’s sign Scooter to a 10-yr $200MM deal. Have you seen his first week!? That guy’s gonna be the cornerstone of the franchise for years to come!

        • Good call. All of that is also a byproduct of how Marty B elevates or assassinates a guy to the fan base. Last night I had to switch from the free tv to the radio call for awhile. At one point, Marty was making a point about how you need to get more out of starting pitchers, citing Finnegan and Davis in back to back day.

          While of course this is important in the big picture, what he didn’t include in that statement is why Rookie Davis had to leave the game… if I had only jumped in the game at that time on the radio, I would have gotten the idea that Davis was pulled for ineffectiveness, not injury. Completely different situation that Finnegan the night before.

          • Whoa boy! I missed that Marty segment. So he didn’t clarify that Davis got beaned? To be fair, Davis seemed to be in a full count on every hitter but I think he would have gone at least one more inning had he not been hurt.

            But, regardless, Marty has an opinion and he can’t trifle with facts. My advice, don’t call him on the banana phone and ask him about it. Unless you want him to go all Yosemite Sam on you.

          • Marty going all YS would be a site to see.
            “When I say whoa, I mean whoa.”
            “OK varmint, you forced me to use force.”
            “You no good bush whackin’ barracuda.”

          • MRRED… funny you should bring up the banana phone! The origin of the the banana phone was actually the “Ask Marty” question last night!

          • But yeah, I don’t remember exactly, but I’d say it was in the 6th or 7th inning when he was talking about bullpen usage, well after Davis having already exited.

          • Good stuff, guys!

            I think someone on RLN shared a banana phone incident last year in which MB went off on a caller that questioned his opinions on Votto. It was not a pretty response.

            To paraphrase, it went something like: “Why, everybody knows me. I’m Marty B!, the meanest, toughest, rip-roarin’-est, Edward Everett Horton-est hombre what ever packed a microphone! Now when I tell you Votto’s a bum, ya lamebrained buzzards had better hold yer horses and listen to what I say!”

          • You guys are really funny, and I appreciate that on a gray day when I think I’m getting the flu.

          • I think Marty’s point might have been that even had the Rook not gotten hurt, he likely would have had but one more inning in him anway. The guy was at 88 pitches through 4 innings.

            One other oddity about that situation. In the seconds after Rookie got hurt, the Reds didn’t start a guy working in the bullpen right away. It sounded like they waited until that half-inning was almost over before Cingrani threw any pitches, and he only got about a half-dozen in. But because he had been throwing in the bullpen at all, Cingrani only got the standard 8 pitches off the mound between innings. … Price would have been better off to start somebody throwing right away. Or, I suppose, not have Cingrani throw at all while the Reds were batting (two hitters came to the plate after Rookie got hit by a pitch), and have Rookie go back out there for the bottom of the fifth, and “suddenly” discover that he couldn’t pitch, and then when Cingrani came in, he would get all the time he needed to warm up.

  16. I wouldn’t sweat the starters innings until they’ve fully stretched out. We are still just out of ST. Granted some of them are making it really difficult on themselves by walking so many guys, but we’ll see. Regarding Duvall, his age is what held him back and a reason why the Reds were able to get him. The age 27 year is typically a player’s peak year so teams are willing to move those guys out for the 24 year old who can do the same thing and still has some upside.

    Duvall obviously didn’t fit the age curve for some reason and the Reds benefitted. I love it.

  17. A little caution on Suarez. While I like Suarez, he did start off hot last year and hit something like 10 HR’s by the first week of May. He then went into a 2 month funk at the plate and barely hit his weight for those 2 months before rebounding some in the second half. I do think that Suarez is a better hitter this year than he was this time last year. So maybe he can avoid that long slump that he fell into last year.

    The Reds need to start showcasing some prospects at AAA so as to package them in a trade for a stud player later this year, either a SP or a position player. Herrera should be leading off getting as many AB’s as possible to showcase his hitting. Herrera will be one of the odd man outs that could be package. Can Herrera beat out Peraza and/or Suarez for the 2B job? What if Ginnett keeps playing well? There just will be no room at the inn for the 2B Herrera. Robert Stephenson, another odd man out, should now be at AAA in the rotation hoping he can right his ship, regain some stock value and be a profitable trade chip. OF Phillip Ervin is another that will be an odd man out soon. He should be getting plenty of AAA playing time and AB’s early on this year. I would have placed SP Nick Travieso on this list but he is injured again for the 3rd season in a row. A little thinning of the herd will be necessary sometime this year and/or next off-season. There will be a few more odd men out to add to the list as the season progresses.

    • I like Cozart but he’s a hacker and he’s going to be expensive. An expensive injury prone & aging SS….no sir….he has to go. That puts Herrera in the mix….really the leader atleast until Senzel is ready. Suarez hit .240 vs righties last year and Herrera is unproven so Gennett could probably get 300 atbats as a super sub. Personally…I like the 13 man pitching staff with our shaky & young rotation! Price could play Lorenzen as a super sub occasionally in the outfield. No labels!!

      • Indyredman: Suppose, for a minute, that the Reds are actually in contention at the ASB. Suppose also that Cozart continues to play well. Do you still trade him? The hypothetical question was raised by Cossack, and it’s worth pondering.

    • You’re advocating trading higher ceiling guys over lower ceiling guys just because at this moment the lower ceilings are playing a bit better? You’re right in that Robert Stephenson should be in Louisville starting but not to build up his trade value. He should be there until he figures out how to control his fastball because once he does he will become an important piece of the next winning Reds team. The Reds have enough arms where they afford to be patent with Stephenson. I’d much rather part with lower ceiling guys like Garrett and Davis than someone who has the potential to be a front line pitcher.

      Same thing goes with Herrera, who could be average in the field at second with an above average bat with some pop. I’d rather have him starting every day over than Peraza, once Herrera reaches his potential, assuming he ever does. Ya there’s a risk Stephenson and Herrera never pan out but if you want to compete with the Cubs over the long haul you are going to have to take a chance with some higher ceiling guys.

      • Mercy, mercy. Performance trumps ceilings. Stephenson hasn’t cut it in a ML rotation, nor a ML bullpen. He is getting bypassed left and right by other less heralded prospects. Stephenson had barely cut it with the AAA rotation. His prospect status has tumbled from around #30 in MLB to out of the top-100, and still in a free fall. Herrera’s frail shoulder and position inflexibility will keep him from starting half of the games. He has to leapfrog Peraza and possibly Suarez. There is also a possibility that Suarez stays at 3B and Senzel plays 2B. Probably not likely, but not out of the realm of possibilities. AlfRod is only a couple of years away at SS and that puts Peraza back in the long term 2B picture. AlfRod and Senzel are together at A+ and coincidently might ascend at the same time. The reports from Doug Gray have been very good about AlfRod so far this spring.
        Ginnett is taking Herrera’s playing time now. With Ginnett, we don’t know if he’ll be here all year or flipped, or if the front office might entertain thoughts of a longer term deal. And Herrera has Dixon, Blandino, Long, among others lurking over his shoulder.
        I am not saying that Herrera, Stephenson and Ervin aren’t good. They are. But they are poised to start getting passed up by a plethora of other prospects at their positions. You usually have to give up something good to get something good in a major trade. Somebody has to be trade candidates.
        If ready, on or about April 20, 2018 Senzel and AlfRod get promoted to he Reds after the extra year of service time date. Don’t worry about the super-2 status on these two.
        Some hard choices and decisions will have to be made this year, next winter, and next spring. That is for sure. There are 6 of the 8, and possibly 7 of the 8 position spots will have different players at them next late April than what is at them now. With only Votto entrenched at his position. 3B could/will have Senzel, SS = AlfRod, 2B = Suarez/Peraza, 1B = Votto, C = ???/Barnhart, LF = Winker/Peraza, CF = BHam, RF = Duvall.
        That is a tough nut and lineup for Herrera to crack.

        • You say that performance trumps ceiling yet you have Alf Rodriguez ahead of Cozart? Senzal over Suarez? And as for Dixon, Ginnett, Long and Blandino none of them have the results or the ceiling that Hererra already has already had or has. And what does his inability to play anything but second have to do with his value? Who cares if he can’t play shortstop if he turns out to be an all star second baseman? It’s with only players who aren’t good at one particular position who need to play multiple position in order to provide some value where you should be making this type of argument.

          Regarding Stephenson, some pitchers take longer to develop than others do. He is dropping off lists because his development has been slower than originally anticipated. Ya he is getting passed up by guys with lower ceilings but so what? It doesn’t mean these lower ceiling guys are always going to be better than him. Kind of foolish to write someone off as trade fodder after one or even two seasons of mediocre results. Like I said before you need to take a gamble with some of these higher ceiling guys and give them time to reach their potential.

    • I do not understand why people keep leaving Peraza at 2nd. Peraza will be our SS after Cozart is traded later this year. Senzel has a couple more years in minors. When Senzel is ready, Suarez can move to 2nd if Herrera does not make it.

  18. This team feels very 2010-ish. Decent end last year (they were just out of contention already so no one really noticed) and it’s carried into this year. I’m looking forward to that Adam Duvall walk off in mid-September to clinch it.

  19. So…

    Eugenio Suarez is tied for 3rd in all of MLB in batter WAR at 0.6. Only Daniel Murphy at 0.8 and Yunel Escobar at 0.7 are higher.

    Disclaimer: Defensive stats aren’t rolled in yet. That comes later once samples are bigger. Right now, it is just the positional WAR adjustment for defense.

    • Yep. Seeing that tells you how early in the season it is. But after my interest in seeing how well Suarez can keep things up, I’m actually interested to see if Murphy can keep it going. He was one of the biggest surprises to me last season. What a remarkable jump in production after the age of 30.

      • No kidding. Murphy is an animal now. Pretty amazing. It was also fun how he sort of announced himself to the world in the post-season 2 years ago. He’s been one of the big proponents of looing at StatCast data and trying to make adjustments (ie – more loft on his swing) based on what he sees of himself.

        • Now that is interesting. I hadn’t read that he does that. Even more interesting is that he can adjust his swing to gain more loft. That’s way easier said than done.

    • I saw the way Suarez went the other way when he came to the Reds and I thought he might win a batting title at some point! He then hit some HRs and got pull happy and seemed to really develop a long swing last year. He only hit .240 off righties last year. This year he’s back hitting the ball to right and he’s 8 for 21 (.381) off righties! Hopefully he’s maturing as a hitter and he looks great at 3B as well! I’d like to see him bat 2nd or 3rd (Votto 2nd) because he’s their 2nd best pure hitter imo and Mesoraco can hit 5th or 6th!

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