2017 Reds / Big League Ready

How Changes Happen

The Reds have finished a full week of games now and it’s safe to say we’re all pleasantly surprised. The longer this keeps up, the more glaring poor performances are going to become and the more likely the Reds will be willing to make a change (this will be extra true if the Reds suddenly begin playing very poorly). This is a roster with very, very few players who absolutely cannot lose their jobs and you have to believe that, eventually, someone will. We’re only a week into the season, and I hope you all know me well enough not to think I’m making genuine judgments on such tiny samples. But consider two examples. One in the outfield and one on the mound.

Right now, Scott Schebler is hitting .172/.321/.478. Despite the poor batting average, that’s an above average line overall, but it’s not sparkling. Contrast that with Jesse Winker, who’s currently hitting .318/.448/.409. How long until the Reds are willing to make a switch? It’s certainly more than a week, but a month? Two months? Eventually, if Schebler doesn’t perform and Winker does, Winker will get the call.

Now consider Robert Stephenson, Rookie Davis and Sal Romano. Romano played himself into the picture this spring and Stephenson seems to be getting close to playing himself out of the picture. Davis got the final nod, but hasn’t performed well in his first two starts. Stephenson has only gotten into one game, but it’s been the same story – not enough strikes – that has plagued his entire career. Romano has had one solid and one excellent start for Louisville. So how long does the current arrangement last?

General Manager Dick Williams has said they’re after results now and not potential. That’s what the fans want to hear, but it’s also a not-so-subtle message to the players. If you don’t perform, we have others waiting to take your spot. Starting this week and for the rest of the year, I’ll be listing the players on the roster who aren’t established with a brief word about how safe their jobs may be. All of which should be taken with a grain of salt until we have quite a bit more of the season under our belts.

Postion Players

Jose Peraza – Safe for now (would need to be bad for a while to lose his job)
Zack Cozart – Completely safe (needs to be traded or have something truly odd happen)
Adam Duvall – Very, very safe
Scott Schebler – Safe for now

Pitchers

Amir Garrett  – Very safe
Cody Reed – Safe for now (may be in line to start if Davis continues to falter)
Rookie Davis – Not safe
Robert Stephenson – Not safe

22 thoughts on “How Changes Happen

  1. Schebler seems to be having some hard luck (.125 BABIP, from a guy who’s always at or above .300), but has also hit a ton of infield popups (22% of his balls in play).

    • Schebler is a strange case because he hits the ball very hard (leads to high BABIP), but a large number of his hard hits are pulled grounders against the shift.

      When shifts were included in the prevalent xBABIP formula, Schebler had one of the largest drops in xBABIP in all of baseball.

      He really needs to learn to elevate the ball a bit more and stop pulling everything into the ground. But, his ability to take a walk has helped him immensely.

  2. I think two months…if the youngsters mentioned in the article continue to struggle…then make the changes. But let them know they’ve got til the end of May/the First of June. That way, they’ve been warned, and they’ll either get their act together or if not then changes will be made.

    • No, because every game since he’s pitched he’s either been unavailable, the game too close to bring in the long reliever, or already being handled by Reed.

  3. Rookie Davis now on 10 day DL. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out – my guess would be Reed gets the spot in the rotation with Astin taking the spot in the pen, but I guess Romano could be the guy as well.

    OF will be interesting. Would the Reds consider a situation with 4 “starting” OF’s, with Winker/Duvall/Schebler splitting the days off evenly? Would love to have one of those guys available to pinch hit vs. Kivlehan who looks a bit overmatched (understanding the small sample size of course).

    • interesting but cant see duvall as part of that rotation. think leash pretty short on schebler. he takes kivlehans spot as a 4th outfielder.

  4. Reed pitched on the 6th and then not again until the 10th.
    stephenson pitched the 8th. think they threw about the same pitches first time out.
    not sticking up for him… he was bad… but the time between is normal.

  5. brought astin up. could use the bullpen arm for 4 days. maybe romano gets the start.
    what i am hoping for.

  6. I would imagine that we’ll see Cody Reed pitch an inning tonight for the work and then he will be on a starter’s protocol until Sunday’s start.

  7. Romano for my fbb team or Reed on Sunday? Rookie has better stuff then what I thought but that slider/slurve seems to be all over the place and he’s throwing too many pitches. He might need to be back in Lville and Arroyo definitely needs to be back on his boat….or made into a coach!

    • A coach? A stage coach? Would he still be alive when this conversion occurred? You’re pretty down on him. He’s pitched once in over two years, so unless you’ve always hated him, you’re being really impatient. Yes, he’s 40, but he was never a power pitcher, and there are examples of other soft-tossing old guys who’ve had success. The contrast with all of the hard-throwing young guys might increase his effectiveness. I also get the argument about letting the young guys pitch, but they are pitching, have innings limits and are, mostly, not getting past the 6th inning, which is going to wreck the bullpen later. Arroyo may not work out, but he also may turn out to be a good place-holder for a team that may turn out to be better than expected if the pitching doesn’t implode.

  8. think arroyo going to get one or maybe two more looks no matter what price says. but he will never give you more than 5 or 6. agree about davis slider. was everywhere. with starters not going deep… someone like reed might make a bit more sense to go long every fourth day. they are most likely hoping they can get better results from stephenson though his leash has to be getting tight.

  9. Why is everyone so down on Rookie Davis? Yeah his first outing was bad, but his second game was much better. 1 ER in 4 IP, and he only left because of injury. He may not be good yet but from what I’ve seen so far he definitely has potential

    • Did you not watch the game? He couldn’t throw strikes. The fact that he gave up 1 ER was pretty unusual.

      • Yes, exactly. Averaging 22 pitches an inning is not going to get a pitcher past 4 or 5 innings, and the Reds need more than that from their starters or else this bullpen success could end pretty quickly.

      • Davis looked about the way that Finnegan and Reed looked last year. And Cueto, Bailey, Maddux, Glavine, and Walter Johnson in their early outings. I thought he threw another couple of MPH harder, but it was only one night.

        There isn’t any reason to be “down” on Davis, but it may well be next year before he shows much progress. I suspect that they will send him to AAA in a few weeks, then bring him up again later in the season. But he is pretty close to being at the point where he needs to be in the Majors to learn what he needs to learn.

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