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Steve grew up in Cincinnati a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. Contemporary Reds thrills: witnessing Jay Bruce's 2010 homer and Homer Bailey's 2013 no-hitter in person. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 280 characters about the Reds is Redleg Nation, although you can follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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49 Responses

  1. joshtrum

    When it comes to the lineup, it’s a lose, lose for Price. Even if he did something like 1)Peraza, 2) Cozart, 3)Votto, 4)Suarez 5)Duvall 6) Schebler 7)Barnhart 8)Pitcher 9)Hamilton, your whole lineup has to produce to win. Right now this team is hot or not. I think it’s the youth that leads to non-consistency, and the early time of the year. We got spoiled by a hot start and forgot how young and new this team is(myself wearing the collar too). Tonight sucks, the losses to the cubs and brewers sucks, but these are two of the hotter teams in baseball(one the world champs, the other a player who is spanking us with homers), and just remember: no matter what better days are ahead.

  2. Chad Dotson

    I don’t understand all the frustration with Hamilton and Peraza at the top of the lineup. Those guys have a 1.037 OPS. That’s pretty awesome!

    There could be a flaw in my analysis, but I’m not sure where.

    • steven ross

      Last 10 games:
      Hamilton: 6 for 39, .154/.250
      Peraza: 6 for 42, .143/.200

      Maybe that’s why?

    • MrRed

      You and your Billy Hamilton Disney pixie dust fantasies, Chad… 😉

      But since you put it that way, their numbers don’t look too bad. Way to keep things positive.

    • Patrick Jeter

      As a math major, I approve of this analysis. Adding two rational numbers together is always a top-notch idea.

    • lwblogger2

      Just out of curiousity, since I’m late to this party… Did you add their OPS numbers together to come up with that OPS figure at the time of this posting? That would be a pretty shrewd move and is going above and beyond for a joke.

  3. Kyle Sea

    Oh how hard it was to write this up! Jk lol

      • Kyle Sea

        No my child, there is always beauty in this beatific world. And Votto at-bats.

  4. Shaun

    Is it to soon to start thinking that maybe Cozart and Barnhart should bat 1 and 2.

    • Chad Dotson

      Cozart career OBP: .294
      Hamilton career OBP: .296
      Peraza career OBP: .322 (.341 minors)
      Barnhart career OBP: .317
      Schebler career OBP: .317 (.342 minors)
      Suarez career OBP: .323 (.361 minors)
      Duvall career OBP: .289 (.338 minors)

      I’m not sure there’s a good answer on this roster for the top of the order. Other than the guy who has a career on-base percentage of .423.

      • Geoff

        The Reds have scored the fourth most runs in baseball. Obviously offense isn’t the problem.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Your 20 game sample size convinces me.

        Unless Suarez/Cozart/Whoever have true breakouts, this is a bad offense.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Well-stated, Chad. As much as we complain about it, this lineup doesn’t have anyone outside Votto who has proven he can get on base reasonably.

        With that said, I’ve been advocating for Votto batting #1 for over a year. The idea of guys with power batting lower so they can “drive runs in” is only valid in the 1st inning. After that, the lineup turns over and you are no longer leading off, but you do get the most PAs.

        Also, from an RE24 perspective, a walk to lead off the game is worth more than a walk as the 3rd batter of the game. This situation would happen about once a week with Votto and would be worth something like 2 runs over the year in incremental RE24 increases alone. That’s 20% of a win just from walking as the #1 batter versus the #3 batter.

        To be completely honest, if I were manager (perhaps it’s good that I’m not), I’d bat Peraza 7th, Pitcher 8th, Hamilton 9th… with Votto leading off and some mix of Suarez/Duvall/Schebler/Cozart depending on RHP/LHP splits.

        If you have to bat Hamilton leadoff, at least you can bat Votto 2nd.

        I don’t mind one or the other being up front, but giving the most PA to the guys who project to be the worst 2 hitters in the lineup is silly.

      • citizen54

        I like that idea. Either bat Votto 1st or 2nd. No point in batting him third when the guys in front of him can’t get on base. You might as well give your best hitter the most at bats.

      • Big56dog

        I remember a few years back everyone every one clamoring about why is Cozart with low OBP batting 2nd. I think it is obvious the issue is both Hamilton and Peraza at top, if one bats leadoff and one bats 9th and hit Votto 2nd, I think most would be happy.
        The most frustrating thing is the 2 games with Baltimore where you got outstanding Starts and offense was horrible against very mediocre pitchers, then Lorenzen blows the game Friday

      • lwblogger2

        Miley and Jiminez are both the kind of pitchers that young, free-swinging teams like the Reds are going to struggle with. Guys who won’t throw it over unless you make them. The Reds played right into their hands. They did take a few walks against Jiminez but they still got themselves out too many times and didn’t force Jiminez to get them out.

  5. sandman

    Unfortunately how the Reds are playing the game right now isn’t working. Joshtrum, I wish those “better days ahead” were already here!

  6. MattWI

    Went to the game tonight. Sadly, no silver linings to bring to you. Had right field seats that allowed me to be an eye witness to the crimes committed by Schebler. Seriously, I don’t see many tv games to see it, but he was slow out there. Immediate difference when Ervin was there.

    Tough watch.

    • sultanofswaff

      Saw the same thing. Schebler cost the team 2 runs, not that it mattered. I’m just not a believer in the guy. Not sure Ervin is the answer, but his defense is better.

      • Matt WI

        Ervin for now, while he’s up, and then Winker soon enough.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Schebler has been good/fine before tonight… don’t let a miscue change your entire perception.

      • Big56dog

        My impression is he was decent RF, poor choice for CF, what is the take on his defense overall?
        I think what the Reds will find out neither he or Duvall will be 150 game/season type players. Maybe start a platoon once Winker or even Ervin get the opportunity.

      • lwblogger2

        That’s the consensus and I’ll add that his arm is probably better suited to LF as it isn’t a strength for him.

  7. Matt WI

    Learned something new today… apparently you can get a save if you pitch at least 3 innings regardless of the score. Thank you, Tommy Milone. That’s ridiculous.

  8. Hanawi

    I’ll be happy to not see Thames hit against the Reds again until June after tomorrow. He’s only six away from tying Gehrig’s record for homers against one team in a season.

  9. The_next_Janish

    A double Milton, that’s a rarity.

  10. Jay King

    Hamilton sure is struggling reminds me a lot of last year before he took off. Maybe its time to bat him 9th or 8th again to get his head back on. He must have forgot too the advise that Votto gave him last season about taking some pitches too. For the time being I wouldn’t mind seeing the batting order go like this.


    If this is not the lineup I feel like someone else should get a shot at leadoff, maybe for a week or two and Hamilton needs to remember what his job is again.

    • Jack

      Give Ervin a shot in right. Schebler isn’t the answer. Can’t stand watching him anymore.

      • Patrick Jeter

        One error and you can’t stand watching him? I guess you can’t stand watching Cozart at SS either, then.

      • lwblogger2

        You may be right that he isn’t the answer but the Reds are in a position that they can afford to spend a lot more time getting a larger sample by which to base their decision. He was very strong towards the end of last season and his underlying numbers suggest he has been at least a bit unlucky so far this year. His defense also really isn’t bad. If the Reds had a chance in Hades of a playoff shot this year then I’d say bench him but in a season of stinking, it doesn’t hurt to give him plenty of looks out there.

      • lwblogger2

        Personally, I don’t think he’ll ever really hit LHP.

    • Big56dog

      Do not bat Cozart 2nd or leadoff, I repeat do not… and do not sign an over 30 SS on a hot streak, sell high – hopefully he does not regress to carrer numbers or his awful 2nd half until he is traded before deadline

  11. Mike Adams

    Seems to me the problem the last ten games is not hitting but pitching.
    We are losing by scores like 9 to 1. Even if all the hitters improved, we would probably still be losing by 9 to 7/8.
    I think the current problem is 80% pitching and 20% hitting, line up construction, lack of walks etc.
    This is an off the top of my head comment, I did not go back and analyze game scores.

    • Matt WI

      I think pitching was a big reason most people saw this team as being a 70ish win type team, especially after Disco went down. Adding the further injuries, there’s not not a lot of sustainable hope outside of Garret going on. That said, the offense isn’t holding up its end of the bargain. The cost of not finding guys who reliably get on base continues to pile up.

      They’re not this bad, but it’s probably closer to the their reality than jumping out to a 7-2 record was. Once again, baseball teaches us that regression to the mean is real.

    • WVRedlegs

      Yes the starting pitching is the crux of this downward spiral. But the offense is a big culprit too. The Reds are 3-9 in their last 12 games. They have lost games 6-5, 2-1, 2-0, and 4-2 in that span. The Reds have been outscored 61-29 in those 9 losses, an avg. loss of 7.7 to 3.4. In their 3 wins they have outscored the opponent 23-13 for an avg. win of 8-4. If they had scored 7 runs in each of those 9 losses, they would have won 5 and lost 4.
      The offense is a problem and the top of the lineup is a serious problem.

      • MrRed

        Asking any offense to average 7 runs per is asking a lot. That would be a pretty darn good offense. There’s gonna be some ups and downs. Every team will have them. But the pitching right now is the culprit.

  12. cfd3000

    Hamilton looks lost right now. I’m not sure what the answer might be – more bunting to mix things up? Some Rod Carew style fouling off good pitches practice? Velcro’d to Votto until a light comes on? Time on the bench for a mental regroup? And Peraza isn’t any better – a little more hitting and a lot less walking than BHam but otherwise not much good at the top of the order. Why not shake things up and move Schwarber I mean Suarez to lead off and Cozart to the two spot?

    And what’s up with Robert Stephenson? He was a human batting tee last night. What’s the move there? He might be the biggest unfulfilled upside in recent Reds history. How can the Reds unlock the magic in his right arm? It’s frustrating to watch guys with plenty of talent not get any better with experience, and in some cases get worse. Right now, thank goodness for the few guys who are getting it done – Suarez, Cozart, recent Votto and almost half the bullpen.

  13. MrRed

    Thanks for the Milton goat. Always takes a little of the sting out of a bad loss. How about adding a sad trombone file to complete the effect?

  14. sultanofswaff

    Feldman was clearly losing it around 80 pitches, Price had a rested bullpen because he refused to compete the night before, and yet he left the guy out there to whither on the vine.

    Stephenson looked shell shocked in the dugout. You have to feel for the guy. That said, I saw a glimmer of hope after all the fireworks—he settled down and just pitched, none of the manic twitchiness. That’s the guy who’s going to have success in the bigs.

    All that said, I’m sorry, but Barnhart has to get a share of the blame for Stephenson’s struggles. Where was the changeup? Didn’t see but a couple, and that wasn’t until afte the damage was done. This insistence on ‘establishing the fastball’ doesn’t work all the time is dogmatic. Some pitchers have more success pitching backwards. With an amped up kid vs. a salivating Brewers lineup, soft-soft was the better strategy.

    Astin doesn’t impress me at all.

  15. Matt WI

    Remember when we used to go insane about Dusty putting Cozart in the top of the lineup? And now we want him back (uh, Cozart, not Dusty). Baseball is weird.

    • Patrick Jeter

      I don’t want him back. But most people, even a lot of the forward-thinkers here, don’t see the obvious answer of batting Votto 1st following by some mix of Suarez/Duvall/Schebler/Cozart/Winker(if he ever is up).

      Not that this would ever happen in real-life. I’d be my entire 401k Votto never bats 1st for the Cincinnati Reds.

      • CP

        I think we have just given up on it happening. It’s a fairly negligible difference run wise, and it puts management in a difficult position. I just want the best 5 or 6 hitters batting 1-6. It’s a fairly low bar!

  16. Scott Carter

    My Big take away from last night was Schebler’s poor defense in right. Ok anyone can drop a ball on occasion, but then on very next hit hit ball to not hustle for it and then toss a balloon to second while another run scored. It does not matter if you are getting beat, give effort, you get to play this game and get paid for it. I can’t say Schebler won’t make it but last night I dropped off of his bandwagon.

    • TR

      I’ve never been a Schebler fan. He doesn’t have the requisite rifle arm needed for right field, i.e. Paul O’Neil, Jay Bruce. I agree he fits better in the AL as a DH. It has nothing to do with his talent, but the mouthpiece to me is a distraction. It’s time to give Ervin a run in right field to see what he can do.

  17. Matt WI

    Well, Ervin isn’t starting today. Unless the Bats are playing and he gets there in time. Welcome back, Rookie Davis!

  18. WVRedlegs

    The sorting that needs to be completed this year is the entire OF. None of these 3 should be starters in 2018. BHam needs a big, expansive OF and a team that can hide him in their lineup. Duvall and Schebler should be in the AL.
    Winker will be up soon for LF. Time to start looking for a package to put together for a big middle of the lineup bat for RF and a real leadoff bat. The Reds have their pitching untouchables to go along with Senzel and Trammell, but they also have plenty to offer up.
    Time to remove Robert Stephenson from the 40-man roster, outright him to AAA, and tell him he has pitch his way back to Cincinnati. The entitlement that he had as a 1st round draft pick should be discarded immediately. If he wants a ML roster spot, it is past time for him to earn it. Stephenson looked about as beat down as I have ever seen a pitcher on the mound last night. He is shot.
    Peraza’s failures at the plate along with Herrera’s shoulder issues and non-performance at AAA suggests the Reds should explore a 2 year extension with Cozart soon. The rest of this year and two years should give AlfRod plenty of time to develop at SS.
    The Reds might also look to lock up Suarez contract-wise for a few years. At 2B when Senzel takes over at 3B or look to move him to the OF and be that middle of the order bat.
    Those Chapman, Leake, Frazier, and Bruce trades look like all they brought to the Reds were temporary bridges to the future, minor league filler, and possible trade fodder. Not one cornerstone player. Not one. And the Cueto trade may eventually fall into this category as well. The 2016 draft is the only thing saving this rebuild. But help for the roster from this draft might as well be a light year away.
    A wide array of front office failures, blunders, misques, mistakes and bad judgment have cost this organization dearly.
    Milwaukee started their re-build after the Reds and have soundly surpassed Cincinnati in the re-build process and in the NLC.
    Big Bob Castellini promised to bring winning baseball back to Cincinnati, not championship baseball. And he did that. He just never promised to keep winning baseball in Cincinnati. Three years of winning baseball out of the 11 LONG years this ownership group has owned the Reds.
    It is a shame that Derek Jeter and the Bushes aren’t interested in buying the Reds instead of the Marlins.
    In the very near future, the Reds will be a case study in how NOT to do a Re-build. There are more excuses in Cincinnati than there are chili parlors. Quit whining about injuries. Do something about them. Go acquire some good veteran pitching, just 2 are needed, for some of this multitude of unproven prospects. Two veteran pitchers who would be part of the next winning Reds team would help this team immensely.