2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Arroyo rocked again as Reds drop rubber game vs. Rockies

Final R H E
Colorado Rockies (28-17) 6 11 1
Cincinnati Reds (20-23) 4 8 1
W: Kyle Freeland (5-2)  L: Bronson Arroyo (3-4)  SV: Greg Holland (19)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread | Statcast

The Hitters

The Reds jumped on the board first. Billy Hamilton reached base on a rare error by Nolan Arenado, stole second and third base, and scored on a groundout by Joey Votto. The Reds could’ve had a bigger inning, but Jose Peraza was picked off second base with one out.

From there, Kyle Freeland breezed through the next four innings as the Rockies took a 6-1 lead. The Reds’ offense showed life again in the sixth inning. Peraza almost led the inning off with a home run but had to settle for a triple when the ball bounced off the top of the wall. Votto cleared the wall one batter later for his 12th dinger of the season. The home run, the 233rd of his career, tied him for seventh in Reds history with Jay Bruce.

Three batters later, Scott Schebler decided he wasn’t going to let Votto lead the team in home runs for more than a couple of minutes, so he smashed his 12th long ball of the season to make it a 6-4 game. If you blinked, you might have missed it land in the netting above the visitor’s bullpen; the ball left the bat at 110.8 mph, his hardest-hit home run of the season. It was his second home run in as many days against a left-hander, too, which is encouraging.

The last three innings gave the Reds a chance to tie it, but they couldn’t come through.

Devin Mesoraco started the seventh with a double off the center field wall. He never moved.

Singles from Votto and Eugenio Suarez put runners on first and second with one out in the eighth. They were both stranded.

Mesoraco again tried to get a rally started with a leadoff walk against Greg Holland in the ninth. Once again, he didn’t move.

The Hurlers

Bronson Arroyo was knocked around again, giving up all six Rockies runs on nine hits and two walks. Regardless, Bryan Price stuck with him through 5.1 innings due to his worn-down bullpen. Arroyo gave up four more home runs and has now allowed 15 in 46.1 innings. Only Mike Fiers and Jered Weaver have allowed more this season. One of those home runs came from Freeland, the opposing pitcher, who Arroyo did not retire a single time in three plate appearances. Arroyo’s ERA now stands at 6.75 and his xFIP is 5.51. You really have to wonder how much longer the Reds will stick with him.

***Update: Arroyo is making his next start at the very least.

Robert Stephenson came on in relief. He gave up a two-out double to DJ LeMahieu — who went 4-for-5 on the day — but escaped the jam with a big strikeout of Arenado. He allowed a two-out walk in the following inning, but nothing came of it as he struck out Pat Valaika to end the inning.

Following back-to-back rough outings, Blake Wood bounced back with two scoreless innings this afternoon, allowing only one hit and striking out one.

Not-So-Random Thoughts

– Peraza walked today. That’s always noteworthy. He now has five walks in 171 plate appearances (2.9 BB%).

– Since giving up four earned runs in back-to-back outings on April 25 and May 2, Stephenson has been much, much better. Over his last 9.2 innings, he’s given up only two runs, four hits, and three walks while striking out eight. The Reds may not be ready to put him in the starting rotation yet, but he’s showing progress.

– Mesoraco is looking like his old self at the plate. He picked up two more hits and drew a walk today and is now batting .317/.429/.512 with a 150 wRC+. It’s probably time to move him up in the lineup.

– I’m a proponent of batting Votto second, and that might have paid off today. Peraza, batting in that spot today with Zack Cozart out of the lineup, twice had an opportunity to come up with a big hit with two outs. He grounded out to end the seventh and struck out to end the game, leaving Votto standing in the on-deck circle.

Up Next

The Ohio Cup begins tomorrow, with the Cleveland Indians (23-19) visiting Great American Ball Park for two games before the series shifts to Progressive Field on Wednesday and Thursday. Scott Feldman (4.29 ERA, 4.33 xFIP) will look to rebound from an ugly start his last time out. His counterpart will be Josh Tomlin (6.86 ERA, 3.34 xFIP), who has walked only four batters all season long. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

108 thoughts on “Arroyo rocked again as Reds drop rubber game vs. Rockies

  1. I watched two brutal games today. This was one of them … my Syracuse Orange losing to Towson in lacrosse was the other.

    I was thinking we could have used Scooter earlier – then he didn’t give us anything anyway. Won’t get any easier for the next 4 days …

  2. Peraza does not belong in the 2-hole. What a shame to have two innings end with Vottomatic on deck.

  3. From a personal standpoint, I hate seeing a Reds legend like Arroyo go out like this. Reminds me of when Rijo tried his comeback early in the Griffey years. Personally, it pains me to say it, but it’s time to cut the cord on Arroyo and tell him “Sorry Bronson, you just don’t have it any more.”

    But from a business standpoint, he’s had his chance. One of the kids can give up 6 runs a game too, and at least they’d be learning on the job. Put Stephenson in the rotation, or heck, give Mahle (aka “The Next Mike Leak”) a shot. Feldman and Adleman could at least potentially be trade bait if they pitch decently. Arroyo doesn’t even have that going for him.

    The Reds already know Disco and Finnegan can be MLB starters. Garrett is probably safe to pencil in for the future too. They still need to come up with 2 more starters. Letting Arroyo continue to pitch doesn’t get them any closer to that goal.

    • All correct. Bronson himself will probably know it’s time before Price. He’ll take it well like the pro that he is. Hell, he’s made it back this far, bullpen duty and helping our young guys would be great. He’s cool.

      • Agreed and it’s not all that difficult, simply swap Arroyo and Stephenson’s roles. Arroyo still would be good to have the rest of the season in the bullpen mentoring the young guys and valuable as a long reliever / spot starter.

        • This. Bronson has a valuable role as the back of bullpen guy, especially after 5-6 innings of say 91-93 mph from a starter.

          Coming in down 6-0 may be what’s left for Arroyo. But he’d do it well. And who knows. Perhaps higher leverage situations await if he adjusts well.

  4. I prefer to see weaker hitters getting more at-bats than stronger ones, and ineffective old pitchers getting more innings than promising young ones. I should probably be a major league manager.

  5. Organization is a joke and never changes . Yes, they have injuries , but you can’t tell me they don’t have better options than to run out to the mound than a 40 year old who couldn’t get beer league softball guys out right now. Complete and utter farce ! Can’t believe folks continue to pay and cime thru the gates to watch this crap year in and year out.

  6. The team that keeps sending Arroyo out there to get shelled every five days is the same one that essentially cut BP so they could give Peraza an opportunity to play regularly.

  7. These last nine games have been brutal. I
    Have never seen starting pitching this bad.

        • Come on. Turns out they were lucky to get Feldman with Desclafani, Homer, Finnegan, and then Rookie injured. What do you expect? It’s horrible, but how many teams would have their three top starters out and still stay near ,500? It’s only May. Mahle, Castillo, Reed again, Romano, Stephenson, and God willing, one of the chronically injured returns. It can’t get much worse.

    • Reds starters currently have a 5.83 ERA and 5.52 FIP, both would be the worst in franchise history (technically 2nd to 1894). On pace to have only 0.8 WAR for the season, last season is the current low at 3.1

      #3-8 worst total WAR seasons for starters:
      2003 – 4.4
      2001 – 6.0
      2011 – 6.1
      2002 – 6.2
      2005 – 6.4
      2009 – 7.1

      • And I criticized WAR because it mixed positional players with pitchers and overreached on defense. Thank you for showing me its value. So, the Reds starting pitching isn’t just relatively bad in 2017, its historically bad. Again….an emerging storyline for this 2017 Reds team. Collective organizational failure for developing young starting pitching….despite 2 years worth of efforts to specifically target.

        • to be fair, it has always seemed 2018 was the target year. Injuries have obviously hurt. The pieces are there and the fact they are not performing/healthy at this point does not mean it has been a failure. yet

          • But where is the reason to believe the starting pitching will be better in 2018 given the approach they are following now? They are simply employing placeholders to get through the season. But who are they holding places for?

            Bailey, guy who hasn’t pitched competitively since early 2015 except for a short, abortive and inconclusive stint late last season followed by another elbow procedure this spring, the third procedure on his elbow/ forearm in as many years? Then there is Desclafani who at a relatively young age with a relatively low number of career innings pitched who at best will be a half a season pitcher, if that, for the second consecutive season. For my money these guys are both high risk possibly high reward pitchers at this juncture and not building blocks for a playoff competitive rotation.

            Here are some things they could do to make me more optimistic about 2018. Get Reed and Stephenson into the rotation ASAP. Send Lorenzen down for a month or 6 weeks to stretch out and give him a shot at the rotation later in 2017 not down the road.

      • I would not have expected 2011 to be on that list, but I guess that shows why the Reds went from playoffs the year before to also-rans the very next year (and right back to the playoffs the next season).

  8. Peraza, batting in that spot today with Zack Cozart out of the lineup, twice had an opportunity to come up with a big hit with two outs. He grounded out to end the seventh and struck out to end the game….he also got picked off 2nd in the 1st inning.

  9. A young guy who is 23 years old and never saw a pitch he didn’t like has no business hitting second in a major league lineup.A guy 40 years old who hasn’t pitch in the big leagues for almost two years and throws 83 or 84 max has no business starting games in the major leagues at any time for any reason.

  10. After what we saw yesterday, I think the Reds should give Wojo a chance to start and move one of Arroyo/Adleman/Bonilla to the ‘pen.

  11. Bronson Arroyo is a great Red and Reds Hall of Famer. We all appreciate his prior performance on the field and his personality and intangibles off the field. But, this is professional baseball and performance on the field is the only things that matters. The resurrection of a terrible team that has lost 90 games in consecutive seasons for the first time since the 1930’s is the singular priority. Bronson- please bow out gracefully now.

    The post game FSO interviews were telling. Bryan Price was asked a very vague question about Arroyo and how he knew when it was time to make a change…the exchange was awkward and Price got defensive…talked about how great Arroyo was personally and didn’t know how to answer……and the reporter backpedalled and said only meant how did Price know when to take him out of the game. Then , the feed stopped and went back to the broadcast. Nonetheless. Its very clear. The Reds handed Arroyo a spot. Price also went out of his way to talk about how happy he was “Woody” had a good outing….and completely ignored Stephenson. Its clear Price “likes” some pitchers and doesn’t like Stephenson. The media in Cincinnati are failing to do their job.

    These are the questions that need to be asked.

    -Isn’t it time for Bronson Arroyo to retire and Adleman to go to long relief so the Reds can give starters innings and experience to the pitchers who are the future?

    -Did the FO/ marketing department make you put Arroyo in the rotation?

    -Cody Reed and Robert Stephenson have a combined 1 start. Why?

    -What has Tim Adleman done in ST( ERA 10) or in the first 7 weeks( ERA 6+) to accountably earn a rotation spot over younger pitchers?

    -You talked about accountability in your press conference when you were hired. Can you talk more about accountability and how you apply it to the 2017 rotation?

    Why is Robert Stephenson buried in the back of the bullpen? Couldn’t he help out the worst starting rotation in the National League? Shouldn’t he be pitching a lot more for his development? Is there a plan for him? Do you personally like some players more than others?

    Do you have a doghouse? How do you get in? How do you get out?

    Have the Reds given up on 2018?

    • Jeez all the out of work GMs and managers on here. I’m surprised the bigs aren’t contacting rln to hire some folks. Arroyo is a bridge. He will get his dfa soon enough. If it is true Price doesn’t like Stephenson he wouldn’t be the first manager to feel this way.

      • No I’m not a GM but I sort of figured out on my own that Arroyo was going to suck. He hasn’t pitched in years. Same stupid s as bringing in Jason Marquis/Kevin Gregg. Well they were slightly mediocre 6 years ago so maybe they’ll suddenly get it back. Well….no! Thats now how it works!

        • Why would you think that? He is 40. That’s the new 30 right???
          He hasn’t pitched in 3 years. So what.
          He had reconstructive surgery on his elbow as well. Minor details.

          Are you saying you aren’t buying the Phil Castellini marketing plan? You should reconsider. For $300…. you can buy 4 tickets in the lower deck….$15 parking…$9 beers and $ 8 hotdogs and a $48 dollar reds hoodie in the gift shop and watch Tim Adleman…..a trivia question in 10 years who will be confused with Tim Melville….give up 6 runs in 4 and 1/3 innings and lose 11-4.
          Phil Castellini also has a Bruce Berenyi bobblehead for you and a ticket and doggie biscuit for your Golden retriever.

          Or …..you can take that $300 and do 1000 other things.

      • It’s just easier to assume that a Major League Baseball team doesn’t seem to compehend that Arroyo is bad. Accepting the concept of a bridge or a band would require not getting caught up in the emotional trauma that is a loss in May.

        • Its just that pitching Arroyo, Adleman, etc doesn’t accomplish anything. You’re prob not going to win and you’re not learning anything about anyone that could possibly produce down the road. If guys are hurt or not ready then roll with Stephenson, Wojo, Austin Ross, or whoever. The thing with Lorenzen is idiotic too. They rush a guy that barely pitched in college (as a reliever) thru the minors and make him a starter. Now that hes learned a little bit…now lets use him less then half as much? They no NOTHING about his arm or durability? If these teams did then why do dozens of pitchers require TJ every year.

          • They know nothing about whether or not his arm could handle starting. Its a guess. They absolutely do.not.know!

      • Worst rotation in baseball.
        Price is a pitching coach.

        Cody Reed was part of the Cueto trade- he’s been sent to the bullpen and Louisville and once to the starting mound against the Cubs
        Tim Adleman apparently is the next Jake Arrieta. How is that working out????

        Robert Stephenson is a first round pick who throws 96. The Bryan Price Charity fund hands out starting spots to anyone apparently. Accountability????
        If you donate some money to the Reds Community fund….you too can start in the 5 spot ahead of Stephenson..

        Reds starting pitching is a joke- Yes, Homer and Finnegan and Disco are big reasons. But there are literally 5-7 young pitchers who are part of the rebuild who aren’t developing….they are regressing.

        Brian Price needs to be fired. This is a dumpster fire and this is supposedly why he is here.

      • Simon, you don’t have to say this every day. Part of the fun of a site like this is discussing strategy and what the Reds might do differently. Mocking our commenters every single day is a bad look. Disagree with them if you like, but please take the snark elsewhere.

      • Simon Cowell, I don’t mean to be rude, but your act is really stale. Anyone criticizing the Reds is an arm chair GM? That’s some really old material. And complaining about people complaining doesn’t make any sense at all, especially on a fan’s website. It’s like going into a swimming pool and being shocked and angry that you got wet.

        Now, your point about Arroyo being a bridge is correct. He’ll be jettisoned before long. So will Adleman and eventually Feldman. And the influx of younger pitchers into the starting rotation will continue. But I don’t begrudge folks who are displeased with watching how the sausage is made. Just give the banal snarky commentary a rest.

      • The Bridge over the Kwai River had a better chance of staying up than Arroyo.

        Bye, bye, Bronson. You’re a decent dude, but it’s time.

      • The collection of commenters on this blog are the nicest bunch you’ll find in sports blogs. Go read a Philadelphia flyers blog or a Red Sox blog.

        Complaining about blog comments you read by navigating to the site voluntarily is like barking about getting wet after jumping into a lake.

        We all get to be GMs on here!

    • Valid questions.
      It’s like the Reds media doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

    • The critique of local beat reporters for not asking the tough, critical questions is an age old dilema. If they ask the really tough, pointed questions, they risk alienating the very people they rely on for cooperation to do their job. When we had the opportunity to pose those tough, pointed questions in our meeting with the AGM’s last season, we experienced the same situation and most certainly failed to ask those questions when we had the opportunity. I personally viewed that lack of such ‘attack’ questions as a deferral to respect in that situation and the hope that a similar opportuinity could be offered again in the near future. I can’t imagine trying to juggle my job or career when also trying to demand answers to very critical ‘attack’ questions.

      • You hit the nail on the head. It’s easy for fans to sit there and say “ask tougher questions,” but it’s not that simple for reporters. They have to maintain a working relationship with Bryan Price, the front office, and the players to continue getting good insight in the future. By asking questions that could be interpreted as disrespectful or an attack on the team/players, they’re going to hurt that relationship and, thus, their ability to do their job.

      • Hence….the value of this independent site. You are 100% correct….the corporate inbreeding at the higher levels level is a powerful one and a political one. That still won’t hide the truth…….the emerging storyline that is starting to define this 2017 season…..the Reds collective failure to develop young pitching and the delay of the rebuild to 2019.
        The Reds will discount tickets and parking and food after the All Star break when the average Cincinnatian moves on to high school football and the Bengals right?????
        There is golf to be played and tennis to be served…..someone once said.

        • It’s all about access, yes.

          To me, the bottom line is that the players and manager/coaches should be professional enough not to quit talking to a reporter who asks an uncomfortable, but fair, question, provided the question is asked professionally as well.

          There is a difference between, “Gee, you moron, how could you throw a fastball over the plate to that guy in that situation?” vs. “Did that fastball miss its location, or did you think based on facing him previously you could challenge him in that situation?”

          If the player takes the second question as an attack, that’s on him. But either way, if he decides he doesn’t like a reporter who dared to ask him that question, and then refuses to talk to him/her, or even worse, won’t talk to any member of the media while that reporter is around, the reporter suffers from only trying to do the job. And people don’t want to lose access.

      • Yes, agree 100%. And if the FO guys say they read the stuff on here (maybe they do, maybe they don’t), I would definitely think the beat writers are at least taking glances and hopefully using some of the information to find different ways to get the answers they want.

      • I agree, but the odd thing is that by asking ‘easy’ questions that don’t garner useful responses, the beat writers make themselves worthless.

        Does anyone really need to read a story about how Bronson is good “personally?” No. Everyone knows that.

        So, simultaneously, they are keeping their lifeline open but also moving themselves into irrelevancy.

    • Amen brother. I had my similar say on up the thread in a response before I got to your take. Don’t know about the personality clashes but I agree about the actions on the field.

  12. I agree with Old School that Stephenson should get some starts even though he has done nothing to earn them. I suspect he will do poorly based on having no idea how to throw strikes by locating his pitches. I hope I am wrong on this. I would give him 5 or 6 starts to see if he makes progress. I also agree on Peraza. He should be #7 or #8 hitter. The guy needs to be more selective or he will lose the chance to be an every day player. The Reds have not given up on 2018 but realistically they can’t compete until 2020 unless the pitching makes a miraculous turn around. It is all about talent and the Reds do not have enough of it. Except for first base and catcher I would take every Colorado position player over the Reds player and it is not close. You could do this same exercise with many other teams and the Reds come up short in each case. “It is all about talent”.

    • I don’t agree with that. CarGo is washed up. Cozart is better then their shortstop. Peraza would hit .300 in Colorado. He dumps balls all over the place and their outfield is HUGE! Duvall is better then their LFer too. We have enough offensive talent and Hamilton is far superior defensively to Blackmon. Its all about the pitching. We went into Colorado last year and scored like 35 in the series and won it.

    • The Reds lineup isn’t the problem. They are averaging 5 runs per game. It’s all about the starting pitching.

    • Stephenson has had 3 bad outings….and then has been otherwise decent.
      Not to be confused with saying he is pitching well nor should he start over Max Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg and Tyler Roark….but the Reds don’t have the Nationals rotations. I’m not sure they have the Toledo Mud-hens rotation.
      The Reds aren’t committed to starting the right pitchers for the right reasons in their starting rotation.

  13. Matt, FWIW the Old Cossack is completely on board with your evaluation of Mesoraco. With the quad keeping him out of a string of games, I wouldn’t want to overwork him, but I think the Reds are committed to erring on the side of caution with Mesoraco this year, so if they were comfortable with him starting today, I’m ready to see Mesoraco get increased playing time and increased responsibility within the lineup.

    #2 Votto
    #3 Suarez
    #4 Schebler
    #5 Mesoraco

    The HR Mesoraco hit yesterday and the double (I did not see it but from the descriptions) he tried to hit through the CF wall today speak volumes to Mesoraco finally being ready for a run-producing role in the lineup.

    Speaking of gimpy quads on catchers, Turner’s quad looks like it may need a visit to the 60-day DL in order to gain a full recovery …

    • In reference to the proposed lineup…

      The #1 hole and the #6 through #9 holes were intentionally omitted, along with the players who would be designated for those slots

      #2 OBP=.416 & ISO=.301 [Joey Votto]
      #3 OBP=.383 & ISO=.253 [Eugenio Suarez]
      #4 OBP=.325 & ISO=.289 [Scott Schebler]
      #5 OBP=.429 & ISO=.195 Devin Mesoraco]

      With the players currently available on the 25-man roster…

      #1 OBP=.432 & ISO=.244 [Zack Cozart]
      #6 OBP=.305 & ISO=.236 [Adam Duvall]
      #7 OBP=.287 & ISO=.085 [Jose Peraza]
      #8 pitcher
      #9 OBP=.311 & ISO=.090 [Billy Hamilton]

      Hamilton has certainly been improving his OBP, but he is still well below league average and a lot of his OBP is an empty OBP. His speed certainly augments his SLG & ISO if there is no one on base in front of him, but if someone is on base in front of him, then that augmentation is virtually negated. Cozart’s OBP and ISO simply have to be in the top 3 of the lineup.

      Duvall has proven himself as a valuable OF, but his contribution at the plate is almost completely driving in runs and much better suited to the #6 hole than the #4 hole.

      I want Hamilton hitting after the pitcher in order to enhance his ability to steal bases at will with no one on base in front of him as often as possible and his OBP simply doesn’t fit at the top of the lineup with Cozart, Votto and Suarez on the 25-man roster. Now if Cozart is traded and Hamilton continues to improve his OBP, replace Cozart in the #1 hole with Hamilton.

      • I concur. I also agree with you on Duvall. I’ve saying it for months he is better suited in the #6 hole, not #4.
        I still don’t think it is out of the question that Duvall is included in a blockbuster trade before July 31 trade deadline or even next winter. The Reds should keep one of Duvall or Schebler. And Schebler is taking the lead in that race now.

        • Or maybe they should run with Duvall and Schebler both for now and try to sell even higher on Winker considering the OF group they have coming up the chain; Aquino, Trammell, Beltre, Freidel et al.

  14. The bad, the worse, & the brutally ugly. In the first half of 2015 Jason Marquis went 3-4 for the Reds with a 6.46 ERA, allowing 10 HR, 14 BB, & 37 K in 47.1 innings.In the first half of 2016 Alfredo Simon was 2-7 with a 9.45 ERA, allowing 14 HR, 29 BB, & 38 K in 53.1 innings. So far this year Arroyo is 3-4 with a 6.75 ERA, allowing 15 HR, 15 BB, & 30 K in 46.2 innings. Who has the stomach to endure 5 more grueling weeks of BA in the rotation? He could end up being the worst “comeback” veteran sp of the rebuild. A very dubious achievement.

    • I think all but one on this blog would concur that arroyo is finished. A excellent red in his day, but those days are gone. I hope he retires, asap.

  15. I am sure our front office and Price see what we see when the warm bodies take the mound.Hopefully they will make changes really soon.As fans we may just want to check back in July.

  16. I want to give credit where credit is due. I’ve been critical of Price in the past for using the sacrifice bunt too often. But today when Mesoraco doubled with no outs, he sent a PH up there instead of having Stephenson bunt. I’m sure it was tempting. I even thought about it, as getting Mes to 3rd with one out would have been tempting. Would have had a solid shot of making it a 1 run ball game. But I think it’s the right call not to concede the out It ended up not working out, as Kivlehan K’d, but I still think right practice.

  17. Medieval philosophy (5th – 16th century) is the period following the fall of the western Roman empire and was dominated by the rise of Christianity and hence reflects Judeo-Christian theological concerns as well as retaining a continuity with Greco-Roman thought. Problems such as the existence and nature of God, the nature of faith and reason, metaphysics, the problem of evil were discussed in this period. Some key Medieval thinkers include St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Boethius, Anselm and Roger Bacon. Philosophy for these thinkers was viewed as an aid to Theology (ancilla theologiae) and hence they sought to align their philosophy with their interpretation of sacred scripture. This period saw the development of Scholasticism, a text critical method developed in medieval universities based on close reading and disputation on key texts. The Renaissance (1355–1650) period saw increasing focus on classic Greco-Roman thought and on a robust Humanism.

      • I’m wondering what the intended recipient of the description of Medieval philosophy (5th – 16th century) is thinking about a description of yesterday’s Reds debacle? 🙂

  18. If Arroyo is still pitching, there is a reason. Price and Williams are not that truly incompetent. There is no need to rush some of these AA and lower guys up for a start at the end of May when there is 3+mos. of ball left to be played. We’re all frustrated because we see the beginning of the next period of success. Be frustrated, question authority, and enjoy some baseball, but realize we aren’t witnessing pure incompetence. Sorting is happening, just not the way we want.

    • There are many on here who truly believe, because they peruse fangraphs, they are far better suited to evaluate player personnel than the Reds managerial staff.

      Some just need to accept that they are just fans like the rest of us.

    • What you’re suggesting would require actual thought. It’s just easier to pile on and work from the premise that others are incompetent.

  19. Arroyo quoted on espn.com recap to the effect that he’s been in this position when young and healthy, that he’ll know when he hits the wall, and that he hasn’t yet. Says next couple starts will show whether he can bounce back or be in for a difficult year. So, is he in denial, just putting up a brave front, or can he turn it around? I’m guessing the first option, but there’s always the old Sinatra song “High Hopes”!

  20. starters #1, 2 and 3 have been out basically all year…. Garret has shown lots of promise and Feldman’s numbers are ok for a 4th or 5th starter… all of the rest the guys taking the mound right now would not even be on the team if not for injuries … the biggest disappointment here has to be Reed who was supposed to be a permanent member of the rotation by now.

  21. Just looked at the box score from yesterday and noticed that in 10 plate appearances Billy and Peraza saw 28 pitches with one appearance being a 7 pitch walk by Peraza.I know Cozart was out of the lineup and the last time it happened Alcantara went 0-5 in the two hole but Peraza is not even close yet to being a two hole hitter and you could argue that Billy isn’t a lead off hitter.My point is why do we continue to give the most at bats to players who don’t get on base and have two homers between them.Its simple for me but what do I know.Move Peraza to the 7 hole,the pitcher hits 8th and Billy hits 9th.This means your 6 best hitters, using any data you want to support it,come to the plate more often.We have given,and rightly so,a lot of positive comments about Price and his managing of the pen but what about a little common sense when making out the lineup.As far as Arroyo’s comments,he is choosing to say what he is being told yo say.If he starts another 5 or 6 weeks and he probably will he will have a game or two or even three that he gets beyond the 5th inning.He will keep them in the game in those outings which warrant another start and the beat goes on until after the break.Same with the other warm bodies.

  22. I think Bronson could still pitch out of the bullpen for 1 and maybe 2 innings. The time to move him from the rotation though has come upon the Reds, even if they still want to run him out as a starter one more time.
    Stephenson looks ready to regain his rotation spot. Garrett has to rebound and get it together in his next start. Wojo look great in his initial appearance, and with him being a starter, he should be given a shot now too.
    A re-energized Stephenson, an emerging Garrett, and a hungry Wojo might be able to stablize the rotation for a month or so. Adelman and Feldman seem like the same pitcher with both heading in the same direction. Not sure you want to count on either.

  23. It would be nice if we had a affordable veteran starter that was still young enough to produce for another 3-4 years. Oh wait….his name is Dan Straily!!! 3.70 era and 48 Ks in 48 ip. He’s allowing a .164 batting average against him!! Castillo looks a promising young guy but we had what we desperately need and they let him go! He’s a guy that could’ve manned the 4th-5th starter role and then moved on to a Sam LeCure type reliever type because he can miss bats! Instead we get more softball Arroyo. He was never that great! I came to GABP for 2 games where Bad Arroyo gave away the game in the first few innings. I vowed I’d never come back again when he started. He’s been worse then Jason Marquis!! What else needs to be said?

    • I liked Straily too and was looking forward to seeing if he could consistently out-pitch his peripherals. The Reds made the right move in trading him though. Austin Brice is already looking like a decent RP and Castillo looks like he could be a legit #3 or #2 SP. The Reds got good value to Straily. I hated to see him go but I like the early returns on the trade. If the Reds were trying to win and needed a back of the rotation guy now then holding on to him would have been prudent. In the current situation however, I agree with the trade.

    • Straily is pitching where he needs to pitch to succeed. His home and away splits are significant to say the least. He’s a fly ball pitcher pitching in a fly ball park. Straily has a 6.00 ERA with 5 HR in 21.0 IP in 4 away games and has a 1.95 ERA with 1 HR in 27.2 IP in 5 home games. He was the wrong pitcher for GABP and the Reds cashed in on a good season with bad peripherals by Straily.

  24. Jason Marquis, 2015: 9 starts, 47.1 IP, 6.46 ERA, 5.27 FIP, ERA+ 62, HR/9 1.9
    Bronson Arroyo, 2017: 9 starts, 46.2 IP, 6.94 ERA, 6.96 FIP, 66 ERA+, HR/9 2.9

    Arroyo is on the team solely because of Rampant Jockettyism: “He’s an old bud; let’s give him another chance.” Or, as Old Man Potter said in It’s A Wonderful Life, “See, if you shoot pool with some employee here, you get a loan.”

    “A bridge”?? Find another bridge. This team needs to learn how to win, not how to behave on Old-Timers Day. Arroyo was a terrible decision from day one, and it’s turned out exactly how many of us predicted.

    The only thing Arroyo is accomplishing is holding up somebody else’s career. Have some respect for the game, and retire.

    • No reasonable person expected Arroyo to pitch well. Its highly unlikely the Reds expected him to pitch well. He’s a cheap, risk free bridge to Bailey, Finnegan and Disco that won’t cause locker room problems and shows professionalism. Once those guys are back, he’ll almost certainly be DFA.

      He’s not holding up anyone’s career. He’s taking innings in the first half of a none contending season so the “real pitchers” can take more innings in the second half of a non contending season. His presence gives them flexibility for the second half of the year. If competing in 2018 is the objective then it would seemingly make sense to have the last 81 games serve as something akin to a dress rehearsal. Right now, they’re still building the set and casting the show.

      Why is this so difficult for so many to comprehend? How many times does Dick Williams need to say “We’re aiming for 2018” before the masses begin to understand that they’re not trying to win right now? 600 times? 800? 25,000? A million?

      Why do people become frustrated that the Reds aren’t winning when they’ve all but come out and said “WE’RE NOT TRYING TO WIN RIGHT NOW.”

      Do those of you who express the same frustrations over and over again become as equally outraged during pre-season football or the cactus league games? This season, like last season is nothing more than a building block to the future. Progress has been made and they’re much, much better than they were a year ago (despite a losing streak…all teams have losing streaks). I watch preseason football because I like football, not because I care if the Bengals win.

      If they suck next year, I’ll be the first person that questions every thing…..but at this point the Reds are doing EXACTLY WHAT THEY SAID THEY WERE GOING TO DO. For once, they actually seem to have a plan and are sticking with said plan. They aren’t throwing spaghetti against the wall hoping for some magic to get to 81 wins. You may not like the steps they’re taking, but until they haven’t worked (meaning a non competitive team in 2018) your assessment, good or bad is premature.

      • Lets say the Bengals moved on from Dalton and drafted a QB but he wasn’t ready yet or got injured. I could be a cheap replacement….except THAT I CANNOT PLAY QB IN THE NFL! Arroyo cannot pitch anymore. He sucks! I would love to grab a bat and take some hacks off his hangers and I’m 51! Lets see Wojo, Bonilla, and countless others instead. Someone with a decent arm and a chance to get better. That really isn’t too much to ask for!

        • I’d like to see that… I was a very good amateur and then decent semi-pro ballplayer. I’m 46 and am pretty sure I could still get around on 84 if I know it’s coming. The problem is, with a real pitcher I wouldn’t know what’s coming and I’ve probably never seen a breaking-ball like the thing that the 40-year-old Arroyo throws. I’d be lucky to foul a couple off. I might say to myself “Boy, I could hit this guy.” but in reality, I’d probably be heading back to the dugout shaking my head.

      • I can’t speak for every frustrated fan, but I’ll tell you why I’m irked. First, because this team seems awfully good for a team that isn’t supposed to be competitive. The offense, defense, and bullpen look like playoff contenders. The only missing piece is starting pitching. So when the team seems to be going out of its way to start a guy with almost zero chance of throwing 7 solid innings (or even 3 solid innings) at a point in the season when the playoffs could still be theoretically achievable, it’s irksome. Secondly, there’s nothing gained by doing it. Nobody is improving when Arroyo pitches. The team is basically telling fans “don’t bother coming to the game,” and telling players “don’t take this season too seriously,” Young guys who might surprise us aren’t even being given a chance to surprise us. If the only point of playing the Arroyo games is to spare other pitchers’ arms, why not just forfeit and let *everyone* get some rest? You would probably object to this, but why? It will reduce injuries and players can work on fundamentals those days, and since the games themselves are supposed to be meaningless this season, what’s the downside?

        • J…many good points.

          Without Bailey, Finnegan and Disco for the first half (if not longer) the probability that this team could compete over 162 games is almost 0. Despite their early season doldrums, the Cubs will likely win 95 plus games and the Cardinals are the Cardinals. While the concept of “rushing guys” is subjective, making decisions to enhance the playoff probability from perhaps 2% to 5% doesn’t make any sense to me. Winning 79 games vs 74 games just means you suck a little bit less.

          If the current edition of Arroyo is still taking the hill once a week in July (assuming at least some/all of the real pitchers are back) then I will be befuddled. The FO has seemingly taken a very cold and logical view that the probability of competing over 162 games is virtually non existent and we need to slowly and methodically move towards our ultimate rotation. Again, if Arroyo still sucks and is still taking the mound every 5th day in July then I will simply not understand the wisdom of what they’re doing.

          Going back 4 decades, Reds attendance patterns are extremely consistent. If they they really suck,they will draw between 1.8 and 2 million. If they’re really good they have a ceiling of about 2.5 million. A 82 win team that is a few games out of the WC mix will draw slightly more than a 72 win team. There is no financial incentive for the FO to try to win a few more games this year….especially, right or wrong, if they feel doing that reduces the probability of sustained future success.

          • It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you don’t make every effort to win, and then you lose, you can’t ever really know what might have happened.

      • How many times does Dick Williams need to say “We’re aiming for 2018”

        Because 2 years ago, they were aiming for 2017.
        When you are 4-5 games over .500 and in 1st place almost a quarter of the way through the season, you put your best foot forward to keep the success going. You don’t just start throwing games because your time to try doesn’t start until next year.
        There is no such thing as “WE’RE NOT TRYING TO WIN RIGHT NOW”

        • Fans gonna fan. No fan wants to wait. No fan wants their team to lose unless they are “tanking” and even then they complain.

          I like that the Reds laid out a plan and they are sticking with it. If they weren’t, we’d all hear the daily drumbeat of “clueless!” or “schizophrenic!”–not unlike now, frankly–but the bottom line is that we should take solace in the things that the Reds have fixed and the development/improvement that they’ve made on offense and in the bullpen. They are getting better and will get better still. 2018 is looking good. Peraza drives me absolutely crazy at the plate, but he’s showing flashes of power that I didn’t think he had and gives he hope that he can integrate his legs into his swing and actually be more than a slap hitter.

          In other words, simmer down, Francis. 🙂

          • 2018 is looking a lot like right now if they don’t fix the starting pitching. Now is the time to start doing that, not the trade deadline or off season or spring training 2018.

          • It’s reasonable to believe that getting the injured starters back and giving the prospects time to develop is the most reasonable way to fix the starting pitching. Getting good starters now would require the Reds to give up some of the offense, defense and BP excellance that have made them good enough this year to frustrate us.

      • I just believe very strongly that the #1 thing the Reds need for 2018 is a competitive culture–that the Reds are going to play every game hard as nails and make the other team play a good game to beat them. The Pirates did that the couple of years before they turned the corner with talent, and I think it helped them when they did get good.

        Putting Arroyo or any other tomato can out there sends the exact opposite message, of “Management doesn’t care, boys, and neither should you guys on the team.” If you want to win, start managing the roster like winning is not an afterthought.

        I’m not asking for nutty free agent signings or Quixotic quests to win this year. I am asking for them to stop running out a pitcher every 5 days who has absolutely no chance to be successful. Try Wojo next time in Arroyo’s slot; he at least has a theoretical chance to be competitive.

        And yes, Arroyo is blocking somebody else’s career. Every start he gets is an opportunity that some other guy doesn’t get.

        • Big 5….good points

          Playing devil’s advocate, the 2012-14 Cubs seemingly did nothing to build a competitive culture. While the Reds have been fairly transparent, they’ve made mostly veiled references to not caring about the present in order to succeed in the future. For 3 years, Epstein was very blunt in saying they didn’t care about winning….he actually uttered the famous phrase that he would much prefer to win 60 games than 75 games. Every action he took confirmed that they didn’t care about winning in the present.

          They made several moves that were utter head scratchers at the time that when viewed in hindsight made perfect sense. Every modest amount of success they enjoyed during those 3 seasons brought about trades that made them worse in the present and better in the future.

          In 2014, they likely could’ve had a much better record given the immense talent they had in the minors. By the second half of the season, they were reasonably competitive yet held off on playing many of their best guys before they felt they were ready. My company has a sky box at Wrigley and I sat through at least 2 dozen games that year where the line up was one bridge and band aid after another. I couldn’t figure out what the hell they were doing.

          When the Cubs were finally ready in 2015, were Rizzo, Travis Wood, Arrietta and others hindered by the losing mentality of the past 3 years? When they kept Bryant in the minors for 3 weeks in a blatant attempt to enjoy an extra year of service time did the players assume that management didn’t care? While Epstein did win 2 championships in Boston, his departure wasn’t exactly something the Red Sox tried to prevent. His “brand” had certainly taken a hit by the end of his tenure in Boston and the players had no reason to believe the Chicago Cubs organization was competent and focused on winning. Yet, it all worked out rather well.

          When the Pirates finally broke through in 2013, was it because they played hard or was it that after 20 years of mostly drafting in the top 10 they finally had developed a solid core of players……along with management buying into analytical data that showed solid defenders are undervalued and that a team that is excellent on defense and employs things like the shift can cheaply offset other deficiencies?

          • The 2014 Cubs were not giving starts to any hopeless 40-year-olds. They gave 30 starts to Edwin Jackson, but he at least kept his FIP to 4.45.

            They also had yet to bring up Addison Russell, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Wilson Contreras or Ian Happ; they were breaking in Javier Baez. They did have Rizzo, whose competitiveness nobody questions; remember if you will his instigating a fight against the Reds in about 2013 or 2014, and had Arrieta and a very young Kyle Hendrick, but the vast bulk of the winning team came later. And fast.

            As you have observed, the Cubs have financial resources that the Reds will not have, and they went out and bought Jon Lester and John Lackey, and added Ben Zobrist, all of whom had played for World Series champs.

            The Reds, by contrast, generally have the pieces that they expect to compete with in 2018, including many young positions players. It does remain a mystery which pitchers they will end up using next year. My point is to turn these guys loose with the intent of giving them a fighting chance every game; only then will we learn who can actually play the game, who can play through mental fatigue, who doesn’t give up at-bats, who avoids TOOTBLANs and other mental errors, etc.

            It is a truism in baseball that you can’t evaluate players from spring training games or September call-ups, because the games aren’t necessarily competitive. Throwing Arroyo out every five games turns a May game into the same non-competitive mix: you don’t do any “sorting” when the Reds are down by 5 runs in the 4th inning.

  25. I’ll go on record of saying why waste major league service time for our best prospects until they are ready? And, by ready I think Price has been clear…..throw strikes/pitch rather than solely light up speed guns. If that takes most of this year, so be it. If/when some of the youngsters figure it out, I would rather have their last year of arbitration than this year learning how to pitch.

    • And burying Stephenson in the bullpen accomplishes what….having Cody Reed and Stephenson start 1 combined game does what..abd being yo-yoed around does what?
      It’s may and Arroyo admits he’s still trying to find it…searching for that command…location…and confidence and velocity to make that pitch he can’t make ….why does Cody Reed get 1 start and banished to the bullpen….why don’t reed and Stephenson get the opportunity to pitch….

      There’s no magic “time” a player pushes a button and is then ready….it’s 2 steps forward…1 step back….it’s a process that has to be in mlb.

      I’m sure Sam Lecure is cursing Price somewhere….wondering why the reds never gave him the latitude to try and find that next adjustment when his velocity slowed a but……. arroyo and Adleman are taking away critical development opportunities away from Stephenson and previously reed…..and in the case of Arroyo….being allowed to struggle and fail while all admit he’s searching to find if he’s guy it….how bout we let the young guys get the opportunity to search and find and struggle and succeed?

      The issue in 2017 is develop the young starters…they are regressing….buried in the bullpen…or told to sit and wait or given a meaningless inning trailing by 5 runs or on shuttle to AAA every other week…Stephenson has pitched ok the last 2 weeks.

  26. Vance Worley got released by somebody in late March or early April. The Reds could’ve easily picked him up. He’s 29 and had a 3.53 era for Baltimore last year. That’s a bridge type guy. Arroyo is just some kind of nostalgic public relations stunt. Its pointless and proves they learned NOTHING from Marquis, Gregg, etc.

    • Ok….his historic numbers aren’t awful. I think he’s been released 3 times in 3 years…why? Why is it that teams just seem to want to give him away? Why is it that in a league in which 75% of the teams never have enough pitching, he’s just given away?

      Maybe he’s a jerk. Maybe he’s lazy. Maybe he has some mechanical or biometric red flags. Teams pay Ph.D’s incredibly large sums of money to create proprietary data that we don’t get to see….maybe there are analytical red flags. Maybe he has an awful agent that no one wants to deal with. The Nationals are a smart organization, why did they give up on him? The Cubs are smart and have had pitching problems….why didn’t they sign him or offer the Nationals 50k and a bucket of balls for him in Spring Training? His numbers aren’t atrocious…..yet no one seems to want him or to stick with him.

      Would be have pitched better than Arroyo?,,,,,maybe,,,,,even probably. Are there other factors that made teams to stay clear of this guy? Seemingly.

      Would the Reds have won 1-2 more games with him vs Arroyo….very likely, yet they seemingly decided that there is something about him that made that not worth it.

  27. Why the rocking of Arroyo when you can start a young pitcher like Reed or Stephenson and let them get ML experience and perhaps be rocked also.

  28. The next Reds positional core is probably the group spread out between the two class A levels right now. With the Reds position in the draft coming up in June they may add some players to fast track with these guys. Still except for perhaps Nick Senzel, these guys aren’t going to see MLB much if at all before 2020. In the meantime, the team they have on the field is competitive if the starting pitching was even league average.

    In the off season Williams said the players would decide what 2017 is about (sorry, I can’t find the link; it was on MLB.com). It is time they moved away from trotting out the place holder/ bridge guys in the rotation and get down to the business of letting the younger prospect starters do some deciding.

    • The reason they would give for doing what they’re doing is innings limits on some of the prospects. But injuries have again played a huge factor.

  29. It is not about winning to me.Its about giving guys a legitimate chance to see if they can pitch at the big league level.I feel confident that after the break we will see Reed,Stephensen and others become starters. But if our injured guys come back they have to pitch some and I worry about will there be enough starts to go around.Remember that Disco started 31 games in 2015 and so did Finny last year.Hard to imagine that any decision could be made on anybody on just a handful of starts good or bad.

  30. The D-backs may be interested in trading OF AJ Pollack. Pollack is not a free agent until after the 2018 season. A straight up deal of Adam Duvall to AZ for AJ Pollack and a little cash to the Reds to make it even.
    And the Reds have their #2 hitter not named Votto. Trading Duvall’s power for Pollack’s Avg./OBP with Pollack an upgrade defensively too, as a CF moving to LF. Pollack could also serve as backup CF too.

    • From a pure baseball standpoint, this could be a very good trade that helps both teams

      But why would the Reds give up 4.5 years of Duvall for 1.5 years of Pollack? He would be UFA after next season so unless the Reds are willing- able to outbid people….and Pollack decides this is where he wants to be…he will be gone after next year while the D-Backs would still have 3 years of Duvall hitting around Goldshmitt.

      If all things were equal, it could actually help both teams but the Reds would be taking a huge risk long term risk that Pollack bolts after 1 season.

      • It is almost certain that Pollock would bolt after the season. Guess this would be the kind of move that, if the Reds are serious that 2018 is the year, MAYBE they might pull the trigger on. I for one would hold onto Duvall. He’ll have value for a while yet and if we need to trade someone, it may be for a pitcher and not a position player. The old adage “You can’t have enough pitching.” is seeming to prove true with all the injuries and the struggles. I could see a Winker, Duvall or Schebler as part of a package for a Latos type pitcher (#2 or #3 with years of control left) in the future to set the Reds up for 2018, 2019, 2020. Pollack really only sets them up for 2018 then he leaves. Personally, I doubt the Reds will be ready in 2018.

        • The question is, is Duvall going to be the odd man out in the OF? If so, trading him sometime this year before, or when, he loses his job might maximize some value. Trading Duvall’s power and service time is what makes it appealing to get Pollack’s avg./obp if only for 1 1/2 years. However, it is also possible that Pollack could sign a 2 year deal with the Reds covering his last arbitration year (2018) and 1 free agent year that would keep him here through the 2019 season when a plethora of young outfielders should arrive. That would be a key in getting Pollack. Having more than 1 CF in the OF is always appealing.
          There just doesn’t seem to be much in the Reds system in the OF between Winker/Ervin and Trammell/Friedl/Beltre/Siri, other than Aquino who has struggled a lot this year. They did pick up Guerrero and Goeddel off of waivers this year though.
          The Reds seem to have plenty of power at this time. Trade from a strength to obtain something they are shallow in, a high avg./ OBP guy like Pollack. I would then have a 4-man OF rotation of Pollack, BHam, Schebler, and Winker.

          • I like your thought process on this one. You raise some great points and I think it’s a good trade……but, it’s unlikely that Pollack would sign a 2 year extension with a team he knows nothing about when he could be a UFA in 18 months.

            If you were Pollack….and could be on the open market, would you sign a 2 year deal?

          • It would depend. I understand why you would think he wouldn’t sign on for just 1 additional year. But it would depend on what the playoff landscape looked like for the Reds in 2018-2019.
            Also, that expected free agent class for OFers is a doozy after the 2018 season. Pollack might want to consider entering free agency 1 year later.

          • I could be on board if I could be pretty certain that Pollock would sign an extension. He’s a nice player.

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