2017 Reds

Losing streak at eight: rinse, repete

For a while, Reds pitchers were on track to give up 14 runs. It’s a safe bet (see what I did there) that Pete Rose would have preferred a different tribute.

The Reds (29-38) have lost 8 games in a row. They have one more game with the Dodgers tomorrow and then play three in Tampa Bay. After that, the Reds schedule for the next month is brutal, full of first place teams, the 42-29 Arizona Diamondbacks and the Chicago Cubs.

Contending in the NL Central was always an unrealistic dream. Now the notion is just a smudge in the rearview mirror. Time to get the club, its roster and its fans back focused on rebuilding and sorting. We’ve been saying for months that judging this team by wins and losses is misplaced and will prove frustrating. There’s plenty to be excited about watching players develop over the next three and a half months.

Cincinnati Reds 2 • Los Angeles Dodgers 10 || MLB || FG || Statcast

The Arizona Diamondbacks cut Asher Wojciechowski at the end of spring training. The 28-year-old packed up, went home and for three weeks sat and contemplated his future – or lack of it – in baseball. With its AAA-Louisville affiliate desperate for pitching, the Reds front office called Wojciechowski, who said yes.

The organization then decided to give Wojciechowski four valuable major league starts instead of to any of a stable full of young pitchers who could be part of the Reds future. Wojciechowski’s ERA is 6.75, FIP 5.96. With the imminent return of Homer Bailey and Brandon Finnegan, Wojciechowski’s days in the rotation, and probably the major league roster, are coming to an end.

Billy Hamilton had a couple hits – a single to lead off the game and a triple – after being hit on the hand with a pitch yesterday. Hamilton had a couple good swings in one of his other at bats. Zack Cozart had two hits and drove in Hamilton in the first inning with a double down the LF line.

Joey Votto had two doubles and a single. He’s hitting .310/.420/.616, one of the top offensive performances in baseball.

Marty Brennaman instinctively used the opportunity of Votto’s second double to bleat at the first baseman to get off his lawn. “Joey Votto doesn’t play as hard as Pete Rose did.” Later, Brennaman back-peddled and said he didn’t mean to single out Votto. Right. Raise your hand if you believe that. If anything, Votto stands out in a positive way based on Pete Rose’s model: Votto wants to play every day, never gives up an at bat, practices his defense at length, and constantly works to improve.

Devin Mesoraco, who is still batting 8th, had a walk and triple.

317 players have at least 100 PA this season. Jose Peraza ranks #316 in walks, with a 1.9% walk rate. The only player below him is Ben Revere who would be playing CF for the Reds now if Walt Jocketty had his way. Peraza was 1-4 today and his OBP is .286.

72 thoughts on “Losing streak at eight: rinse, repete

  1. I was as skeptical as anyone that Devin Mesoraco could come back. Now that he has apparently pulled it off, I am very happy for him personally.

    Business wise, I wonder if given his age (29 on June19), salary next year ($13M) and the face he will be eligible for free agency at the end of the 2018 season, does he go onto the trading block a month from now?

    Much more palatable to me would be a (very) team friendly extension of 2 years thru 2020. But it takes two to tango…..

    • I was just the other side of the spectrum Jim. I was as big a proponent of Mesoraco coming back strong as anyone. Either way, I had not even considered a trade for Mesoraco at the trade deadline or during the off season. I always considered him an important cog to compete in 2018. Now that you bring it up and with the disaster of a pitching staff the Reds have fielded this season, 2018 doesn’t look so promising now. If Mesoraco continues to smash the ball for the next month, you may be on to something regarding a trade. A contender needing a catcher and a middle of the lineup bat should be willing to open the doors to the barn with another season of control for a healthy Mesoraco. I would welcome a team-friendly, 2-year contract in a heartbeat, but that simply ain’t happening.

      • The elephant in the corner of the room is Meso’s right shoulder, the only one of the four major ball and socket joints in his body that hasn’t been rebuilt. Presumably he and the Reds both know what the prognosis is regarding its durability and longevity. This knowledge just might provide common ground for an extension where both sides assume a reasonable portion of the risk on his future. He signs under market; the team goes to maybe 3 additional years.

      • I think the Reds are happy with their catching situation through 2018. The second half of next year, Tyler Stephenson will likely be in AA and Okey will be in AAA and they will have much more information to make longer term decisions about catching. They simply cant make an educated decision now about 2019/20 other than Tyler Stephenson is back on his trajectory. They’ve kept Stuart as insurance for 2017/18 and he can cycle between AAA and the big club in 18 as needed. They’ve come this far with him….no going back now.

        Assuming the Cozart trade in 6 weeks, I don’t see any changes in the Reds position players at C/3b/1b/SS/or outfield for 2017/18 except who is at 2b and which 3 outfielders are playing every day from Winker, Duvall, Schebler,Hamilton. Scooter will play 2b from August 1 through the end of year x for the occasional Alcantara start.

        My impression now is that 2018 is the season of sorting reboot V2 to let the minor league pitchers at AA/AAA sort themselves and the minor league position players at A+ and low A move forward 1-2 steps. Its not unreasonable to think that 3 pitchers of Garrett and Finnegan and Reed and Stephenson and Mahle and Romano( who got shelled today) and Castillo could be in the rotation in 2019. Its highly unlikely that anyone other than Finnegan and Homer and maybe Garrett could be a reliable starter in 2018 and there are innings issues there as well.

        Lorenzen is the Reds tell tale. If they move him back into the rotation at the end of this year….they are committed to winning in 2018. If he stays in the bullpen….its the Fisher Price I-71 AAA yellow shuttle bus all over again. Feel free to make alternative plans for early October 2018

        Add the disappointment with Disco and I think DW is focused on 2019 and if that’s the case….its now occurring to me Brian Price might now have his option picked up.
        I watched an MLB network broadcast with John Smoltz the other night and he was emphatic that the best 5-7 teams all are going to have the best starting rotations. Anyone think the Reds can have a top 10 starting rotation by April 2018?

        That means slow things down,,,,string this rebuild out and run out the marketable Arroyo and Wojo and Feldman till the all Star break……and more Billy ball at lead off. Does anyone really think they are going to drop Hamilton to the 9 hole when his bobble-head day is coming up?

  2. Peraza batting ahead of Devin really hurt today and will continue to hurt.A pitcher would have to be an idiot to even pitch to Devin with anybody on base even if there is only out and he would have to be super dumb with two outs.The pitcher is next and then Billy so the chances of either one of these guys knocking him in our just well you know.They will pitch around him at least twice very game.I realize its hard to hide both Peraza and Billy in a line up but gee wiz lets get real.

  3. The only reason this team has to rebuild is because they didn’t draft and develop well after 2010. This rebuilding is such an excuse… do you ever see the Cardinals rebuilding? Let’s just face it… the Reds are a joke!

  4. So, at what point do the Reds sort out Peraza and Billy? Can the Reds afford a line-up with both of them in it?

      • Well, they do have to show that they can get through three innings IMO without walking the world. I have hope for Reed as it looks like Reds coaches have something tangible to fix. Stephenson just seems stuck with few answers besides “command your pitches.”

      • There is a reason not to try (just yet), and it’s about their development, not the Reds record . Stephenson is not giving up hits but walking a batter an inning at AAA. Reed has been shellshocked and needed recovery time after his time in the majors last year and again this year. It makes sense to let him solidify his confidence a little more before returning, as Price has explicitly stated.

        Homer and Finnegan will be back soon, and no more Woz and Arroyo in the rotation.

    • The Reds can’t afford a lineup with Billy Hamilton batting leadoff against LHed pitching. Above I saw a comment about Peraza’s low walk rate, his “swing zone” is huge. But Billy batting LHed is worse. In 72 ABS batting RHed, he has ZERO walks.
      He raised his LHed batting line today to 194/.194/.267 with his single and triple.
      That’s right, a leadoff hitter with an OBP of .194 every time the Reds face a LHed pitcher.

      • His single in the first was a strikeout. 2-2 pitch he took for a strike and umpire didn’t call. Dodgers pitcher was visibly upset…the pitch track showed it was a strike. HIs WAR is 0.5. His WRC+ is over 40% below league average. Its mid June. He will very soon become an expensive super-sub. Drew Stubbs was a great defensive cf with elite speed who once hit 3 home runs at Wrigley. He couldn’t hit for average or get on base or avoid the K or avoid the painful prolonged hitting slumps where he looked lost at the plate.

      • He’s been fine (for Billy) against LHP in his career. Can’t cherry pick a few PA this season and ignore everything else.

        Still, I agree. He shouldn’t be, and really never should have been, leading off.

  5. Walked five in first two innings 2 starts ago. Then went five innings with 1
    Threw 64% strikes before the rain the oth r night.
    Have to see

  6. Romano had his second rough outing in a row tonight. Pitched just the 1st inning tonight, took 51 Pitches. Below is the results of his last two outings and the total of them

    IP H ER BB SO
    5.0 9 3 1 4
    1.0 3 5 5 1

    6.0 12 8 6 5

  7. James Garret: “Peraza batting ahead of Devin really hurt today and will continue to hurt … The pitcher is next and then Billy … ”

    Its about as bad an example of lineup construction I’ve seen, especially against LHed pitching, where, as I mentioned above, Billy is batting 194/.194/.267 and yet is batting leadoff.

    • Makes a person wonder if part of the “sorting” isn’t based on using at least some people in preset roles determined higher up the food chain..

  8. I hadn’t seen this posted anywhere. T.J. Friedl has been promoted from Dayton to Daytona. I think this is probably a domino effect regarding CF through the minor league system, but this should be the 1st of many such moves over the next week+.

      • And what about Taylor Trammell and Tyler Stephenson too. Trammell is still only 19 and doing everything at low A.
        The 2016 draft could be a huge haul.

      • With the dirth of CF options available throughout the minor league system, I think Trammell is a lock for CF in Dayton.

        • One would think, yet Trammel plays LF (LF-50, CF-7) and Siri plays CF (CF-45, RF-4). Friedl played all across the OF (RF-22, CF-18, LF-16). Beltre gets the bulk of time in RF (RF-43, LF-2). Similarly, Amaral get the bulk of time in CF at AAA, while Ervin plays LF mostly.

  9. Ordinarily in a 10-2 loss, the last thing you’d be concerned about is “missed scoring opportunities,” but today was just maddening. Not scoring with runner(s) in a scoring position and less than two out in 7 of the first 8 innings. This includes the two innings they scored, as after the single run they blew such opportunities (such as bases loaded with none out). And the only inning of the first 8 they didn’t accomplish that, Hamilton was left on 3rd after his 2 out triple.

    This of course has not been the Reds issue this year. It was just a matter of time before the horrible starting pitching was going to affect the bullpen and the offense could no longer compensate.

    • Agree. Opportunities seem to be finding the couple of soft spots in the lineup; and, also guys hitting balls right at defenders. Where does luck stop and well executed fielder placement coordinated with well executed pitching start?

  10. What’s peraza hitting against Lhp Peraza or Hamilton should be hitting nineth depending on the pitcher

    • If it were up to me, I’d try something out… I’d bat Peraza 8th, Hamilton 9th, and Votto 1st. Pitcher defaults to 7th. That way, Joey gets the most PA of anyone and also gets to have two “real” hitters ahead of him in every PA except the one to lead off the game.

      Same idea as Maddon and once-upon-a-time Price batting Russell et al. and Hamilton 9th, just takes it a step further.

  11. Any bad day by the offense,defense or pen is death to us right now because of our starting pitching.PINSON you are so right it was just a matter of time before it affected the rest of the team.Out of the eight in a row we have lost we should have won at least 4 but to continue to fall behind early puts so much on the offense and pen it was bound to happen.So every time we don’t score when we should it gets magnified,Lorenzen and Iggy lost games and have been lights out especially Iggy.Just imagine every day going to work and having to do more to compensate for others.It is just not going to happen and that is where we are right now.We don’t have any laughers like the Dodgers did today.Every at bat and every play in the field and every pitch the pen throws is high leverage because we don’t have any room for error with our starters.It also doesn’t help when we know Billy doesn’t need to lead off and we know batting Devin 8th is just goofy and bunting is rarely a good idea because we can’t bunt and even if we could its still rarely a good idea.It all starts and ends with starting pitching and the stats say we are the worst in baseball.Guess we should really 15 games or more under 500.

  12. Price is quoted as saying we want to be playing meaningful games the next two and a half months so we can’t get to far behind to catch up.What is he drinking?Does he get extra pay to say those things?I just read it and never saw the interview but he had to be smiling when he said it.Nobody could say that and keep a straight face.

  13. The first part of his quote said he didn’t want to get back in to this game of playing the last two and half months to improve and learn.

  14. Bats just completed a 16 inning marathon. Hernan Iribarren pitched the final 3 innings for the win. Winker was 3-6 w/ 1-2B, 1-BB & 1-HBP. Iribarren was also 4-7 w/ 1-2B & 1-BB.

    I really like Iribarren and would love to see him playing in Cincinnati, but the 32-year-old Iribarren has probably seen his last time at the major league level since he is not on the 40-man rosterr and probably won’t be added, even for a September call up.

    Winker is making his case for a promotion to the show with a slash line of .317/.398/.407 for an .805 OPS. That .398 OPS would look very nice at the top of the lineup.

  15. Three seasons in a row of loosing streaks and bad pitching. I mean, is it really so hard to build-up a decent pitching staff?

    • I’m sure your question is sarcasm in the rhetorical form. Obviously, building a pitching staff is extremely difficult. Theo Epstein is really smart and has almost unlimited resources …..and he can’t consistently build a decent staff.

    • It’s maybe there. But three key arms have health issues. No team could have a quality SO rotation with that many on the DL continually.

  16. Ex Adleman, who has been OK, the starting pitching has been awful. It is the reason this team is not close to .500. That said, the Reds have too many holes on the roster to compete for a playoff spot. Hence, the rebuild must continue. The team has an abundance of middle infielders in the system and if we add Suarez to the group we will surely come up with a decent middle infield. If Senzel is the real deal we have a 3B. If he flops, we have Suarez. Votto will be Votto for another 2-4 years. We have several catchers in the minors. At least on of those will replace Mesoraco in 2019. Devin will be traded or leave as a free agent. The outfield is a problem. Schebler has the best chance to stay over the next 3-5 years. Duval and Hamilton will be gone. Billy has a chance to stay as a pinch runner and defensive replacement but it will probably be elsewhere. Winker will get his shot. The problem is no power, average defense, and below average speed. It is not a good look for a corner outfielder. The positive is his OBP. Reds need more outfield help. Could Suarez play CF? The pitching will take longer to fix. Hopefully some of the young guys show progress by 2019. The Reds need to get lucky here. Winning does take some luck. Epstein was lucky in his trades for Arrietta and Hendricks. Hopefully Mahle is the real deal. Bailey, Finnegan and DeSclafani can pitch. Garrett has good potential. Adleman can be a #5 starter. There is hope with the arms in the minors but they have to prove it.

    • Bailey, Finnegan and DeSclafani can pitch

      Except you didn’t factor in Homer’s pitch a week and skip a year plan or Disco’s pitch 4 months and skip 8. Finnegan is the wildcard? His stuff looked improved but then he got hurt as well. I think we need to find an affordable young starter somewhere thats had a little success in the big leagues or atleast a taste like Disco had w/Miami.

      If you combined Bailey, Finnegan, Disco, Reed, and Garrett then I would set the number at no more then 2 when it comes to steady starters that could put up 150+ innings with a competitive era. Thats why Dick Williams needs to look outside and get a guy or 2! Colorado’s top 5 average 3.83 era this year and they’re all home grown I think? I have no idea why the Reds can never manage anything like that? Its not like its easy to pitch in Colorado! Lorenzen and Peralta were both starters in 2015 and have great stuff but that makes too much sense! They’d rather keep them around for the 2-3 times a week when we’re actually still in the game in the mid-innings.

  17. It would be just great to see what we actually do have as starters but the last two years have been a nightmare because of the injuries.Sadly though we have wasted almost 3 months of sorting by giving Bronson and others 30 starts or more that should have gone to younger prospects.I am looking forward to the return of Homer and Finny just to see what that does to the rotation.Feldman and Adelman are at best league average and Amir holding down the other spot with his ups an downs is workable.Disco would be a big plus as well but I feel the Reds have blown this year and next on him by failing to do surgery.I am not a doctor but will he ever be right again unless he gets cut on?

  18. It is hard to develop a starting staff.The Cubs developed their position players and go out and buy starters(Lester,Arietta and Lackey) but two of these guys are really really struggling and Lester has lost 3 or 4 MPH on his fastball.Doesn’t matter though they will just go out and by what they need.We will have to develop both but we don’t seem to understand it takes time to develop young pitchers.We just throw them under the bus after a few starts and try another guy.We let Disco start 31 times in 2015 and Finny the same last year but this year we don’t seem to think that was a good idea.Maybe the dust will settle and we can see something that looks like a plan or better yet somebody may say what the plan is.

  19. I happened to be in the car when I heard Marty talking about Rose and Votto. My immediate thought was he was talking about Votto again. My thought after his comments was this: No player can be Pete Rose but also no player can be Joey Votto. Each does great things so you really can’t compare them

    • While a large number of people will tune in while driving to check the score, Marty’s core audience is a rapidly shrinking group of men above 70…. who listen on the radio because they’ve always listened on the radio and they don’t like change. They don’t care about WAR or ISO power…….they don’t want to be reminded again that they don’t actually understand baseball. They want batting averages and head first slides…..because 30 years ago that mattered. Marty is just playing to his audience.

      Rose represents a time when they were younger, the Reds were better and the world was perhaps structured more to their advantage. Votto is a Canadian who has played on mostly losing teams and walks too much.

  20. What do you expect when your SP is this pathetic? Team is hard to even watch now. I’d just as soon fast forward to September and get on with other sports. Another lost year for the Reds.

  21. It’s time for the Red’s front office to start dealing some players. Cozart to the Red Sox? Bogaerts moves to 3B. Or, Suarez to the Sox to play 3B? Scooter and Kivelahan can share 3B until Senzel is brought up later this season or next.

    Joey V. to the Yankees for a package. Please save your proclamations that he “has a no trade clause” and as said he “loves Cincinnati” and his “contract is too big.” I’ve heard all this said many, many times only to see the player except a trade and see a deal completed.

    Raisel Iglesias to any contender. He could be added to either the two previously mentioned teams or to the Nats, Astros or Dodgers.

    The time is now to start re-energizing the fan base and for DW to take the training wheels off and become a dealer. Playoff and Championship teams are made through the farm and through making adroit trades. It’s time for Mr. Williams to show us he can do both.

    • Trading most of your good players will energize the fan base? Energize it to take out the pitchforks and torches, perhaps.

          • Probably a contending team looking for a player capable of playing LF/1B/3B and who has contributed a .273/.315/.522 slash; 3rd in Hr’s; 1st in RBI’s for left fielders in MLB at this time; and plays a decent LF.

      • What’s the use of having good assets like Cozart, Votto, Iglesias, et al if they’re not going to be playing on a good Red’s team during their effective years?

        Why not trade them for other good, young assets who will have a higher probability of playing on a good Reds team while there is a demand for their positional, offensive and defensive talents?

      • The Braves did it; and, they are averaging 32% more fannies in the seats than the Reds this year.

        I guess they don’t have any pitchforks and torches in Atlanta.

      • Has it not been obvious that the Red’s front office has waited too long to pull the trigger on deals of “good” players in the past?

      • If the recent 9 game losing skid and the inability of the front office to do something about the starting rotation and other elements that are lacking on this roster haven’t energized the fan base to bring out the “pitchforks and torches” nothing ever will.

  22. Cozart is injured….couldn’t get to a ball that was 3 ft away from him yesterday. They won’t get much for him. Schebler is only 26 so maybe they could get something there? Next year feels hopeless at this point? Maybe 2019 with Senzel, Castillo, and Mahle.

  23. A hunch: if Votto was from Tennessee and talked all the time about religion and/or hound dogs, Marty (and the rest of the Votto haters) would love him. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think so. I’d hate to see him leave, but I would totally understand if one day he just had enough and worked out a way to play the final stretch of his career with Toronto.

    Thoughts on the season so far: I have no optimism for this team, and haven’t since the start of the year. I have no plans to go to GABP, but my husband and I have picked up a three-game ticket package with the Louisville Bats instead. Cheaper, much closer to us, and the games are a lot more fun. Starting Arroyo just seems like the team is giving a big ol’ middle finger to the fans. It’s Jason Marquis all over again, only I think Jason Marquis was gone by this part of the 2015 season. (Looking at stats online, it seems he only played in nine games, and actually had a lower ERA than Arroyo does now.)

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