Titanic Struggle Recap

Strong pitching nets series, road trip winning record

This is how it’s supposed to work. Strong starting pitching followed by a shutdown bullpen. Following that precise recipe yesterday and today produced a series win against the Arizona Diamondbacks and — no kidding — a winning road trip.

The Reds enter the All-Star Game break with a 39-49 record. That’s good for last place in the NL Central, 9.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers. Last year, the Reds were 32-57 at the break.

Starting Friday, the Reds begin a difficult 10-game home stand. They play the Washington Nationals, Arizona Diamondbacks and Miami Marlins. Bryan Price has announced the starting pitcher rotation will be Luis Castillo and Tim Adleman in some order the first two games, then Homer Bailey on Sunday followed by Scott Feldman and Sal Romano.

Cincinnati Reds 2  Arizona Diamondbacks 1 || Box || Play Log || Statcast

Homer Bailey‘s thrice-repaired elbow is holding so far. He pitched 6.2 innings, with his fastball at 94-95 mph consistently. It reached 97 mph once in the 6th inning. Bailey struck out five but also walked four. He gave up a solo home run to A.J. Pollock in the 3rd inning.

Bailey worked out of extreme trouble in the 6th inning with the help of a great defensive play. After Paul Goldschmidt singled, Bailey walked Jake Lamb. Chris Owings grounded a hit between short and third, but a charging Adam Duvall fired a strike to Tucker Barnhart, cutting down Goldschmidt at the plate. With runners at second and third, Bailey struck out the next two hitters, preserving the 2-1 lead. Bailey also got a K for the third out of the 5th inning with a runner on second. Back-to-back strong outings for Bailey on the road trip.

Michael Lorenzen entered the game at a moment of great drama — with two outs in the 7th inning and two runners on base, facing Paul Goldschmidt. Lorenzen didn’t throw a single fastball in the 8-pitch battle, striking out Goldschmidt on an 88-mph slider. Huge confrontation victory for the Reds reliever. Lorenzen then pitched a shutout 8th. Raisel Iglesias retired the D-Backs in order in the 9th, striking out two. It marked the second day of exceptional bullpen work.

Homer Bailey (!) and Jose Peraza (!!) were the only Reds with 2 hits. They scored on singles by Joey Votto and Scott Schebler.

Peraza has gone 169 plate appearances without a walk, dating back to the first inning on May 21. Eugenio Suarez has walked 26 times since then. Joey Votto has done so 30 times. Peraza has also not hit a double since May.

#FreeWinker. Another missed opportunity to give major league experience to one of the top prospects in the system. Rotating days off for Duvall, Schebler and Billy Hamilton could have given Jesse Winker three games of playing time. Winker pinch hit in the 9th and grounded out.

Two players from Reds minor league affiliates took part in the MLB Futures Game this afternoon at Marlins Park in Miami. Nick Senzel (AA-Pensacola) started for the US team at 3B and went 1-for-3 with a single and RBI. Reliever Jimmy Herget (AAA-Louisville) was also on the American team roster and pitched a clean 8th inning.

82 thoughts on “Strong pitching nets series, road trip winning record

  1. Glad for Homer.Lorenzen competed… striking out Goldschmidt on a 3-2 slider with the game on the line…..really good… go reds.

  2. So great to see Homer and Luis both string two quality starts together on the road. If they stay healthy, they’re going to set the tone for the rotation.

  3. This road trip against two good teams to me is indicative of where this team stands when it has decent starting pitching. If they have that the rest of this year and opening 2018, they are ready to compete. I’m not saying this is the next GREAT Reds team, but the starting lineup, bench and bullpen ARE components of the next GOOD Reds team (over .500, competitive and possibly a contender). Like some of you, Duvall and Schebler have really opened my eyes this season, both offensively and defensively. Hamilton is likely going to get the remainder of this season to show that he belongs in the starting outfield next to those two in 2018.

    I’m not saying we should consider this team a contender this year. If they win about 15 in a row, we might reconsider that. The mid-June swoon accounts for the 10 games under .500. They’re not good enough yet to put together a streak to counteract that.

    It’s not a perfect team by any means, but it certainly isn’t nearly as bad as last year’s. There has been progress made to this point. If they can get a haul for Iglesias, I say go for it for reasons some of you have mentioned previously — he has an injury history, and closers are replaceable. (There are about three other candidates on the current major league roster.)

    If Bailey and Castillo keep pitching like they have been and avoid injury, it would be a great 1-2 start for the rotation in 2018.

    • This is a very good 50 loss team, one of the best I can remember.

      They probably don’t have a 10 game win streak in them, not without another healthy starter like Disco. But Steve alluded to it with the tough 10 game home stand out of the break – this team’s schedule was front loaded with contenders.

      –> After that initial home stand, the Reds are slated for 15 games out of their last 64 against team above the .500 mark <–

      That 6 against the beatable Brewers and three at home against the Red Sox late and three right away with the Indians/Yanks. No more Dodgers or Nats, in fact only the Padres out of the NL West left.

      I could see this team finishing strong and at or near .500. That would a yuuuuge moral win for this team.

      • In some regards, it’s even better than that because, apart from The Brewers, all of the strong clubs are focused into July – Nats, D-Backs, Yankees.. August and September will essentially be all division games. Three non-division series in August but it’s SD (here), Braves, Mets (here) and in September the only non-divisionals are Mets (away) and Boston (here). Given the state of play in NL Central, that’s about as favorable a run-in as one could hope for.

        • Dotto. I had the same mindset regarding Bailey until he appear on the major league hump and began to pitch effectively. If and whern Disco and Finnegan appear on the major league hump and begin to pitch effectively, I’ll start factoring them into the starting pitching options or bullpen options.

    • I agree with your assessment Tom. The hope that I have though is that the FO doesn’t get to overly excited this year and become buyers at the that trade deadline and try to shortcut the rebuild. This is a better team than las year but has a way to go yet. Let’s be patient with our young starters. I still have hope for Garrett, Stephenson, and Reed. I am beginning to think though that Price needs to be replaced.

  4. And the save goes to Iglesias. Nope, not to me. The save goes to Lorenzen. Getting Goldschmidt was the key. Amazing.

    At what point do we think Duvall is what he has shown this year, and not a guy overdue for a regression? I guess we find out after the All-Star break, since he struggled in the second half of last year, but geez. He does it at the plate, in the field, he is under team control through the 2021 season. It gets harder and harder for me to consider trading him to break a logjam in the outfield..

    • Tending to agree here. The regression really hasn’t happened yet. I think he wore down last year so don’t necessarily think we’ll see a 2nd half letdown this year. He’ll have a slump or 2, all players do, but not really a letdown.

  5. So do the Nats want Iggy wearing a Wishbone C and pitching against the Nats after the break or wearing a Script W and pitching against the Reds after the break?

    Interesting how the schedule shakes out…

    • They won’t include Turner so I wouldn’t discuss it unless Adam Eaton is in the discussion! They can afford to lose him because they’re already scoring a ton of runs! He’s a solid player that puts up .360 obp every year!

  6. Wow wouldn’t that be great to have a guy with a .360 obp at the top of the lineup.Joey would be doing back flips.We haven’t had a guy like that since Choo.

  7. Reds Reporter says the Nationals farm system is a bit barren after “stud OF prospect Victor Robles, decent RHP Erick Fedde”.
    https://www.redreporter.com/2017/7/6/15929214/raisel-iglesias-trade-rumors-washington-nationals-cincinnati-reds

    Maybe those two and Eaton for an Iggy & BHam package makes some sense. Eaton is out for the season and the guy they replaced him with just went on the DL with an oblique strain. Since Eaton is out for the year, the Reds could see how well Winker hits as a regular in the line-up for the remainder of 2017 with Billy gone.

    Eaton is a CF signed at reasonable salaries through 2019 with team options for 2020 & 2021. Here’s his contract status according to Cots:
    18:$6M, 19:$8.4M, 20:$9.5M club option ($1.5M buyout), 21:$10.5M club option ($1.5M buyout

    The Reds would have a high OBP CF for a number of years with a 20 year old Robles at A+ working his way up.

      • Exactly and he wasn’t a good CF to begin with, although he was passable. The Nats aquired him for one reason, his ability to get on base and hit at the top of the lineup to set the table for their mashers. They also needed that individual to play a passable CF. They gave up a lot to aquire Eaton and everything worked as planned until Eaton blew out his ACL. His knee will effect his defense and his offense until (if) he fully recovers and that could be another year.

  8. Trea Turner broke his wrist last week and is out indefinitely. Maybe the Reds can finish helping out the Nationals by including Cozart in the package for Turner.

      • When you say “a RP” you’re lumping Iglesias in with, say, Blake Wood. That’s not accurate or fair. If it were, everyone wouldn’t be saying we should get Robles for Iglesias.

        Iglesias is an elite closer with an elite arm and pitching arsenal, who happens to be young, affordable and controllable for 3-4 more years after this one. I wouldn’t trade him for anyone less than Trea Turner, although I could be talked into Adam Eaton. I’d throw in Cozart to help bridge the season for the Nationals. I’d say there in win now mode. Make the trade offer, see what happens.

  9. Good for Homer and the Reds. I hope he can keep the competitor in himself calm this summer. The goal is to be healthy come October, and thus next spring. No one cares if we win 74 or 80.

    One thought with the Iggy trade would be to exchange Iggy and (insert prospect) to get Robles and (insert prospect, presumably lower than ours) to offset. While depth at multiple levels in the farm system is always crucial, I’m not sure we need quantity from the Iggy trade, as much as that single gem that could be a pillar. Robles is such a perfect fit for us (and most organizations) as he satisfies both the “fastest guy in the dugout” mindset but can also hit and get on base!

  10. Billy Hamilton was 0 for 5 today with 3 strikeouts. 4 of his plate appearances were against LHP, 3 of those resulted in K’s.

    For all the #FreeLorenzen and #FreeWinker mentions, when #HamiltonBenchedvsLHP becomes a reality, that will be a marker that the Reds are serious about contending and no longer sorting.

    Good teams, contending teams, teams with aspirations just don’t keep running a guy, especially in the leadoff spot, that clearly can’t hit from one side of the plate.

    The sooner the Reds start trialing a platoon partner for him, the better.

    • I don’t foresee Hamilton succeeding in the long run as a lead-off hitter, he just does not have high OBP skills, nevertheless above average speed, glove and arm, that’s 3 out of 5 tools. Compared to Winker, he just carries high OBP skills with no power, no speed, average glove and below average arm. Tough decision.

      • It’s really one tool which is superhuman speed feeding the glove. The arm is better than anyone knew but people were expecting Juan Pierre out there, I think. I agree.

        Next year, he is a 9 hole hitter in a Joe Madden/La Russa lineup and I perhaps a sometime lead off guy against right handers only.

        This year is all about opportunities for him and Peraza and everyone else.

    • He also made a great catch, and the fielder’s choice that led to the stolen base and the run wasn’t a hit because of an exceptional play by the shortstop. Billy has shortcomings, but ignoring what he does well is as disingenuous as Marty’s dissing Votto for taking so many walks. Anyway, the starting pitching has been the problem this year, not the offense.

      • His catch in cf was great and chase dimensions are odd….407 straight across fir an expanded area…. with sharp direct angle to the lines.

        I can’t help but think his defensive value…and overall value is significantly great on a cavernous park. Too many balls at gabp are simply home runs.

        • Many of them are homers, yes, but the gaps are same in every park. Also, in GABP he can play shallower because there isn’t as much space to cover behind him and, of course, he plays half of his games on the road.

    • Why not? It actually looks like we have a starting rotation at last. None of the other younguns have yet to pitch themselves into it and Adleman out of it.

      Welcome back, Homer!

  11. Billy Hamilton should be leading off & playing cf vs all rhp. His .255 AVG & .326 OBP are acceptable considering his fine baserunning & defensive skills. However to continue to run him out there vs lhp is just a redundant mismatch. 92 AB & no walks? .207 AVG & OBP? 9 runs scored? 5 stolen bases? Those stats are just not acceptable for a leadoff hitter. Williams needs to find a right -handed hitting centerfielder to platoon with Hamilton, or trade him. He’s not going to suddenly get better vs lefties after 3 1/2 ML seasons.

  12. Amazing what difference some real starting pitching makes. If this trip had been three weeks ago with no Bailey, Romano, or Castillo, do the Reds win even a single game of the six? So DW (and B.Price), finish the job by giving Reed and Stephenson a real chance to succeed at the MLB level.

    • Stephenson>Adleman. There’s a good chance Bob Steve flames out but he’s done everything they’ve asked of him in Lville. 3.15 era, 0.90 whip, 37 Ks/12 walks in 34 innings. Adleman is just a mediocre gatekeeper and they could shift him to middle reliever.

    • Castillo is now in the Baseball America top 100 prospects mid season update. Senzel is 9… Hunter Greene is 70.

      Corbin had a nice outing for the dbacks.tough lefty.

      I really like Romano because of his size and easy effort as a starter
      Castillo obviously looks good
      Homer is continuing what would be a remarkable comeback.
      Disco is on schedule to return in a month.

      I’d like a lefty in the rotation .I think it helps in a series. Reed appears the only credible threat. I hope he can be a starter in August and September.

      • I agree with you about having a lefty in the rotation. Thats always a nice option to have for a manager when they’re going into a series versus a team full of lefty hitters!

        I think Garrett is a little ahead of Reed although they’re both 4th-5th starter types imo. I still believe in Finnegan, but of course his injuries cloud his future. He made some progress in the 2nd half last year and he’s still very young! Other options of course include keeping Feldman around as an insurance policy. Jackson Stephens and Stephenson as well. Stephens surprised me with pretty good stuff in that start vs the Cubs.

  13. It is truly a year of sorting and If Billy and Peraza play everyday that’s ok. But if it were me making the decisions I would get us much playing time as possible for Winker and Scooter because I would want to know what Winker could do as well as Scooter.Will Winker get on base at a ,340 or better clip and will Scooter continue his break out season.I think the Reds need to find out because we know Billy after 4 years and we know so far after an almost full year what Peraza needs to work on.I will say if both continue doing what they have done so far(Winker and Scooter) then the more they play the better we are offensively.Its a tough call but you have to find out don’t you?

    • Simple answer, yes. Jesse Winker and Scooter Gennett seem to have been omitted from the sorting process in favor of preconceived options.

      Hamilton and Peraza were plugged in from the start and they appear destined to be granted the full season at the expense of any other sorting that might surplant them. I believe the plan going in was to determine if duvall or Schebler would step forward to possibly claim a a starting role or a platoon role going forward. Then something happened on the way to the forum and both Duvall abnd Schebler laid iron-clad claims to starting OF positions. Scooter was brought in as a reasonably cost-effective LH bench option. Then something else happened on the way to the forum and Gennett exploded offensively, with his performance demanding more playing time and consideration for a more permanent role on the roster.

      Fortunately for the Reds decision makers (DW?…BP?) and Scooter, Cozart’s quad injury created an immediate opportunity to simply plug in Gennett for more playing time without limiting the playing time for Peraza. Winker has not been so fortunate. The Reds do not seem incluned to grant Winker any regular or significant playing time at the major league level and risk creating a situation where their preconceived notions might be jeopardized.

      Winker may not produce offensively at the majoe league level as he has throughout his minor league career, but we certainly won’t find out in 2017 what Winker can or can’t do at the major league level. Gennett may or may not be the beneficiary of sample sizes and a timely hot streak, but ar not going to risk their preconceived alternatives in 2017 to find out for sure.

      • Where are you going to play Winker? I’m all for giving him a shot, but where? Schebler to CF seems only reasonable option for Winker to get playing time, but then the Reds aren’t winning anything that matters w Schebler as the starting CF. So….where does the PT come from?

        • That’s the question I’ve been asking as well. I get why they want to see Winker up but I’m struggling to figure out where he’d play. A rotation has been suggested and that could perhaps work to get Winker regular time if he’s up for the short term but I’d be really annoyed if I were Duvall or Schebler and I was told I would have Winker rotated in taking about 25% of my starts from me over the course of half a season. All players could use a little rest from time to time but it’s hard to justify a player losing 25% of his playing time for a reason that isn’t directly tied to that player’s non-performance. It’s just a lot harder to do that than it might appear, from a “people” standpoint.

          • Good point, LW. I was/am in favor of the outfield rotation, but I think that you’re probably right. It might be reasonable to give each regular a day off from time to time, but that wouldn’t result in lots of playing time for Winker. Too bad he can’t play any other positions.

          • Some people will respond “Well, the manager can tell them that’s how it’s going to be.” and that’s a valid argument. By doing that however, I think you just start to build resentment up in the players. Maybe that’s ok, as most players aren’t signing at discount rates anyway, so what does the fact that a player may resent you have to do with anything? All I know, is that wouldn’t be my management style.

  14. Senzel barreled up the first pitch to him, lining it to CF. It was a FB belt high, a little inside. This kid’s a hitter. Tell Mr. Suarez not to sign a long lease.

  15. I agree with you Old Cossack.Obviously either Schebler or Duvall were going to play so bad that it would open up a spot for Winker but we know which outfielder(hint he is in his 4th year) hasn’t improved over previous years.Problem I have with as you stated the preconceived options is that what Scott,Adam and Scooter have done are in fact good things.So lets address the not so good and most of the time bad things.Scooter gets some playing time because of the Cozy injury but Winker does not.In comparing this situation to the way the young pitchers were handled its to say the least very very inconsistent.We play Peraza and Billy every day regardless of how they perform and they can use whatever data they want to use to determine that because neither can hit or get on base.While the young pitchers get few starts or in case of Reed and Stephensen no starts.Performance counts for some,performance doesn’t count for some and others don’t get to perform so does that count or not.Wait a minute Winker did perform but in the minors.Does that count as a good or bad or not performing at all.I’m confused.Maybe I can get a job with the Reds,

    • You must not have been watching Billy for the last 2+ weeks.
      .288/.354
      He had missed games previously because of shoulder, hip, thumb, and back injuries. They weren’t deemed serious, but enough to probably affect him during his struggles after a very good start.

  16. I don’t know whats up with Suarez? He can look so natural spraying the ball from line to line but then he can go a month and rarely seem to hit the ball the other way? He hit a long HR to right-center on the last homestand and I thought that might get him going? He’s drawing walks and that’s a good sign. I still think there is a .280 hitter with 25 HR power in there somewhere? Someone wrote a few weeks ago that Senzel might force Suarez back to shortstop. That might make the most sense if they lose Cozart. He could also be sort of a Scooter/Ben Zobrist type of super-utility guy. He could man 3rd til Senzel arrives then platoon at 2b with Scooter and also back up Cozart which equals atleast 2 starts a week. Work in a little OF like Scooter as well. Peraza is young but I’d give up on him in a heartbeat before I thought about losing Suarez!

    • I thought the same about Suarez when he launched that oppo homer. Cowboy said his bat is straight up in his stance when he was going good. When he’s bad he has it looped past upright towards the pitcher

  17. For the 2nd half, beginning with the 1st game after the all star break and continuing through game 162…

    Hamilton starts 75% of the games in CF
    Winker starts 75% of the games as a corner OF
    Duvall starts 75% of the games as a corner OF
    Schebler starts 50% of the games as a corner OF & 25% of the games as a CF

    Gennett starts 2/3 of the games at 2B, including 100% of the games against RHP
    Herrera starts 1/3 of the games at 2B
    Peraza starts 1/2 of the games at SS
    Cozart starts 1/2 of the games at SS

    Hamilton and Peraza have had 3 mont6hs to establish themselves as key performers for the Reds future. They have failed to do so, but they still get at least 50% of the playing time to continue to prove their value going forward.

    Duvall and Schebler simply deserve to play, but sacrifice some playing time in the effort to find out what Winker can do with regular playing time at the major league level. Winker hits leadoff in any and every game he starts, for no other reason than to maximize his PA since he’s been completely shut out during the 1st half of the season.

    Alcantara is out of options and is on the 25-man and 40-man rosters. Who cares! DFA Alcantara and bring up Herrera to strictly platoon at 2B. Herrera’s playing well and appears healthy. Let’s see what he can do. Scooter has a massive platoon split. If he’s going to be a factor going forward, his role will almost certainly be restricted to a platoon situation.

    • Nothing is going to happen with Winker unless someone gets hurt. If Arroyo had a 5.00 era then Castillo would still be in AA. That’s just how they roll.

    • Yeah…none of that is going to happen. Scooter is about the only guy that needs to play 80 percent of the time. Dilson H has only been hitting good for the last month. Winker is slugging less than at AAA. Let those guys come up in Sept.

      • It’s not like Herrera has has just finally figured AAA out for the last month. Herrera is 23 years old and has 1092 AAA PA with a slash line of 289/.345/.459/.804. So he’s basically just returned to hitting like we know he can after two bad months.

        • I keep telling people that Herrera can really hit but there seem to be a lot of people that think he’s a crap hitter based on his slow start this year and injuries. It’s maddening.

    • I would let Duvall play 2 games a month at first base before or after an off day…give joey 2 for the price of one day off rest…he’s not Superman….at least I don’t think.

    • I just think that as a player, especially Duvall or Schebler, I’d be freaking SEETHING if I had worked my tail off to get where I was and then was told I’d be seeing 25% less playing time, and I was performing very well at the MLB level, playing every day.

  18. Billy is what he is in 4 years in the big leagues.This year he is right at his career numbers of a 245 average and a .297obp.Sure he has good stretches and he will have more but the data is what it is.I love him and he has game changing speed and brings elite defense.He just doesn’t get on base enough and is second on the team in strikeouts with no power.As mentioned he does get those injuries that I am sure does effect him because he is a little guy.I am cool with letting him play every game the rest of the way then we can have this same conversation again in year 5 at twice the cost since his salary is expected to double if I remember correctly.Like I said earlier.Performance counts then it doesn’t then it does.Some get more chances some don’t get any.Old Cossack I do like your plan to help get everybody some playing time.You obviously put in the time because you know and see the value in it.

    • I agree with you guys. This is a season for discovery and we’re more then halfway home and yet we have zero information on whether Jesse Winker can hit big league pitching? Billy is what he is. Adleman is what he is. Lets find time for the youngsters and see how they do. Jackson Stephens did pretty well (allowed 3 & drove in 2) vs the Cubs. Give him some more starts w/the Reds.

      I get that Price wants to win to keep his job and that they’re still in the divisional race in theory but they don’t even follow that path with conviction either? For example: We had a 1 run lead yesterday and 4 days off after that but Price managed like he’s got 10 more games in 10 days? He pushed Bailey towards 100 pitches with the whole pen ready to go. It took a miracle assist from Duvall and then Bailey was clearly tired in the 7th but Price left him for 2 walks. We were very fortunate that Arizona didn’t atleast tie the game.

      I will say that I feel pretty good about Dick Williams, although he would’ve looked like an imbecile (and HG as well) if we lost that crazy game of chicken with Hunter Greene.

      • Last time Tim Adleman started a game there were 12 sp that day which did not get to the 5th inning & 2 more only pitched 5 innings. So about half of the starting pitchers that day got no farther than Adleman. The Reds will probably have a very young rotation for the next couple years and need Adleman around.

        • I’d rather keep Feldman around if they feel like they need an insurance policy. He doesn’t give up HRs like Adleman. If they trade Feldman and keep Adleman then thats ok too, but they have enough good arms and keeping Adleman means a fail in scouting and development! Either way….this season they need to test these young guys like Bob Steve, Stephens, Garrett, Reed, Mahle, etc. Adleman is in the way of that.

    • Cozart turns out to be not what he was when we had all given up on his ever being a productive hitter. People are capable of change. If/when the Reds have a better option for centerfield, the choice will be obvious. For all of the strikeouts and lack of power, Billy is second on the team in runs, and he’s now in his second streak of getting on base decently this season, which indicates that he can be better than he is at his worst.

    • Ok, not a huge Hamilton fan but here’s my take on this..Hamilton has value because his defense is really that good. He simply has no business hitting 1st. He should probably hit 9th (pitcher 8th)… I think the drop-off over several games of having Schebler in CF instead of Hamilton would be worse than the benefit of Winker’s hitting over Hamilton’s.

  19. I’m overseas and in a huge time lag but I wanted to throw this out there: Billy Hamilton ranks approximately 15th in the NL in runs scored. Part of that is because he gets a lot of plate appearances. Most is because when he gets in he scores at a higher rate than just about anyone else. I’m fine with Hamilton leading off against RHP. From the right side though, another story entirely.

    • Votto hits 3rd and the NLs leader in extra basehits is behind him. 15th is terrible for Billy. I was once a big Drew Stubbs fan and I remember everyone piling on him and he was like 6th in the NL in runs at the time.

        • This has been explored before. Reds have been insistent that he remains a switch-hitter. The thing is, in this scenario, he’d actually be giving up hitting from his natural side. He was drafted as a RH hitter. So, I’m guessing that’s why the Reds may not seriously consider it. I think I can understand that. Trying to face LHP as a LH hitter who’s never seen a LHP as a LH hitter sounds like something that would be excruciatingly difficult.

  20. No doubt about it when Billy gets on he does score and sometimes its only because it just takes a ground ball or a fly ball to score him.He is a game changer and I like him but not in the lead off spot and not every day.He is what 4 years of data say he is but Winker needs to play some so we can find out about him.Like I said I am good with him playing every day and I said back in April if he gets on base at a 320 or 330 clip its a no brainer that you resign him to an extension.An article was written on here and asked the question as to if he had turned the corner.One writer responded that if you try 4 times to turn a corner then don’t you end up right back to where you are at?I believe it was Steve and he is exactly right so here we are in year 4 and half way through and Billy is right at his 4 year average of 297obp.So again it is what it is.The reality is are we better with him or without him and unless others get a chance then we just don’t know.Just move him out of the lead off spot and bat him 9th is good enough for me.Getting the most at bats is just insane the way he hits and gets on base.Billy’s season and career have been like a roller coaster and personally platooning him will probably give us the good Billy more then the bad Billy.He can stay fresher and the nagging injuries he gets from playing every day may not happen as much.

  21. There have been multiple suggestions on this page of how to deal with Hamilton’s complete failure at the plate vs. LHP.

    What I am wondering is…..if the Reds thought they were truly ready to compete for a playoff spot, wouldn’t they already be trying some of the above suggestions, to improve the offensive output from CF? Moving Hamilton down, etc. are the kinds of fine tuning a team does to get over the line, squeezing out efficiencies to get into the playoffs.

    I think the answer to the question (which would make a fascinating article and discussion, IMO)…”Do the Reds Think They Can Win in 2018?” is no. Which, I am fine with. They still have to get several things nailed down, and have not (yet?) shown an interest to spend with the expected contenders in the National League.

    I just wonder what the reaction will be in Reds Country (and here) if Dick Williams announces in December that 2018 is the real season of sorting.

  22. Next year will be another year of sorting because not much as happened this year.Injuries may be to blame but they still wasted the first half by not giving the young starters a chance to pitch instead using guys that have no future here.Several reasons have been given on this site as to why and all are reasonable but it doesn’t change things.To try to find 5 starters and a bullpen when we have an abundance of guys with great arms would seem to be easy enough however what do we know.We have given a few guys a few starts and have made a very quick decision on them as to what they can do or not do.Others haven’t even got a chance.Having a stable of young power arms is a luxury but you have to give them a legitimate chance to pitch.After the second half is over will we have one or two guys that will be penciled in as starters next year to join Homer and Disco and Finny if all are healthy.If we do it will be based on a very small sample size and it didn’t have to be that way at all.We carried an extra pitcher because are starters were terrible yet none of them were viewed as part of the future.We could have done the same thing with 2 or 3 young guys and gave them all 15 or more starts just in the first half alone

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