2017 Reds

A Second-Half Plan for the Reds

[This post was written by loyal Nation member, Warren Leeman, a regular commenter under the name Shchi Cossack. We asked Warren to elaborate on a comment he made a couple days ago. And he did! Thanks, Warren!]

Paging Jesse Winker … Jesse Winker, please …

OK, let’s get the disclaimers out of the way right off the top. The Old Cossack has been a Jesse Winker fan since his first year playing full season ball for the Dayton Dragons in 2013. That hasn’t changed. I have never viewed Winker as the savior for the Reds. More that Winker represented what the prior Walt Jocketty regime failed to recognize or fully value, the ability to get on base with extraordinary capability. Players like Joey Votto and Ryan Hanigan were undervalued. In fact, the Reds organization did everything to try and force all prospects, including those three, to forego getting on base in favor of home runs.

Jesse Winker career minor league: .297/.397/.447/.844

Jesse Winker AAA: .303/.393/.397/.780

Winker suffered a significant wrist injury while playing at AA and reaggravated it while playing at AAA. This coincided with a significant drop in power (.151 ISO at AA in 2015). Winker’s best power production also coincided with his play at Bakersfield in the PCL (.263 ISO at A+ in 2014), a league known for hitting.

It’s now 2017 and the Jocketty regime has been replaced by the beginnings of the Dick Williams regime atop the Reds Baseball Operations, so enough with the disclaimers.

Billy Hamilton was plugged in as the starting CF and anointed the leadoff hitter going into 2014, despite having just one season in AAA.

Billy Hamilton AAA (2013): .256/.308/.343/.651

Hamilton has maintained the same offensive production at the plate over the next 4 seasons at the major league level.

2014: .250/.292/.355/.648

2015: .226/.274/.289/.563

2016: .260/.321/.343/.664

2017: .242/.296/.321/.617

Career MLB: .247/.297/.331/.628

This is Billy Hamilton. An MLB player with elite speed, elite CF defense, elite base running, susceptibility to injury and lack of on-base skills and power.

In 2016, Adam Duvall had an exceptional first half and subpar second half while Scott Schebler had an abysmal first half and spectacular second half. Going into 2017, the Reds had a simple request, “Will the real Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler, please stand up?” Despite skepticism from numerous critics and detractors, Duvall and Schebler stepped up in the most glorious fashion, fully demonstrating on the field that they belonged as starting corner OF. They have nothing left to prove at this point. The results caught the Reds by surprise and somewhat unprepared regarding Jesse Winker, their designated next-man-up when one or both of the corner OF stumbled.

The Reds now have ample evidence for what to expect from Billy Hamilton and significant evidence for what to expect from Duvall and Schebler. The Reds have no information regarding what to expect from Winker at the major league level and a tough situation to balance and resolve if they intend to find out. Duvall and Schebler have earned playing time. They do not deserve to have it significantly reduced to accommodate the unproven Winker. On the other hand, Billy Hamilton has proven to be a flawed hitter and his playing time could be reduced to accommodate Winker.

Problem: Winker does not play CF.

In similar fashion, Jose Peraza was anointed a starting middle IF (temporarily at 2B) heading into the 2017 season. Then the Reds picked up Scooter Gennett off waivers as a reasonably cost-effective LH bench option. Then 2017 went haywire. Zack Cozart and Scooter Gennett played out of their ever-loving minds while Peraza tanked.

IF (he said IF) the Reds want to use the second half of 2017 as a season for sorting to determine the BEST options for 2018 and the future, here’s how they could accomplish that goal:

Beginning with the first game after the All Star break and continuing through game 162:

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

Scooter Gennett starts at 2B against RHP
Dilson Herrera starts at 2B against LHP
Jose Peraza starts 1/2 of the games at SS
Zack Cozart starts 1/2 of the games at SS

Billy Hamilton and Jose Peraza have failed to establish themselves as key performers for the Reds future. But my proposal still gives them 50% of the playing time to prove their value.

Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler deserve to play, but for the good of the organization, must sacrifice playing time in the effort to find out what Winker can do at the major league level.

Jesse Winker should hit leadoff in every game he starts, for no other reason than to maximize his plate appearances. He’s been completely shut out during the 1st half of the season. Eugenio Suarez can lead off whenever Winker does not start and can hit second otherwise. Zack Cozart and Jose Peraza are additional options for the #2 hole.

Votto locks down the #3 hole and plays as much as possible during the second half on his way to a possible MVP performance on a last place Reds team.

Adam Duvall anchors the clean spot with Schebler and Cozart covering the #5 & #6 holes in the lineup. The catcher covers the #7 hole and Hamilton bats ninth for the majority of the games. Peraza can be moved to ninth when Hamilton doesn’t start.

Arismendy Alcantara is out of options and is on the 25-man and 40-man rosters. Who cares! DFA Alcantara and bring up Dilson Herrera to platoon at 2B. Herrera is 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 playing against RH starting pitchers. Herrera should start against every LH starting pitcher.

IF the Reds choose to not utilize the second half of 2017 to determine the best options for 2018 and the future, then Jesse Winker should stays in AAA and quit riding the Louisville shuttle to Cincinnati. Winker has options left and still has questions regarding his power as a corner OF. He does not need to become a HR threat, but he does need to hit with more authority and prove he can maintain a .150 ISO as a doubles machine.

80 thoughts on “A Second-Half Plan for the Reds

  1. Good stuff. A lot of good ideas. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Reds try some of this out. I think trading Cozart, Feldman, and some of the relievers (Storen, Wood, maybe Cingrani) would open up a lot of room for sorting in the 2nd half.

  2. My money is on Dilson Herrera getting traded this deadline, or at the latest this winter. Dilson and a very nice package of ????? are going to get the Reds a #1 starter for 2018 and beyond. Well, at least a #1 starter for the Reds, it just has to be better than Feldman.

  3. The RedSox are dumping third baseman overboard like their ship is on fire. Jhonny Peralta yesterday and Pablo Sandoval today.
    What could the Reds extract from Boston for Eugenio Suarez?? Is Suarez again this year with another slump and power outage, a tradable commodity or a keeper? Suarez and the green monster, hmmm.

    • Suarez to me is a keeper unless the Red Sox lose their minds and offer something you can’t say no to. To me, that would have to be more than what the Cubs gave for Quintana, because Suarez is an everyday player and one of the better third basemen in the NL.

      • I know what you are saying. But say that the Reds are enamored with Herrera. And a market doesn’t really open up or Cozart. What then?
        It is, though, that Suarez is quietly becoming the Reds new Jay Bruce at the plate regarding streakiness and disappearing for spells at a time. Two straight years now. Suarez has had two late springs now where he has gone quiet. Last year he hit 10 HR’s in the first 4-5 weeks then had 8 weeks or so of mostly .200 hitting. This year he had a good opening April and May, but has really cooled off losing almost .100 BA points since end of May. The other side of the coin is he rebounded for decent to good 3 months after it happened last year. He very could do the same this year.
        I like Suarez, don’t get me wrong. Not looking to just dump him.
        But there is something to the adage of striking while the iron is hot. And there is a need on a contending team. And on a contending team that is a big spender. And a big spender that has shown the willingness to part with very good prospects to fill their needs.
        I don’t know how Suarez’s service time stacks up though. How much time did he get credited for with the Tigers in 2014 and his first year in Cincinnati in 2015? I don’t know if he would be arbitration eligible this winter. That might possibly become a factor too for the Reds.
        In return for Suarez, the Reds would get INF Rafael Devers. Then let Senzel, Devers, and Herrera battle it out for the 3B and 2B positions in September 2017 and spring 2018.
        Another factor with the RedSox, Suarez wouldn’t cost the RedSox much towards the luxury tax threshold for 2017 and certainly for 2018. That might be important to Boston and worth dealing Devers for them. Devers isn’t quite ready for Boston in 2017. Sometime in 2018. For the Reds tough, tat could be beginning of 2018.
        That also is one year of the Chris Sale window gone in 2017 and one year left in 2018 for which to go for it. I don’t see Boston paying 2 starting pitchers $31M+ each to re-sign Sale. Maybe they re-sign Sale and trade David Price if they could find a taker.
        Boston and Suarez might be a good fit. And Senzel and Devers could be a good fit in the Reds very near future lineup.

        • I was critical of Suarez last year, but became a believer this year. That guy is nails in the field.

          So much so that he is a hold if I am GM and becomes my future SS over Peraza, who I send down to AAA to relearn the strike zone and develop a MLB approach.

          I do not trade Suarez now. Early this year when his performance was off the charts, that is when I trade him if we have a ML SS who can take his place.

          I would think that we could get a ton for Duvall. An All Star in 2016, and a key performer in a year when every critic has said “Prove It” to Adam.

          He has

      • Gotta agree with you. I keep Suarez unless the phone rings and the offer is something too good to pass up. Yes, he is slumping but he’s still getting on base. He is still taking his walks. Also, he’ll heat up again and go on another run. His defense at 3B has a lot of value and it’s not out of the question that he could man SS or 2B in the future. I wouldn’t move him (defensively) but I’d understand the reasoning for moving him if it happens.

  4. Nice article. A couple of questions. Jose Peraza an additional option for the #2 hole? In front of Joey? Really? Except when Turner is catching Peraza should bat no earlier than #8. Any thoughts as to how to sort out the catcher situation?

    • “Any thoughts as to how to sort out the catcher situation?”

      Barnhart (against RHP) & Turner (against LHP) platoon for the foreseeable future. If Mesoraco is healthy and ready to play in 2018, Mesoraco starts with Barnhart backing him up. Turner will be optioned to AAA in 2018.

      Corky Miller becomes conjoined at the hip with Tyler Stephenson, letting him know that his ETA is September 2018 with plans for a platoon in 2019 and this schedule is not open for negotiation!

      “Jose Peraza an additional option for the #2 hole? In front of Joey? Really?”

      In the proposed scenario, Suarez would be hitting in the #2 hole 75% of the time. As long as Cozart is still wearing the wishbone C in 2017, he would fill the remaining 25% of the time. Peraza only becomes a possible option in the #2 hole if Cozart is traded. I haven’t given up on Peraza yet, but he definitely needs to step up his performance at the dish if he wants to remain under consideration as a starting IF.

    • I believe he is out of options after this year. Next year will be keep him, trade him or try to sneak him through waivers back to Class AAA. I’m in full agreement with the Old Cossack’s plan. (But it won’t happen.)

    • The Reds have stumbled into an opportunity to preserve a year of control for the 23-YO Herrera. This is a distinct possibility. If the Reds do opt to keep Herrera at AAA, then the possibility of adding Blandino or Dixon to the 40-man roster and using one of those two IF as a platoon option at 2B is an alternative. I do not see either Blandino or Dixon as more than a utility role in the major leagues, but if keeping Herrera down in AAA until the rosters expand is deemed necessary, then give one of the two IF an audition for a month and a half.

  5. Great plan especially the Dilson Herrera part. I think he, assuming he is healthy would be an upgrade over Gennett The only change I would make is to bat Votto 2nd. I’d also find a way to get Stephenson, Romano and Reed,once he gets comfortable with his new mechanics, some starts as well. Bailey and Castillo stay in the rotation. Flip Feldman if possible, but if you can’t it’s not the worst thing in the world.

    • You’re preaching to the congregation regarding hitting Votto in the #2 hole, but quite frankly, I don’t need to see how well Votto would do in the #2 hole and this season is more about determining what the unknowns will do. I do want to see how Suarez produces at the top of the lineup.

    • I don’t know what Gennett you’re speaking of? The Gennett I watch could only be upgraded with a Zeus/Rogers Hornsby/Thor clone…certainly not by some dude hitting .260 at AAA

      • The Gennett who has a .209/.244/.372 wRC+55 line in 2017 against left handers. Lifetime .190/.238/.274 wRC+31.

  6. According to mlb.com the Reds have had 2272 at-bats this year vs. right-handed pitchers and 765 against left-handers. That is roughly 75% of the teams at-bats against right-handers and 25% left.

    Your time share for Billy Hamilton works out pretty well based on this number. He owns a 236/265/335 slash against lefties and 250/308/330 versus right-handers. So the 75% of the time he plays should be mostly against right-handed pitchers.

    The only issue I’d take with your plan is getting Herrera at bats only against left-handed pitchers. That seems like too few chances to figure out if he is part of the Reds future or not. I don’t necessarily disagree with DFAing Alcantara in favor Herrera but would like to see him get more at-bats if he is brought up.

    • Remeber that the platoon would only be factoring in the handedness of the starting pitcher. If Herrera is promoted, I would also want to see more PA for Herrera, but not necessarily as a starter, more of a double switch opportunity and pinch hitter. I would not be adverse to the occasion start by Herrera against a RH starter. I don’t trust Price to manage such a situation effectively, but that’s a seperate issue entirely.

      • Do you think Cozart should be or will be traded? If he is traded, can Peraza, Gennett and Herrera handle the middle-infield?
        Senzel continues to hit well in AA. Do you begin to see if Suarez is able to play some SS and second, anticipating Senzel’s arrival? Or have Senzel start trying out some other positions in the minors?
        I am 100% in agreement with you on the outfield situation but feel like there are a ton of moving parts in the infield that I am not sure about.

        • I like Zack Cozart as a player and person…great character, solid citizen, dedicated father and husband, excellent shortstop. Until this season, his bat was OK for a solid defensive shortstop, but Cozart has transformed at the plate this season. The age and nagging injuries are an issue. If the Reds can get him on a reasonable 3-year contract, they should pull the trigger. If the Reds do not extend his contract, I hope that pursue him as a FA and see how his market shakes out. I still wouldn’t go more than a reasonable 3-year contract. I keep Peraza as a backup plan even if the Reds resign Cozart. His quad will heal during the offseason and I have no issue regarding the health of his knee. I just don’t see Cozart playing more than 120-140 games a season over the course of a 3-year contract.

    • While we are sorting, let’s get back to the “Billy, don’t be a hero” don’t be a switch hitter any more… and stop, please stop the bunting experiments. You cannot bunt

      Also, if I am GM, Winker is up and he does start every game and is playing LF. Billy plays CF after Winker gets his 3rd ab every game, when Billy pinch runs for Winker. Super Scott Schebler is CF in those early innings and then moves to RF, with Duvall moving back to LF, all after Winker’s 3rd ab.

      Billy Hamilton is a late inning defensive replacement at this point in his career. There are CF options coming

      • Are you suggesting he gives up hitting RH? It wasn’t too long ago people were suggesting that he give up hitting LH… I don’t think the switch-hitting is the issue. I think it very likely that since he’s never faced LHP as a LH batter, he’ll hit even worse against LHP as a LH batter than he does from the right-side… Keep in mind that Hamilton was drafted as a RH hitter. That’s actually his natural side. The problem with Hamilton is he just isn’t a very good hitter. Considering his defense in CF, I think you can live with a guy like that in your lineup. He just needs to hit 9th with the pitcher hitting 8th.

  7. I expect none of this to happen. The reason, go no further than Brian Price. He has shown he gives no consideration to who management wants to play. He will let a prospect rot on the bench time and time again, to play who he thinks will win today. Of course he has no idea who that really should be. Management needs to only give him 1 option or he will chose another. Reds should trade whomever they don’t plan on keeping, before the value tanks.

    • Ah, the Billy Beane approach to organizational control! The solution to handling Price is to appoint an interim manager who is completely in synch with the GM (this is assuming there is any disconnect between Price and the GM) and mandate that he adhere to the plan.

    • I’m not sure how you know this information, but suspect that it it were true Brian Price would be fired immediately.

      • I agree I-71. If Price is that far out of sync with the GM, I believe he would no longer be the manager.

    • Price has a boss and isn’t owed much money so firing him would be easy. Obviously he’s doing what ” management” wants or he’d be gone. There’s absolutely no reason to keep him unless he’s doing what they want.

  8. I agree almost 100% with your plan. My only changes would be I would send Peraza down to AAA until/if Cozart is traded. If you are concerned about service time (as mentioned by SR VP) for Herrera then you keep Peraza and only play him at 2cnd when left handers pitch and to occasionally rest/protect Cozart until/if Cozart is traded then bring up Dilson. The outfield plan makes the most sense if we are truly sorting in 2017. Winker takes Alcantara’s spot simply because AA needs to be DFA’d, to borrow and paraphrase from old blue eyes, “If you can’t make it here, you can’t make it anywhere.”

  9. Shchi,

    Your comments at RLN are usually a great read, but on this one, I feel like you are offering a lot of complicated plans instead of a simple one:

    You write that:
    -Duvall and Schebler deserve to play
    -Schebler should play 25% in CF
    -Reds have to get Winker MLB at-bats

    Simple solution: Trade Hamilton, give Winker a corner spot, let Schebler/Peraza/Gennett/Marty Brennaman finish this season in CF.

    Dodgers, Indians, maybe others who will be in playoffs could use Hamilton, though the goal would be to move him, not expecting a king’s ransom back.

    And bringing up Dilson Herrera? Ok, I guess. But, Gennett needs to play (is he a one half-season wonder?) and so does Peraza.

    Under your plan, guys would literally come to the park not knowing where they would be playing on a daily basis. I don’t get the sense, at all, that the Reds feel pressure to implement this kind of plan and finish sorting by October.

    • The front office is scared to death that they will trade Hamilton just before he “figures it out.” If he does, he’ll be an iconic force in baseball for years. If he stays where he is now, which is much more likely, he’s a platoon player.

      This is why they will continue to give Hamilton starts every day in center for the rest of this year. They are gathering as much data as humanly possible in trying to determine Hamilton’s role and how much budget needs to be dedicated to him beginning in 2018.

      • But man, if they can sell another team on the hope of his “figuring it out” and being a super-weapon, then that’s what they demand back. Otherwise, they’re collecting data that tells them they can probably expect a boring, roster space filling return.

      • Speed is the first tool to go. Billy may have enough that even after losing a step, he’d still be a demon on the base paths and CF. Even so, I’d trade him now for the right package.

        • Billy will get traded to Denver where he will have a Drew Stubbs like resurgence 295/360/340 slash line and steal 80 bases and will be an all star

          unfortunately in Cincy, he will remain a 240/290/295 player who will steal 60 bases and be a defensive replacement level player.

          • If I was the GM in Denver, I would be making the calls to see what it would take to pry Hamilton away and get him planted as a fixture in the ROX lineup. I agree that Hamilton would thrive playing half his games in Denver and then playing CF in the western stadiums.

      • I don’t think the reds feel Hamilton will figure it out . They are simply riding his marvel comic WOW factor on a 75 win team. Billy sells more tickets than Jesse Winker does to the casual occasional Reds fan. The reds need Billy in 2017 more than they need Winker…. Ole Cossack gave us great data on how remarkably consistent Billy’s numbers are over a long period of time.I do agree they are wholly committed to figuring out role and budget allocation for him going forward….as his marketing value to the team is what they value.
        The day the reds announced Billy Bobblehead on Saturday July 15th…..was the day the FO and Brian Price determined Billy was front and center for the franchise in 2017.
        Billy is marketable beyond his WAR or wRC+…..and therefore his production is graded on a curve.

        • I don’t think Billy sells any appreciable amount of tickets. His Bobblehead is on a Saturday in July. The Reds would sell 30,000+ tickets to this game regardless if three was a giveaway or not, or if the bobblehead was Tim Adleman (no offense to him).

    • Since the start of 2016 (197 games) Billy has slashed 266/334/348 against right-handed pitching, but only 215/241/293 against lefties. That slash line, plus his defense and base-running, is a valuable starting center fielder against right-handed pitching. Sitting him against lefties would also give him a day or 2 off per week which would hopefully limit the injury issues he has had.
      I believe the Reds would get much more value out of Hamilton, and their outfield as a whole, by playing him in this manner rather than trading him to “just move him.”

      • or have him stop switch hitting

        he is a Votto disciple but Votto does not try to hit from the right side

      • Billy Hamilton’s wRC+ vs RHP since the start of 2016:

        2016 – 88
        2017 – 77

        He has been at least 10% worse than the league average, both last year and this one. And, regressing. From his supposed “stronger side.”

        If the Reds are truly holding on to him because they think he will “turn it on” or for marketing reasons, as others are mentioning, this rebuild is further from completion than even I believe.

        And, I don’t think they have a realistic chance of fighting for a playoff spot before 2019, if even then.

  10. Good thinking….we’ve been talking about this for some time now. You could easily add to that releasing Blake Wood and replacing Adleman in the rotation asap! Wood is about done anyway and they know about Adleman already. Romano will be in the rotation to start the 2nd half but why not Stephens or Bob Steve as well? Its not happening though? I guess they’re in a semi-desperate push to win 75 games instead of 71?

    • The pitching staff is another, seperate issue, not tied to the position players. That topic needs a seperate detailed post. Chad and Steve frown on 3,000 word posts.

    • Actually I take that back! Starting Arroyo > Castillo for 3 months isn’t an attempt to win. If you’re afraid 24 yr old Castillo isn’t ready then why rush Lorenzen straight into the rotation at 23 with less then 1/2 the minor league innings of Castillo?

      Bottom line….they don’t understand how a rebuild works and their only consistency is being steadily inconsistent.

  11. Great analysis and I appreciate the thoughtful post. I agree Winker needs to play.I think his power will flourish in GABP.
    I would echo the prior response that your solution is complex and not one Brian Price would remotely implement.

    The trade deadline is now the big story with the All Star game completed. This is a unique year in that the storyline isn’t about which overachieving teams or big market teams are trying to get that last wildcard spot and add a player or 2. Instead, this is the year of the dominant team. Dodgers,Nats,Astros, and maybe Red Sox The underachieving Cubs just accelerated the arms race in the NL. Theo Epstein acquired Quintana to bolster the pitching…rumors today are he may not be done and Sonny gray may be on his radar. Epstain wants back to back and he’s going for it. The Dodgers and Nats better respond.. This is a trade deadline for the big boys…elite teams who need an elite skill or niche player who can impact a World series or NLCS game.
    Iglesias and Hamilton are the 2 players on the Reds who can change a game’s outcome in October for a contender… retrieve superior prospects, and accelerate the rebuild.They both will also get exponentially more expensive going forward.
    The Nationals have outfield injuries and a terrible bullpen. They need to start fearing a resurgent Cubs team who’s GM is acting now. The Dodgers could win 105 games. The Astros will win 105 games.
    Trade Hamilton. Winker moves into the lineup. Trade Iglesias for a kings ransom and 2-3 years from now the Reds are winning 100 games.

  12. It’s a good, well thought out plan, but I just can’t see the value in sacrificing the AB’s of 2 of the 3 best hitters the Reds have — who are also better fielders — to make room for Winker. Duvall and Schebler need to keep hitting and developing as they enter their prime years. I don’t think either of them have 1000 AB’s in the big leagues yet and have plenty to work on.

    I don’t think the Reds P’s will much like it, but FOR ME a better plan would be to play Schebler in CF and let Winker play RF on a regular basis. Use Hamilton as a spot starter and late game defensive replacement as needed. I don’t think that’s a good long term solution, but then again neither is sitting Duvall and Schebler 25% of the time.

    It’s a good problem that the Reds have. I think they’ll do a good job figuring it out. I hope.

    • I think the plan sounds great and dovetails nicely as far as Duvall is concerned. Last year the Reds felt he wore down in the second have in part due to his diabetes.

    • Winker is not a bad defensive OF. He will never win a gold glove, but he is more than just serviceable. The best option, from my perspective, is to bench Hamilton and start Schebler in CF. I have been a strong proponent of that course of action for some time. The organization (read DW) will not bench or, as Tom elaborated, trade Hamilton. Not now at least. The alternative is a job sharing arrangement or keep Winker in AAA with the intent of preserving his service time to bring Winker and Senzel to the 25-man roster at the same time, probably in 2019. Winker has the options available to accomplish that.

  13. Comrade Cossack.. I do agree totally on your outfielder plan. I do believe Mr. Gennett has earned significant playing time and if we are still going to take it easy on Cozarts quad the middle infield should work itself out along the same lines.
    All comes down to pitching… pitching… pitching. I really thought Quintana would fetch more so the bounty for Feldman might not jump out. Neither he or Tim Adelman pass the test of being in the rotation for the next good team.
    Castillo-Bailey the two locks. Deslafini by end of the year. Romano next and if he continues to pitch the way he has the last month… BobSteve.
    Mahle, Reed, Garrett, Davis all in the wings. Put Adelman in the pen… see if you can get any return for Feldman and Storen.
    Just my humble opinion. Don’t know what to do about Cozart. Change hourly.

    • I agree on Cozart….that’s a tough one? Peraza has really taken a step back imo. I hate to say this but I just don’t think his baseball IQ is that strong? You can see it on his face that he lacks confidence at times and the instinct to diagnose the situation. He’s still young but its a major major stretch to assume he can be an adequate everyday shortstop!! I’d send him down to Lville til September! At the same time…even if Peraza is a bust it doesn’t mean they should pay Cozart too much. I’d say 2 yr with a club option for 2020. He takes that or he leaves.

      • Hard to imagine Cozart would take a 2 year contract with club option for year 3 from anyone unless they wanted to overpay him substantially for those 2 years.

    • Did you see Reed’s pitching line from last night?

      5.0 IP w/ 6-ER, 8-H, 2-HR, 1-BB & 9-SO

      In the same game, Romano started: 2.1 IP w/ 3-ER, 2-H, 3-BB & 4-SO

      • Good start if you go by xFIP. In my eyes it was a great start for him since he only walked 1 batter in 5 innings.

    • I thought Quintana did get a nice return. Per Baseball America mid season update for prospects. ..they got the #5 prospect in all of baseball…..Senzel is #9 for reference…..and the #83 prospect a pitcher….Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle are in that 80 range. Hunter Greene is #30. If the reds could get another Nick Senzel and Luis Castillo and 2 more players for Iglesias…that’s a good deal isn’t it?
      Plus Hamilton should retrieve at least a top 30 prospect plus more.

  14. That is what I think about Cozart most of the time. 2 yrs… option. However.. if you send Peraza down… I am not sure Cozart can go every day yet. 2 on one off to start. Gennett does not hit left handers at all. Still room for Peraza.
    Pitching… pitching… pitching

    • Brandon Dixon (.950 ops vs lefties) or Herrera to platoon w/Scooter. If you trade Cozart or he walks/gets hurt again…..then move Suarez back to SS. Senzel is coming fast and that might be their best bet?

      • That might be the case. Good point about Dixon though. think they are keeping down Herrera to get that extra year that was brought up.

  15. I did not see those pitching lines. Thought it was still all star break for the Bats. Not a great start for those two.. Anybody seen anything about the blister that cut short Bob Steves last outing.

  16. Sources close to NBC News are saying the Old Cossack may have been one of the yet-to-be-named Russian counter-intell guys who met Donald Jr. after the infamous nothing burger meeting to talk Reds’ baseball … but I digress.

    Look, the second half (actually third) of the season will be another exercise in Dick Williams and his apologists-in-chief (Priceless, Fay and the C-Dog) continuing to put countless layers of lipstick on the Flying 🐷s.

    Bryan Price has lost control of the club, as evidenced by Suarez getting picked off third by Yadi while doing a Statue of Liberty, Peraza rounding first and headed for the dugout in the game against Atlanta where the second baseman dropped the ball, and management giving Finnegan’s Wake a hall pass to pull a Jose Fernandez, off a boat, into a dock, undoubtedly smashed, during his rehab. That may’ve been the Reds’ best player personnel move of the first half, insofar as it paved the way for guys like Castillo, who’s a total stud compared to the garbage (other than Feldman, who’s been terrific) the Reds have been trotting to mound to start games.

    Seriously, you gotta luv the strategy of keeping so many relievers when we’re out of most games by the third inning.

    Castillo’s been a total breath of fresh air, as have Romano, Hernandez and Stephens, but the second half should be about auditioning more starters like Mahle.

    Everyone knows Feldman, Cozart, Storen and Jose Iglesias will likely be traded for a ton of oft-injured, often traded Single A and Double A prospects who Williams will sell to Fay and C-Dog as high ceiling guys, which they’ll, in turn, sell like Shillitos 👠 salesmen.

    During the off-season, when Priceless is given a five-year extension for his extradorinary development of under-achievers like Bob Steve and Cody Reed, Williams will tell the beat writers the reboot is oh-so-close.

    Williams learned a lot on Wall Street about how to sell sow’s ears as silk purses, so he’s clearly the right guy at the right time.

  17. Saw the line up for tonight. For those hoping for a second half change. No dice. Winker still on bench.

    • I feel like Winker is the Scott Hatteberg of this year’s Reds. Williams would probably like to see get PT in center but Billy Hamilton is Bryan Price’s opioid.

  18. Anyone know Louisville’s starters this weekend in Indy? I’d like to go see Tyler Mahle if its tomorrow or Sunday?

  19. Nice work Cossack.
    Winker on the bench again tonight. Throw your other shoe from the old recliner for me, after you have thrown the first one.

  20. As long as Price is Manager, Winker is not going to play. Price rolls out the exact same lineup every time. Hamilton, Cozart, Votto, Duvall, Suarez, Schebler, Peraza, Barnhart, Pitcher. Only Scooter rotates in.

  21. It’s past time that the sorting process in this season’s second half include regular playing time for Winker in the leadoff position.

  22. I agree with everything the Old Cossack said but it won’t happen because it makes perfect sense,You have to find out about Winker and you have to give Scooter and Herrera some starts.Billy and Peraza with their low OBP and no power are killing this team offensively.Winker,Scooter and Herrera would be a major upgrade.

    • Thanks for the info, Chums. I admit to being a BH fan and more than a little defensive about him, but the preoccupation with him here would lead one to believe that the Reds’ offense is the reason they’re not contending and that Billy is the reason the offense stinks. Neither is particularly true. But I can’t disagree with the angst over the handling of Winker. He’s probably the closest to ready hitter in the Reds’ system, but they are accumulating no solid information about how much he’d contribute at the MLB level.

  23. I am generally in agreement on most topics with some of the primary posters on this site and with the editors. I diverge here though. I don’t think a rotation works. It would be very, very hard, from a “baseball” perspective, to take Duvall or WInker out even 1/4 of the time, with how they have performed, in the name of giving the young guy ABs.

    “At my expense? Why? What did I do wrong? Am I not playing up to your standards? I feel good!! I’m playing well! What the he**!!??” …

    I know that’s how I’d take it if I was told I was going to be part of a rotation and was playing well and feeling well. And when I get “You need to be a team player.” I’d come back with “Well, the TEAM, the guys I play with, want to win ballgames. I want to win ballgames. The best way to do that is to let me play every day. I’m better than that kid.” This is even more effective when your play on the field is backing up your words and your teammates also think the best way to win ballgames is by having you on the field. I strongly believe that the players feel that having Duvall and Schebler on the field is the best way to win ballgames and these guys want to win ballgames. It’s also quite possible that they feel that having Hamilton in there over an outfield of Winker, Schebler, Duvall is more conducive to winning ballgames. I’m not sure, but after playing a whole lot of baseball, I think this has a lot to do with why we aren’t seeing Winker playing more.

    Honestly, that’s the attitude I want out of a player too.

    • Whoops, that should read “…to take Duvall or Schebler out even 1/4 of the time…” My brain gets ahead of my hands sometimes.

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