The Cincinnati Reds are now 2-12 to start the second half of the season.


Robert Stephenson showed that his first start back from Louisville a week ago where he showed control was a facade. Stephenson walked seven batters in just 4.1 innings.

Chris O’Grady, pitching against the Reds for the second time in less than week, pitched seven shutout innings for the fish.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (41-61) 1 10 1
Miami Marlins (47-53) 4 7 0
W: Stephenson (0-4) L: O’Grady (2-1) S: Ramos (20)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Robert Stephenson allowing a solo home run to Derek Dietrich with 0 outs in the 4th inning, giving the Marlins a 1-0 leadThat play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 13.0% (from 44.1% to 31.0%).


Joey Votto has reached base in 7 of his last 8 plate appearances (4 BB, 3 H).

Eugenio Suarez had two hits. Suarez entered tonight with 1.049 OPS over the last 7 days.

Jose Peraza also had a two hit night.

Scooter Gennett had an RBI single. He also hit a 361 foot ball to right-field that just missed being a 3-run homer.

Blake Wood did allow a run in two innings of relief, but he struck out 5 batters without walking any.


The improved control from Robert Stephenson in his last start was short lived. Stephenson walked 7 batters tonight. That is not easy to do, as the Marlins rank 27th in the MLB in BB%. Stephenson’s final line was luckily not that terrible (4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 K), but walking 7 batters is just inexcusable.

Scott Schebler went 0 for 4. He entered play today hitting just .149/.222/.284 in the month of July.

Not so random thoughts…………..

I started this question on Twitter tonight, and it got mostly negatives feedback:

Thought: Maybe Cozart’s injury hurting his trade value will also lower his free-agent dollar value this off-season? I personally think the Reds should try to sign him if that is the fact. I think Cozart for say 3 years, $40 million would be a good deal for the Reds. My reasoning for that is that I don’t think the Reds have anyone who would be better than Cozart at SS over the next three years. I think the Reds have to start trying to win, or they need to trade Votto. Our hero only has so many good years left.

Up Next:

Reds at Marlins
Friday, 7:10 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Sal Romano (5.50 ERA) vs Vance Worley (6.37 ERA)


All statistics are used courtesy of Fangraphs, ESPN Stats & Info, and Baseball-Reference.

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

Join the conversation! 105 Comments

  1. Yup…the reds have a shortstop problem…a big big one. I agree Cozart’ s value is down and the Reds offensive swoon is directly related to his injury. I would like to know first what the plan is with Suarez and Senzel both playing 3b. If the plan is move Senzel to 2b…..which I think it is……maybe cozart for 2 years.

    • I’m all for signing Cozart to a team friendly contract and moving Suarez to 2B when Senzel is ready. I’m all for the rally to bring goats to the stadium to get Cozart into another All Star Game. We should do that whenever the Cubs are in town as they are so fond of goats…

  2. Down 3 in the 9th. First 2 batters are Alacantara and Hamilton. Where’s the remote?

    • The two at bats I saw from Alcantara were horrible. I realize the guy never plays so he’s not going to be sharp but he looked like he had no idea what to do with a bat in his hands.

  3. You don’t think Suárez would be better than Cozart if he would move back to SS when Senzel is ready? I’d certainly take Suárez over Cozart for the next 3 years, mostly because of his age vs. Cozart’s, and the likelihood of Cozart regressing next season

    • Can Suarez hack it defensively at SS?

      • Not too long ago there was questions whether Suarez could hack it defensively at 3B.

    • Suarez had a -17 defensive runs saved in his brief MLB career at SS. That is about as bad as you possibly can be defensively.

      • Suarez was about as bad a SS as I have seen. I spent a lot of time cringing and groaning when he was there. I don’t know if he would be good eventually but SS and 3B are different positions and not everyone can play SS (see Hamilton, Billy).

  4. The Reds have 60 games left this season, and their record currently stands at 41-61, 20 games under .500.

    In 2016, with 60 games to play, the Reds’ record was……. 41-61.

    That’s…… Progress?

    I really wonder what the Reds could get if they traded Votto. Trade Votto and Cozart, go all in on the youth movement, and FIRE PRICE. He is not helping these young players develop. Get someone in here who understands how to do that.

    • Trading Votto would help this team tremendously. I mean you are in last place with him… be last place without him.

      • This type of logic makes no sense at all, given that the Reds would still be in last place with Mike Trout on the team.

        Baseball is a team game, and you try to get as many good players as possible. Votto is a good player.

        • It’s all about timing Patrick… If you think the Reds can be good soon (2018/2019) then it makes no sense to move one of the franchise’s best of all time. If the window is 2020 or later though, you have to wonder just how much Votto will still be contributing? He’d perhaps still be an above average player, considering his primary skill-set but injury can rob even that. As a player ages there is more chance for injury and it takes a player longer to recover. So, depending on the timing of when you expect to be competitive again, trading Votto can’t be out of the question.

          Of course Votto has a full no-trade clause so this whole conversation may be moot.

    • You can’t really judge progress when you take into account the crazy number of injuries to the pitchers. Would be nice to progress to a new medical staff.

      • Yes, the Reds need the sort of doctor who won’t allow the pitchers to pitch, since that’s the only way to avoid injury. All teams need that sort of doctor, since lots of pitchers get injured.

    • No one has ever offered a reason for trading Joey Votto beyond “it will save $$” or “why not?”. Because there is no reason to trade him.

      • The case for trading Votto goes like this: This team is not ready to compete. Votto still has value. Do you want to keep him as he enters his decline years so by the time the team is ready to compete, Votto is beginning to slow down? He’s not going to be an elite player forever, and he’s entering an age where many players, even superstars, can suddenly fall off a cliff in terms of production.

        For a small market team like the Reds, is this a risk you want to take? Or do you want to cash in on what value he still has and trade him to a team that’s ready to win now for some elite prospects that will be the right age to contribute for the next Reds contender?

        • Excellent points. Need to sell high and get a king ransom for him. The Cardinals seemed to have done well after Pujois left.

        • In order to trade Votto you would need to find a team willing/able to:
          1. Trade great prospects
          2. Add 20+million in payroll.
          3. Be someplace that Votto won’t veto

          Good luck.

          • Thank you chuck! Show me a team who would take that contract? Sell high? Nobody is giving prospects for his contract.

          • Chuck: 1. probably no one out there, 2. A couple of teams could but not likely to give up #1 and do those teams need a first baseman anyway? 3. Unlikely to happen as he’s stated frequently he has no desire to go elsewhere.

          • No team will give up anything to take Votto. (Well maybe a Dilson Herrera type player.)

            Even if there is a team out there, I am sure the will be picking up some of his salary. (ie Griffey)

          • The only way we get a great (top in system) prospect is if ownership kicks in 10 or 20 million towards the remaining contract. Otherwise, we’ll have to settle for quantity of okay prospects over high-ceiling ones (much like the other four trades for Cueto, Frazier, Bruce and Chapman).

            That said, the biggest hurdle is Votto saying yes. Once you start the process, that is bad for morale and then if Votto says he plans to remain in Cincy till he retires, now you have a player they wanted to trade staying, making big money, likely starting to decline…it will get mildly ugly.

        • That the Reds could get elite prospects for Votto is an enormous assumption. The reality is that the Reds would have to eat half the remaining salary and probably get a few Rookie Davis’s in return. Trading Votto will not improve the win column. If I have to watch a 70 win team, I want to at least see Votto playing on it.

          • I don’t think half would be necessary, but they would have to kick in 10 or 20 million towards next years salary for sure to be able to pry away a high ceiling prospect, otherwise its a couple of solid 24 year-olds still trying to become good at AA.

    • Trading Votto will only happen if Votto decides he wants another shot at the World Series OR like, Griffey Jr., wants to go home.

      • Griffey Jr was a free agent to be and Votto has several years left on his deal. Apples to oranges.

        • My point is still valid…Seattle doesn’t trade Griffey until he wanted to be traded.

  5. Highly likely that hat Cozart’s free agent value is damaged at least some, but isn’t there also a red flag about us resigning him and he stays injured?

    Plus how far off is he from 10 and 5 rights? We don’t need another Brandon Phillips situation down he road.

    • Yes. This injury should not be seen as opportunity, but a premonition of what Cozart’s mid-thirties will look like.

      He probably could have gotten $40MM before the injury, no chance I am giving him that now.

      • He’s a slightly above average player who is injury prone. Teams knew that 6 months ago…..they knew that 12 months ago.

        His 2 month hot streak didn’t add any value and his current injury has likely not detracted much. He is what he is ……..some dumb, desperate team will give him real money over the winter, but No one is going to trade anything of value for an injury prone rental.

        • He has been worth 7.4 fWAR in his last 250 games. That’s 9th best SS in MLB since 2015 even with the injuries He has been more than slightly above average. Would have gone a long way to make it through the year healthy.

        • Except it isn’t necessarily a hot streak. He made a mechanical change to his swing. Players do this ALL. THE. TIME. Cozart is not the same hitter as he was. He’s not a world-beater, and I don’t think he’s as good as his current numbers suggest, but he isn’t the 60-70 wRC+ hitter he was a few years ago.

          You think Encarnacion, Bautista, Donaldson, Justin Turner, etc are all running multi-year hot steaks?

          When players make mechanical changes, their previous data is null and void.

          • You’re assuming that the mechanical changes he made are sustainable. Since said changes, he’s had 2.5 good months and 1.5 bad months. I think that is still classified as a hot streak.

      • Agree. I think people who want to hang onto Cozart are seeing the situation with their hearts and not their heads. His defense clearly isn’t what it used to be. Witness the game last week when he easily could have been charged with three errors but ended up with only one. We saw some of the same last season when he was trying to play hurt.

        I think the best scenario for him is to get to the DH league where hopefully he can play 5 days a week as a DH and occasionally in the field without breaking down by mid season.

        • I think his quad has severely hampered his defense, but the knee injury and age certainly don’t help. I am optimistic that the quad will improve and the knee recovery will improve. That just leaves age which certainly will not. 🙁

          When Joey went through his quad injury, it was attributed to him over-working in the off-season. Could that have been the case with Cozart as well? If so, that’s one of my big reasons for being optimistic with Zach.

          • This is the second year Cozart has broken down with the quad from playing every day. I’m not sure the quad can be separated from the major knee injury. Perhaps it is lasting collateral damage?
            At his age I think it is a poor bet that he will ever put it totally behind him.

          • Cozart was a year to 16 months or thereabouts older than Votto was when he suffered the primary (knee injury) which in Cozart’s case was also was much worse than Votto’s. SS is a more demanding position; and we’ve seen signs that Votto has never moved as well as since the injury as before..

          • Those are excellent points, Jim. I’m now a little less optimistic. 🙂

        • Jim you make sound baseball arguments on why bringing cozart back is risky. But you hit the nail on the head with “seeing the situation with their hearts”. That’s exactly why the reds want him back.
          They are losing fans. (3) 90 loss seasons. Cozarts replacement looks lost. The young pitchers aren’t developing . Casual fans don’t know any players.

          The reds marketers are begging…pleading….with baseball ops. Did someone say Zach might be a bargain? And what???? he’s got a donkey too? And a large number of Reds fans and “hearts” like Zach???? Sign this guy back …we can have donkey petting day on Sundays….a Zach and Donald bobble head….Jim’s day off on the donkey farm????
          Zach is coming back.

          • …re-signing Cozart will NOT put one extra fanny in the seat in 2018 or 2019. If they’re losing fans, its because of losing. Amazing how ALL fan bases tend to stay away after years of losing. They’ll be back in bunches once they start winning again. Signing a past-prime vet won’t move that attendance needle and instead will only hamper future signings or win-now that may be desperately needed.

    • Signing Cozart, when they already have Bailey and Votto on the books, is not smart business. They need to free up some cash to pounce on a good young, proven pitcher in a year or two and keep the roster flush with youngsters making peanuts until Bailey’s contract ends. I’d love to see the biggest contract besides Votto’s to be merely $6 or $8 million per season in 2019.

  6. The major league club is in such disarray that giving any player a multi year contract right now would be unwise. It’s really hard to say anyone employed by the Reds ownership not named Joey Votto is doing their job well and often.

    • I feel as you do. No sense in betting on anything on this team right now. It’s most likely to turn out disappointing and yet one more contract that hampers team improvement in the next two or three seasons.

  7. I love Joey Votto, but if he’s going to be stuck here in mediocrity while the rebuild and sorting lasts through his best years, with no end in sight, I say trade him. He deserves to play on a winning team with competent management, and that ain’t happening anytime soon here.

    • I mean how clueless is this team that they resign him to this huge contract and then rebuild?!

      • They signed him to the contract 4 years before they started the rebuild.

      • Signing Votto was not clueless, letting the team flounder around for 2013 and 2014 before doing anything about it was clueless

        • Making the playoffs in 2013 is floundering?

          • Not foreseeing the train wreck of having 4 of 5 rotation pitchers coming up for free agency at the same time was the clueless part. Then the one they had put their money on blew out his UCL.

          • There was a whole lot of inaction considering the competitive window was closing

          • Matthew you are right on that. A whole lot of inaction. Remember that picture of Bob Castellini after Pittsburgh bounced Cincinnati from the 1 game wild card play in game. That is when the floundering hit its stride.
            I really wouldn’t call making it to the play in game as making the playoffs. The playoffs really start after the wild card game in the Division Series.
            Claiming to be in the playoffs or making the playoff and getting thoroughly embarrassed in the play in game is only some kind of feel-good elixir.
            Matthew, I think we found Walt Jocketty a new name, Flounder. Just like in Animal House. They even look alike.

      • Rebuild didnt start immediately after the contract. Still clueless.

  8. They need to run bob steve right back out there in five days, and again in another five days, and again . . .

    That’s the only way he’ll ever get confident and consistent. IF he ever does.

    • Nobody seemed to think it a little cowardly to yank him in the fifth? it was 1-0 and he had pitched out of trouble all night, why not let him get out of the mess he created? its not like you really need this game. The main issue is to get young guys exposure. From what I read last batter could have had a force out at third had Suarez been over there and would have been 2 out runners first and second, would you still pull him?, maybe there were intangibles but would like to see Stephenson get a least one more batter at 92 pitches

      • This is what I said on the game thread. If they are committed to sorting, RS is the guy to clean up his own mess or go down in flames. He learns; the team learns.

        • Hah…he already had gone down in flames…walking the first two batters in the 5th. Yes he almost got out of it (yet again) with that bad-luck grounder, but he didn’t. Bases loaded, only 1 out and the next batter was Dietrich who already slammed a home run. At that point the game’s 1-0…a grand slam makes it 5-0. I think he had plenty of learning in his 4 1/3 innings and the Reds need a win, not to compete for a play-off spot but to keep their spirits up.

          • And he had walked s bunch of guys before; and, not one had scored. Obviously walking that many doesn’t cut it; but, they might as well see to what degree he can wiggle off the hook yet again.
            If they get the out they should have on the ground ball to his last batter, do you still pull him because the HR hitter is up?

          • completely disagree, his psyche got to be more damaged getting pulled 4 1/3 than giving it his best shot, he needs to learn how to get out of jams and get through innings when he does not have his best stuff. DO not get why Adleman is allowed to stay in and Catillo and Stephenson are not. Price let Garrett get tattooed up several times

          • I agree with you. I think he pulled him at the right time. He was at the end of the leash for the day. Let him go out there again with a clean slate next start. The Reds still need to try to win games. Price needs to try to win games or he’s going to lose the clubhouse (if he hasn’t already).

          • I’m actually fine with Price pulling RS when he did. At that point he had only given up 1 run and was already at 96 pitches. No reason for Price to let him go one batter too far. Price’s mistake was putting Storen in a high leverage situation. He should have brought in Iglesias or Lorenzen.

          • Stephenson’s last hitter got lucky; that ball wasn’t far from being an inning-ending DP. I agree it should have been a force somewhere: third if Suarez retreats to the bag quicker, second if Peraza doesn’t hesitate (I reckon he had trouble judging if Suarez would beat the runner to third). Either way it’s 1-0 and two outs – with a base open (either second or third) meaning Stephenson could even have walked Dietrich. Of course, Suarez and Peraza haven’t played that much together, and it’s not a simple play. But I thought Stephenson had done a pretty good Houdini up to that point. Would that the baseball gods had given him one more chance! Such is the fate of the Reds this year, it seems…

          • Big58Dog…I agree with what you’re saying up to a point…but Garrett and Reed were left in to take their knocks and look where they are at now…plus the team falls hopelessly behind. Its a fine balance each and every game.

      • Agreed. 2-12 in the second half of a basement dwelling year in a rebuild?

        Sink or swim, young man. Everyone on my roster with 3 years or less of service time would be given adequate playing time in various situations to determine what future he has on this club.

        I’m reminded of how the Reds handled Peraza when he came over. He spent almost the whole time on the bench. I still have hope for Jose, but that time was valuable to determine future potential. Maybe we would know by now with more of a certainty what we have, or at least what we need. And maybe, just maybe, that additional time would have contributed to a stronger year this year.

        This team cannot afford to let youth ride the pine or be pulled prematurely during the sort.

    • I happened to be listening to Marty and the Cowboy at the time leading up to the grounder. The score was 1-0, but you would think that the Reds were down 7-0 after Marty’s sad sack act. Cowboy piled on and opined that there are two kinds of pitchers: Those who can’t throw strikes and those who won’t throw strikes. He placed Stephenson in the won’t category and went on about not challenging hitters and the like.

      Has he not been paying attention? Stephenson has no confidence because when he challenges hitters with his ill-commanded fastball it gets jacked.

  9. Ok so we know this about Schebler: extreme hot and cold streaks. Worth a spot on the bench. Winker should be starting, this ain’t rocket science despite what some apologists for management try to claim. A lot of egos and ridiculous variables in play that throw logic right out the window. The bigger teams operate on a more true reward/performance basis and so they have a huge advantage including pay roll. Aside from that, this team is just to feel-good happy to be the Cardinals whipping boys for my taste. A change of leadership at the top is most needed, I am talking Castellini. Guy spent a bunch played his hand on Baker and is now trying to float by on nostalgia. I do appreciate the cheap ticket prices, but damn, even in 2005 these guys were in the hunt with a relatively weak team, this current effort is sad at best and the state of the pitching staff is a major factor and that undeniably falls on the shoulders of management, they could have done much better than this.

    • Castellini isn’t going anywhere. Even if he were inclined to sell, there’s no Unicorn in Indian Hill looking to fork out almost a billion dollars and then subsidize millions in operating losses to have a huge, on-going payroll.

      • Sadly, this is the base. Castellini, money-wise, is about as good as it would get for Cincy right now. I don’t like his good-ole-boy hirings of Jocketty and such, but a new page was turned…lets hope Williams and Co and investments in back office and minors starts paying off in 2018 or 2019.

  10. Can we please see how a different manager might do with this team? So sick of Price. No growth by young players. No innovation. No fire.

  11. First pick in draft!

  12. Schebler really is a strange bird. Consider these numbers:
    .631 OPS at home, .914 on the road.
    .951 OPS in day games, .676 at night.
    1.358 OPS ahead in the count, .456 behind in the count.
    What gives???

    .467 OPS for Alcantara, .489 for Turner, .597 for Jose, .631 for Billy, .684 for Kivlehan.
    Maybe that’s what’s contributing to the ML worst .210 average since the all star break.

    • ….but hey, let’s keep Winker and Vincej in AAA. Wouldn’t want any of these guys to feel any pressure for their jobs—-ya gotta be loose to play good!

      • Can’t pitch or hit and don’t have anyone that another team is interested in trading for.

        “Other then that Mrs. Kennedy, how’d you like the parade?”

    • Anytime you start looking at splits, you are degrading the sample… That said, if Schebler continues to flounder, the Reds have a valid baseball reason for getting Winker up here and seeing what he can do with regular playing time at the MLB level. People have been asking for Winker to play and came up with all sorts of schemes on how to do it. I’ve always poo-pooed them because I often find myself thinking like the players who would lose playing time would think. As Schebler continues to slump though, the Reds have a valid reason to remove playing time if they want. As Duvall has also slumped, a 3 person rotation starts to make sense.

  13. Won’t get anything for Cozy but you have to do it.Votto for all the reasons Chuck and others said isn’t going anywhere.Stephenson should have been left in to see if he could clean up his mess as Jim said last night.Remember Aldeman and Homer being sent back out there and we already know about them.Well we don’t know much about Bob Steve so lets pull him.Complete backward thinking by Price when you should be extending guys to find out and pulling them when you already know.Its not about winning because nobody would think this front office or now team is trying to win.Case in point Price starts 5 guys including the pitcher that are miserable against lefties or just can’t hit period and leaves Kivlehan on the bench after homering against their starter last week.We don’t even resemble a major league offense until they pull the lefty starter.Finally again as mentioned the first two guys up in the ninth are Alcantara who can’ hit and Billy for the fifth time because he is such a good hitter.We have been playing all year 5 on 8 because we have two guys that can’t get on base and hit with no power.Three if you add the power of Tucker.As stated we can’t hit lefties because we are mostly left handed to begin with at the plate.Where was Mesoraco last night?I am sure he needs some swings against a lefty and already mentioned Kivlehan’s absence.

  14. Bob Castellini claims to have brought “Winning Baseball” back to Cincinnati. Yet here we are, playing for the second worst record in MLB for the THIRD YEAR in a row.
    Hey Big Bob, what happened to the “Winning Baseball”???? What happened to your promises?? They all ring rather hollow today, tomorrow, and well into the future.
    Nothing but robust lies come from the Castellinis.
    An ownership group and front office composed mostly of Nincompoops. It is hard to tell which one is the top Nincompoop, because they all are so good at it. I think I’ll write a book on the Castellini years in Cincinnati. I’ll call it “The Nincompoop Era of Reds Baseball: How to Kill a Franchise in 10 Years.”

    • You mean as opposed to the Nincompoops who ran the team 10 years before him.

    • I’m really not sure what you expect. Since Castellini bought the team, the Reds have performed in line with the 14 other teams that are in their financial weight class.

      With the exception of the Cardinals, who clobber everyone,the Reds are middle of the pack vs Orioles, White Sox, Indians, Colorado, Royals, Marlins, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Oakland, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Seattle, STL and Tampa.

      The Reds certainly have screwed some things up….they also have zero margin for error. You do understand that in order for the Reds to be consistently successful they need to be almost perfect and extremely lucky? You make it all sound so easy…yet 1 team out of the 15 that are in the same weight class is consistently successful. Are the other 14 inept as well? Take the blinders off and pay attention to what actually transpires beyond the Reds.

  15. Pardon my rant and going on and on but this is terrible.At the very least we should be making some moves that resemble something similar to a sort.Only thing accomplished is after 400 at bats we found out Peraza isn’t quite ready.I support his number of at bats and that’s exactly the way to find out a player.We have wasted another year regardless.

  16. Referring to your original thought Nick (I know it is difficult for people not to rant after watching the inepitude of the Reds Lineup) I think signing Cozart for three years at a little over 13 million a year would not be bad, we really don’t have much other options, but I would rather do it for two years 25 million. I also think that Votto’s defining years years won’t be as bad as some people think they are going to be. His average may drop some but I still think he will provide value.

    • Who pays $13M for a part time player that is not a rotation starter? The strong likelihood is that is what the Reds would be doing if they sign Cozart to a multi year deal at that rate.

      Recall the last two years when everyone was saying that BP needed to be sit down a day or two a week for his own and the team’s good? That’s almost certainly where they would be at with Cozart in a very best case scenario.

      • I would let the FA market play out. I think his value plummets. If 1 WAR is 8-9 million….then a 2 year $20 million deal would be ok….assuming the reds aren’t planning a position change for Suarez

        They kept BP at 2b and he was a good SS. I think they will keep Suarez at third and move Senzel to second when he is ready…. with Gennett the opening day starter and either Peraza or cozart at SS. The problem with Peraza is he is not a GG caliber defender. And the only way to justify a weak hitting SS would be GG defense.

        • I doubt Cozart’s ability to stay on the field and continue to play anything like his past defense. The cracks are showing already. We largely ignore them because of his new found offense

          • In fairness Jim, you doubted he’d be worth his arbitration salary this year… There is still a good chance that you’re right and I personally don’t think the Reds are in the position that they should risk signing him unless it is to a team-friendly deal with incentives that would bring it closer to market value if reached.

          • At least I’m staying consistent 😉 Is he worth the Arb salary if he makes no more material contribution the rest of the year?

          • Yes, he’s already been worth over $5-million this year in my opinion.

        • Before the quad started acting up again, I think Nick’s number probably wouldn’t have gotten it done. Now I think Nick’s number would be a pretty significant overpay. I’m thinking it likely that your number is much closer to what Cozart may expect to see in FA at this point. Rather or not it is something the Reds should do is up for debate. Sounds like the debate is on too!

      • Even with all of the injuries, Cozart still ranks 8th among MLB SS over the last 2 years in fWAR. Among SS with 800+ PA over the last 2 year, he ranks 4th in wRC+ (113). It is tough to find an above average hitting SS who is also an above average defensive SS. I see Cozart declining some, but I don’t see him falling below average in either category over the next 2-3 years.

        • If GMs and other baseball ops people for other teams feel that way, then Cozart will likely get a deal in the neighborhood you’re talking about. It would be more if not for the injury risk. I don’t know though. I think he may sign something in the 2-year range at a $10-mill AAV, perhaps with incentives that bring the deal up longer or a vesting 3rd year at say $15-million.

    • Cozart isn’t consistely good enough or healthy enough for the Reds to further handicap payroll giving him $13 per season. If he commands anything over $8 million, then let another team pay that. We must flush the payroll so IF, IF, IF we’re in a position to go for it, we’ll have the financial cushion to make a move (or two) in the FA or trade realm. Adding another so-so vet for several years at an overpay is not good business. Add in the fact we have drafted or signed about 5 short stops the past two years, keeping Cozart at anything beyond a bargain price is silly.

  17. I more than anything hope this becomes evident that the Reds need a change in structure and management, and that playoffs or the idea of it was a farce this year. Is it fair to say this is a trend of Price’s teams? Play okay until the all-star break and then crash and burn after? Getting number 1-10 draft picks every year is nice, but if our players don’t develop, then we’ll go nowhere. We’ve made some moves, but what I think hurts everyone so much is the cavalry of SP was suppose to arrive soon, and now that some of it has, they’re falling off their horses, if they can’t get back up and march up San Juan, then the rebuild is greatly delayed. I’d be more hurt if I wasn’t happy that this team was out of contention. Two months of baseball, hopefully two months of sorting. Let’s hope there’s Tylenol and Advil for these growing pains…

    • The reason the Reds crash after the All-Star break is because they have no roster depth—especially pitching—and players fatigue and break down. So many people want to fire Price, but the next guy is likely to achieve the same results until the Reds’ talent/MLB depth improve.

      Gotta have that scalp though.

      • Um… have we already forgotten that the Reds were one game under.500 after the all star break last year? That’s literally the most recent sample and it’s definitely not a crash and burn scenario. 2-12 sucks but let’s not get silly about it. The future will be brighter as players get healthier, Homer Bailey gets more starts under his belt, Senzel and Winker arrive, and young arms sort out and gain confidence and experience.

        And on another note with Cozart’s quad I’m less enthusiastic about an extension than I have been but the question remains – who takes his place to play solid shortstop? And please don’t say Peraza folks. Yes he’s young but so is have the international signing pool and there’s no major league ready shortstop there either.

        • Not to be disagreeable….but disco.finnegan and Straily had awesome second halves in 2016 and gave the reds a legitimate chance to win every time they pitched. All 3 of those guys are gone. This team in 2017 right now is far worse…particularly with cozart out…and Peraza and schebler in a horrific slumps. I agree with your main points and certainly look forward to watching Castillo and Romano and Bailey pitch…..and hopefully disco soon…..
          But this team is at risk of losing 100 games.

        • Who cares who plays SS. Anyone mediocre journeyman with a glove will do. It would be a step back from Cozart, but at $12 million less on the payroll. Then we can watch Cozart play good for a month, get injured, play not so good for a few weeks another injury, play good for a few weeks, etc…on aonther team.

    • Last year they were horrible before the All Star Break and much better after so no, it’s not a trend of Price’s teams.

    • No, this isn’t a hallmark of Price teams. The Reds did pretty well after the break last year.

      • Maybe I should’ve been more specific in that I feel like Price’s teams every year have a stretch of just terrible; how could it get worse baseball. Fact of the matter is, I was positing that this needed to happen to allow sorting and to stop the team from pushing for playoffs without a solid SP staff.

        • Keep it even simpler, there is NO excitement, none, with Price as manager. Maybe they get someone worse, but keeping Price does not appear to be anything but a sign of decision paralysis by the front office.

  18. I agree with Nick that 2018 is the time for the Reds to start playing, at least, .500 ball. With the FO, it’s past time for Jocketty to slip into retirement and for DW and Phil Castellini to run the show. That means a new man to manage the show in the dugout. I, along with most Reds fans, like Cozart and would like to see an extension But the injuries are too much of a risk. Jim Walker’s previous post mentions a good fit would be Cozart as a DH or occasional shortstop in the AL. Senzel, in 2018, needs to be at third base with Suarez at shortstop. Gennett and Peraza could share duties at second base. .Winker needs to leadoff and be in right field. Shebler should be the 4th. outfielder and a pinch hitter. Hamilton should be available to a team that needs great defense in a bigger outfield. If Votto agrees to a trade, then do it. It’s time for the Reds to again be a contender in the NLC.

    • I agree with most of that, except that this team may lose 95-100 games, so I doubt they’re ready for .500 next year? They also struggle so badly vs lefties that I would go with Blandino or Brandon Dixon to platoon w/Scooter. Peraza isn’t even close to being a productive offensive player! Blandino also gives you a guy that can play shortstop in a pinch. Finally, Schebler had a .850 ops 3 weeks ago? He is super streaky but he might be a better player then Winker? I don’t know? They’ve screwed up by not giving WInker some real playing time w/the Reds so nobody knows? This offense needs help somewhere? 10th in the NL in scoring and fading fast!

    • I also can’t see Senzel being in the lineup on Opening day next year. It wouldn’t matter if he hit .350 the rest of the way at AA. That’s not how they roll! I would see Castillo pitching against the Reds in the futures game at the end of March and say to myself “This kid is 24 already and throws 99 w/control….lets do it”. The Reds say “Nah….we have the lollipop Kid Arroyo and he’s almost back up to 85 mph. He might sell more bobbleheads”

      • As I have said several time before, I doubt the Reds had promoted Mike Trout as swiftly as the Angels did. He’d have lost three all-star years to steady low A, high A, AA and AAA promotions. He’d probably be a rookie last year with the Reds.

        While blowing a year of control by playing Senzel opening day in 2018 seems silly (and waiting till post June 1st makes sense), I would admit to being pleasantly surprised if they rolled with him and said screw worrying about one more year of control in 2022 or whenever, lets start this NOW.

  19. Under Price this team expects to lose period! He simply doesn’t have enough competitive spark to manage a winning team in the majors. I don’t think its an accident that their best streak of baseball was a five game winning streak they went on a couple years ago after he went on a tirade with the press. I am not saying do that more often but do something that shows winning is important!

    I am also sick of watching Votto “run” the bases like he is playing church softball. Also he forgets to tag bases on defense and would seem to prefer to talk to people on the opposing team than focus on winning the game. The Reds have some talented young players who I think are giving full effort. If I were them I would be disillusioned with Price, Votto and Cozart and their accepting losing so easily. They need a Pete Rose type manager to fire them up and challenge them!

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About Nick Kirby

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.


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