Titanic Struggle Recap

The road trip is now only half full

Good news. The road trip is half over.

Cincinnati Reds 4  Miami Marlins 7 || Box || Play Log || Statcast

Sal Romano labored through 3.2 innings. He struck out five, but walked six. He also gave up two hits. Romano showed flashes of good stuff, but his lack of control kept him in trouble.

Things unraveled for Romano (and the Reds?) in the bottom of the 4th. With the bases loaded, one out and the Reds ahead 3-0, Romano induced a tapper back to the mound – a sure double play ball – but the Reds pitcher threw it FAR over the head of catcher Tucker Barnhart. A run scored on that play. Following a sacrifice fly and a walk, Bryan Price pulled Romano with bases loaded and two outs. Michael Lorenzen induced Christian Yelich to pop-out, ending the threat.

Chris Welsh made a good point, that last night’s starter, Robert Stephenson walked seven batters, and tonight’s starter walked six.

Michael Lorenzen finished the 4th and pitched the 5th and 6th innings, throwing 35 pitches. He gave up a run, striking out three and walking one. This isn’t the first time recently Price has used Lorenzen in an early inning. That’s probably Price bringing in one of his best arms in a high leverage situation. But can’t a guy dream that Price is giving Lorenzen a little more run, building toward a starting assignment?

Wandy Peralta served up a home run and two doubles in the 7th inning, giving the Marlins a 5-3 lead. Drew Storen hung a breaking ball for a 2-run homer. Maybe they’re tired. Maybe they just aren’t that good. Reminder that relievers are highly variable. That’s why: Always Be Trading Relievers, whenever possible. Make other teams chase consistency that just isn’t there for the vast majority of bullpen guys.

Joey Votto and Adam Duvall got the Reds on the scoreboard in the first inning. Votto’s single drove in Billy Hamilton, who had walked. Duvall blasted a home run, his 22nd of the season, into the left field bleachers. After the first four batters, the good guys led 3-0. Scooter Gennett had a couple more hits.

Scott Schebler did obliterate a baseball in the 9th, his 23rd homer. 432 feet.

Jose Siri doubled at Dayton tonight. His hitting streak of 33 games is the longest in his league for 40 years.

Good news from the future. Nick Senzel is blitzing through AA.

80 thoughts on “The road trip is now only half full

  1. Here’s your Fun Fact for the night:

    Since June 8th, the Reds’ record is: 12-32

    I kind of wish they’d started the season with that record instead of teasing us with the illusion that they might actually be not so bad.

    • I kind of think this, too. It would have reinforced that this was a strictly rebuilding season. Maybe Arroyo, Adleman etc. get fewer wasted starts.

      • I keep harping on this, but I still think the moment where Price 100% lost me was when he made his “pushing for the playoffs” comment. That is NOT what this season is supposed to be about, and if Price doesn’t (or didn’t) get that, he has no business overseeing this rebuild.

        No matter if Price meant it seriously or just as public lip service, the fact he would say that just infuriated me to no end as it showed he was prioritizing exactly the wrong things at this crucial stage of the team’s development.

      • The schedule has played a large part, if viewed through the prism of since June 8th:

        Reds are only 4-14 at home in that timeframe, but have seen:

        Dodgers
        Nationals
        Cubs
        Diamondbacks

        Since June 8th, Reds have visited:

        Dodgers (as part of the always successful West Coast road trip)
        Nationals
        Diamondbacks
        Rockies
        Rays
        Yankees

        Lots of playoff teams there, home and away, maybe all of them.

        Future generations of Reds fans will ask, “why in the hell did the Reds bring back Bronson Arroyo in 2017?”

        Fortunately, Chad Dotson will have long since moved his wise brain into a robot and will be around to provide a detailed account of the madness.

        • So aren’t they 1-4 against the Marlins who are that good of a team? They got swept by the Padres also, is losing contagious?

    • Exactly. How has this team tanked so quickly?! I just don’t see how this is going to ever get better

      • It might get better when they play weaker teams, but I find this hard to watch.

  2. Simply pathetic! The Padres have absolutely NOTHING and they’re 4.5 games ahead of the Reds. They play in the divsion w/LA, Colorado, and Arizona. No reason whatsoever to be this inept? I’m done…not watching another inning unless Mahle, Winker, or Blandino get a start.

    Contract question. I’m thinking they couldn’t give Senzel a taste in Sept even if they wanted to because they’d lose a year of control on the back end. Is that right? No other reason to watch these slugs

    • I think I’m going to start rooting for the Brewers. Been a Reds fan my whole life but why care about a team that doesn’t care?All rebuilding is tanking.

    • You watch because they are your team. I will watch and drive over from indy to see them and on TV no matter record.

    • No it is not right. It will not affect his years of control. Your decision to stop watching the Reds is wise. Getting overly upset about baseball is not healthy. A break will get you ready for next season when all things will seem possible.

  3. For some reason I think the front office does think it is about winning rather then seeing who can or who can’t other wise we would be trying out new players such as Indy mentioned.I know nothing about team control other then when it was talked about when they sent Garrett down and at the time I couldn’t fathom why 6 years of control vs 5 really made all that difference unless the guy was the next Kershaw or Trout.We don’t have any of those that I am aware so what makes the difference.

    • What I do not get is pulling your young starters early in the game. Romano was up 3-2 in the 4th and Stephenson was down 1-0 in the fifth under 100 pitches, granted they created a mess but should have been able to get themselves out of it

    • There have tons of beasts on the minor league level who never sniffed success on the ML level.

      • what beasts? the main issue is there minors have been pretty bad since the wave of Dunn, Kearns, Encanacion, Votto, and Bruce arrived- maybe Mes and Frazier coudl qualify. Trammell, Senzel, and Siri are encouraging reasons to think some talent is on the horizon

  4. We gained another game on the Phillies tonight. It’s all about getting the number 1 pick. It’s all about 2019. They are sorting half out this year and the rest next year.

    • Keep telling yourself that. I thought it was about 2018? Now it’s 2019? Sorry I’m sick of waiting. Good teams don’t rebuild they reload.

      • I totally agree.I don’t care what draft pick they get and I’m sick of waiting.I’m a huge Reds fan but sorry to say that I have about lost all interest in this mess.I honestly don’t care anymore.

        • So sick of the excuse of rebuilding. The Brewers came into this season in a rebuild yet look at them?! This team is just plain trash.

      • Outside of the Yankees, who can just buy what they want, and the Cardinals who have just been smarter than everyone else…..everyone rebuilds at some point

        We’re the 2012-2014 Cubs a really long reload?

        The Red Sox finished last 3 of 4 years. The Astros lost 100 plus games 3 years in a row…..are yet not good or did they just somehow “reload” during those last place finishes?

        You can disagree with everything the Reds have done…that’s fair…but you’re either making things up or you have a very limited understanding of how baseball actually works. You seem to be confusing college football with baseball.

        • No making things up here. Results are results. Anyone who looks at the “rebuild” of the Astros or Cubs and thinks it compares to our current Reds team is either delusional or very overly optimistic. Those teams were both committed to a timeline that even the media were aware of. (I’m sure you’ve seen the SI Cover). This organization is adrift without any idea of where the shore is. 2018? 2019? 2022? Give us a break! At some point you have to throw your hands up and wonder if the people in charge of the rudder are asleep or incompetent.

          • You’re absolutely right Indy,this ain’t going no where and getting worst dailey

          • Hindsight crystallizes their rebuilds as perfectly orchestrated. But if you’ll recall the Cubs peaked a year earlier than they anticipated. This was a pleasant surprise, but one nonetheless. By doing so they rushed starting and reliever pitching trades and signings with cash and prospects to catch up. They had the cash and the prospects.

            It worked. They’re WS champions. But I disagree that everything went as smoothly as you suggest.

      • Reloading requires near perfect decision making, usually a large market with high payroll, and a fan base that demands it.

        Cubs, Astros, Nationals, Phillies — all teams who could jack up payroll, and yet they had to rebuild too.

        The Dodgers “reload” every year and it’s gotten them zero WS appearances.

        We’re worse off than these franchises for sure, but they’re grass isn’t greener than ours, just a different shade of brown.

      • From the begging of the season, I have been thinking 2010 (or 2029) as a realistic season.
        If our starts are not healthy, we are messed up still.

      • I’m not particularly optimistic, but to be meaningful, you’d have to gather data on all teams’ draft picks and show that the Reds do worse. That might be the case, but my impression is that plenty of prospects don’t pan out.

      • You should look up other teams and compare. Most teams didn’t do well unless you are the Cubs or Astros which picked high every year. The Cardinals draft is not to great as well. Drafting is a crap shoot for everyone.

        • Biggest trap teams like the Reds can fall into is comparing themselves to other teams and deciding that things are OK. That’s an excuse for mediocrity. The idea is to be BETTER than other teams.

          • Incorrectly identifying the problem is the trap, Jesse. If the Reds actually have as much success (or more) as other teams, then that’s not the problem. Identify the real problem (player development? Plate discipline? Etc.?) and focus resources on that.

          • I don’t think they’ve identified the problem yet because they are still “sorting.” Again, the Reds should not see their efforts at player development as satisfactory because they are slightly above average. They should strive for excellence, because that’s the only way to beat the teams with deep pockets.

          • You’re probably right: It doesn’t seem as though they’ve identified the problem, but the fact remains that, no matter how good you are, prospects frequently don’t pan out. Too many things can happen from the time they’re drafted to the time they should be ready to contribute.

      • Doug Gray studies this stuff for a living and has written some good analysis. See some of his earlier posts here or go over to his site. He is clear in doing more thorough comparisons that the Reds are above average in their drafting and development in recent years. In baseball (unlike other major sports) far fewer draftees ‘make it’ – it’s the nature of the sport.

        Criticizing pieces of what the Reds do is fair and appropriate – and deserved. Blanket statements that the Reds are terrible at drafting and development are off base.

        • Very good points. I did check out his site recently and very informative.
          Very few draft picks actually make it.
          My big critique would be a sloppy succession plan for Cozart and an over-emphasis on young pitchers, who rarely pan out. Shortstop is a crucial position and you cant reasonably expect to find a really good one without committing your most organizational resources to get one.

          They haven’t drafted a shortstop in the top 20 of the draft since Pokey Reese. They were fortunate to get Cozart in 2007 in the secound round, but their strategy since has been seemingly to pay in the international Latin market or trade for Peraza and hope they strike gold. In this day and age, you need to commit a top pick or make a huge trade to get one and they’ve been MIA the last decade. They took Nick Travieso in 2012 as a high school pitcher and let Corey Seager fall to the Dodgers.
          Seager was a true elite shortstop. Blandino wasn’t a SS and Trahan as a 2nd rounder isn’t elite.

          • Hey Jack – Why don’t you man up and address me instead of being passively aggressive?

            I didn’t make up any facts. I provided a link. I don’t care what any other team did in regards to the draft because that doesn’t affect how the Reds do their job. I know that some picks don’t pan out. I also know that in order for the Reds – who have loudly cried poverty in the past four years – to compete, they need to hit on their draft picks because they have no margin for error when compared to teams with deeper pockets. They need to develop much much better than other teams, and they don’t do this – they are slightly better, which hasn’t and will not get the job done.

            They draft Nick Howard, decide to convert him to a starter, and he instantly can’t throw strikes. They draft Phil Ervin, who has had one cup of coffee and doesn’t seem to be that close. The two catchers they drafted #1 in the past few years can’t stay healthy. They draft Bob Stephenson, refuse to package him in any trade deal that may have put them over the top in 2012 or 2013, and it turns out he can’t throw strikes either. The other picks? Solid, but how many still remain with the franchise?

            I am so sick and tired of people offering excuses and explaining away problems for this poorly run franchise instead of calling the front office on the carpet and demanding better – regardless of bad luck or whatever the excuse of the day seems to be. Because that’s the only way that this team gets turned around – for the excuses to stop and for people to do their jobs better.

  5. Losing isn’t fun, I get that. But I was willing to endure losing if it felt like the team was going somewhere, if we could see improvements over time. I think what we’re seeing now are the results of the delayed sorting. Some combination of Romano, Castillo, Reed, and Stephenson all should have been in the rotation to begin the season, not Arroyo, Feldman, Bonilla, Adelman, et. al. Why was Price “trying to get to the playoffs”? That would imply he is only interested in playing the best players he has now, not the players who could be better later, which is supposed to be the whole point of this rebuild.

    Alas, Price refused (and still refuses, see: Winker, Jesse) to let the kids play, let them take their lumps and learn on the job. We saw this somewhat last season. Last season was supposed to be the beginning of the rebuild, this year was supposed to be fine tuning, and then the team was supposed to compete next season. They have completely fumbled their way to where we are now: a muddled mess where it seems like no one really knows what the plan is or what goal they are working toward.

    This is why I’m sick of seeing this team lose like this. The team just looks so lost out there, a rudderless ship in the night. Some might say the players themselves aren’t good enough, but I really think it starts at the top: the manager has to instill the players with a sense of purpose, a sense of direction, a sense of working together for a larger goal. This team lacks identity, leadership, and drive, all things that should come from the top down.

    I was willing to give Price the benefit of the doubt, even if last season left a slightly bad taste in my mouth. But watching him mis-manage the young players and muddy the waters of the rebuild this season is just inexcusable. It’s time for a fresh perspective, for someone who will come in and buy into the idea of building for the future, someone who knows how to help these young players grow and reach their full potential. I have no longer have confidence that Price can be that guy, but I still believe there must be someone out there who can.

    It is not a knee jerk reaction to say this: for this team to move forward, it is time to fire Bryan Price.

    • The Cubs have two things the Reds don’t have: Theo Epstein and money. That’s why their rebuild worked and why the Reds rebuild won’t.

      • I don’t think it’s that simple. The Reds have some very talented pieces, so the money isn’t a a major issue, but I agree having a front office with a clear vision that the organization clearly understands and implements from the top on down is a defining characteristic of a successful culture.

      • You just indicated that the Brewers were your new favorite team and they don’t have money nor Theo Epstein either

        • C’mon, Chuck – that comment doesn’t really advance the discussion. You cite the Cubs and Astros often – explain why the Reds “rebuild” hasn’t gone as well as those two teams. And if you cite injury, be prepared to explain why the Reds don’t seem to be doing anything to address the large amount of injuries that seem to happen every year.

          And I think Geoff makes a fine point about supporting a team that is not the Reds – right now there’s not much to root for or be interested in.

          • Jesse….

            The Cubs and Astros are a finished product. Their rebuilds were non-linear and were extremely frustrating for their fans.

            The amount of anger that Cubs fans had regarding the process was rather deep and intense. The strategy was doubted and there were times when it seemed that the entire endeavour was failing….the Astros were worse, but they have like 85 fans so there was less anger. In a nutshell, the fans of those teams were experiencing the same anger, frustrations and doubt that many here are.

            I have absolutely no idea how the Reds ” rebuild” will shake out. Neither does anyone here. In my mind, it’s too early in the process to fairly evaluate anything. If they suck next year …..2018 was set as a target by the organization….then you, I and everyone else has reason to be pissed

          • Ok. I appreciate your point of view. It’d frustrating to have to wait until next year when so little progress has been made this year. As you said, this process could be non-linear.

          • And I’m not turning away from the Reds… I never will. I’ve stuck with them during the 9 straight losing seasons as well. I’m just going to root for the Brewers to win the division because they are a good story.

    • You might be the only person in the world who thinks Bryan Price decides when/if Jess
      Winker plays and the ” Get to the playoffs” stuff was anything more than a marketing statement to encourage casual fans to show up. Would any sane person use 68 year old, one armed Bronson Arroyo to get to the playoffs?

      • So if Price doesn’t decide Winker’s PT, why would the FO send Winker up twice this year, only to amass two starts and a handful of pinch hitting appearances?

        • Let’s see off the top of my head:

          • Reward Winker for AAA excellence with a MLB paycheck.
          • Observe big league preparation.
          • Put Winker in PH spots where he has the best chance of succeeding.
          • Visual reminder to players ahead of him that he’s almost ready.
          • Begin working relationship with Don Long.

          • All of this could be true, and that’s a great an optimistic point of view. But I – and I suspect many other fans – want to see Winker play, as this might accelerate the “sorting” and also be fun and interesting. If your reasons re indeed what the FO is thinking, then they ought to be more transparent about their intent.

    • You are assuming it’s on Price. Remember it’s the owner and GM who control who plays, all Price or any manager decides is where.

    • Bryan Price is not the problem. A lack of talent, especially in pitching, is the problem.

  6. I guess the one encouraging thing is that the Reds will get a #1 pick, or something close. They can then draft another highly regarded high school pitcher, pay him a bonus of +7 million dollars, and he will have less than a 50% chance of making it to the majors.

    WINNING!!

    • You should look up other teams and compare. Most teams didn’t do well unless you are the Cubs or Astros which picked high every year. The Cardinals draft is not to great as well. Drafting is a crap shoot for everyone. You need to go look at all the teams number 1 picks through the years and you will be surprised how many guys never made it to the show. Go look at the model franchise St. Louis Cardinals. The cubs have done well the last 5 years but that’s the payoff when you pick in top 5 every year. Come back in 5 years and grade the Reds then when they have picked in top 5. But they haven’t done bad in the past compared to other teams.

  7. Here is a question that just occurred to me that I don’t think I’ve read or heard about anywhere.

    Dick Williams is a 2nd year GM and rookie President of Baseball OPs. He took full control about 9 months ago in the middle of a rebuild which seemed to be on course. Now it is going backwards.

    Is DW’s job safe; or is it possible that Bob Castellini upon the advice of Walt Jocketty might look outside the family for a more experienced Pres of Baseball Ops/ GM?

    • DW’s family owns as much of the team as Castellini. He isn’t going anywhere.

      • Chuck, if you have documentation for this statement please point me to it. I’ve wondered about the ownership share breakdown myself and never resolved it to my satisfaction.

        Regardless, Bob Castellini is CEO; and another Castellini, Phil is COO.

        And, in the end I doubt that blood is going to be thicker than serious money (loss) anyway.

        • It’s been reported a few places that Castellini owns about 15% of the team….not 51%, 15%. He is the ” control” person per the partnership agreement.

          Joe Williams is the Chairman of the team and Tom Williams is Vice Chairman. Their investment in the team has tripled and I doubt they’re losing cash. DW is going nowhere.

          • And so you don’t get aggressive bold new leadership from DW…..you get consensus governance and action by committee rule…. input from everyone and DW is still influencing….not directing….but influencing decision making and Phil Castellini has his views on things heard as well.

          • The Enquirer doesn’t cover this stuff as closely as they used to or perhaps it has moved from the sports section to the financial area; but, the last i saw the team is actually now owned by an separate umbrella LLC which the Castellini’s control. At the time this happened, Bob Castellini said it was so they could bring in additional ownership equity by selling shares in the LLC. Also I think by the way, it essentially serves an estate tax sheltering mechanism.

          • BizJournals Cincinnati Blog of March 2013 outlines the Reds ownership group. Says B.Castellini owns 15% but goes on to say “In Castellini’s case, as with most teams, he’s both the largest shareholder and the primary owner.

            The article says Bob Castellini, Joe Williams, and Tom Williams each a “controlling owner” of the Reds.

            https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/blog/2013/03/reds-owners-could-almost-fill-a-roster.html

            Wikipedia describes Joe and Tom Williams as “minority shareholders in the Castellini ownership group” but does agree with your assessment that they are Chair and Vice Chair of the club board.

        • I’d be shocked if the ownership share and power structure have any meaningful dynamic…I think the Castellini and Williams view themselves as partners and friends in every sense of the word…they have their leaders and advisors and all are part of the “team” to bring winning baseball to Cincinnati. There is no tension…no power struggles…no vehement disagreements about direction….no significant alternative points of view…..which is exactly the problem.

          DW was viewed as the next family guy in line. Jocketty wanted to stay involved….but didn’t want the 24/7/365 responsibility….he has the best of both worlds.

  8. While this front office owes us nothing,if they truly had a plan going forward we would be able to point to certain things happening on the field that would obviously prove they do have one.The only thing I have seen is Peraza was given 400 at bats to prove he could or couldn’t get on base.I support that and concur it is exactly what you do in a losing season or even in a winning one.Nothing else has been done period.Waste of a year and probably set us back some.

  9. Good thought Jim but I have always felt as long as Jocketty was in the building he and the folks he hired that are still here are actually still running the show.DW needs as a first step to clean house and chart his own course.Walt still thinks he can win with this team.

    • But consider that the issues this season have largely been front office issues.

      They don’t appear to have a coherent plan for the development of what to an outsider looks like an abundance of pitching talent in the high minors.

      Ditto for how they have handled their top positional prospect at AAA, Jesse Winker, who looks to be MLB ready. The way he has been handled this year has not helped the development of the team on the field; and, also it has done nothing to enhance his possible trade value in the coming off season should they decide he is blocked by the MLB level talent (look back to how the Reds managed Yonder Alonso in the season before he was dealt as the headline piece in the Latos deal).

      At least some of the issue with how Winker has been used relates back to an apparent obsession with keeping Stuart Turner, the 3rd catcher, in the Reds organization. What about Turner makes him a viable #2 catcher this year or on down the road? If Tucker Barnhart went down today for the rest of the season, are they really OK letting Turner catch the 60% or so of the games which Meso apparently is not yet up to catching? Weren’t there a number of options similar to Corky Miller in his playing days who could have been salted away for contingency at AAA without burning a 25 and 40 man roster spot?

      All three of these situations are front office situations. The involvement of Price and the coaching staff in them is nothing more than offering an informed opinion.

    • Walt still thinks he will continue to get paid by this team. Ask why the Cardinals severed their relationship with him?
      I don’t think Walt is stupid, venal or corrupt, but he has a way of doing things that “worked” when he had Albert Pujols in the middle of the line up with the Cardinals, (along with a younger Matt Holliday) that did not work when Pujols left.
      The Reds have organizational problems, IMHO, that need to be addressed, and while I think younger Dick Williams is a smart man, I do not know if he can accomplish this.

  10. Jim,You are right about the Turner case but you failed to mention one thing.Nobody could be that dumb that has any business running a baseball team.Turner is an option to back up Corky in a Sunday afternoon church league slow pitch softball game and that’s about it.Pay the Twins to take him back and free up a roster spot.Good grief man in a year of goofiness this has to be at the top of the list.

  11. The 25th man on a MLB roster is never the problem, The problem is the starting pitching which is the worst in baseball. You can not give up the most run and expect to win.

  12. Agree about the pitching but carrying a third catcher as your 25th guy is a problem but so is carrying an extra pitcher and having Alcantara on your roster.Playing short handed and with bad players is just dumb.May not win any more but if Turner and Alcantara were replaced by Winker and Blandino wouldn’t that give the Reds a look at these players.Don’t we know about Turner and Alcantara?Are they a part of the future?I think not so why why why are they still here?

    • Alcantara was at one time considered a highly regarded prospect in (I think) the Cubs system. Once in the Majors, it was discovered he had a real hard time seeing and hitting the breaking pitch. He had a very good Spring Training this year, and then…..Price never played him. He is a pretty good athlete, but we really have no idea if he is any good because he was never played. One wonders if he had played a few more games earlier in the season, and Zach Cozart had a few more days off, if Cozart would have the quad injury now (from strain or fatigue?)? A similar thing happened last year, as Price overplayed Cozart “to win”(post surgery recovery) and Cozart ended up on the DL at the end of the season.

      Should they bring up Zach Vincej, and watch him rust on the bench, too? Blandino, Vincej, Winker….at this point, what difference does it make? Unless Price is INSTRUCTED by Dick Williams to play these guys, they probably will sit on the bench if they come up the Majors.

  13. Agreed it only works if they have a plan to play these guys.Wishful thinking that they do.Got to stop assuming they are sorting.My mistake.

Comments are closed.