2017 Reds

Don’t Wait: Start Michael Lorenzen Right Now

The Reds have seemingly come around to giving Michael Lorenzen another chance to start (C. Trent Rosecrans reporting), and after watching their current crop of young pitcher’s struggle, can you blame them? Lorenzen is a five-pitch pitcher who has proven he can get Major Leaguers out. Several of his peers – Cody Reed, Robert Stephenson, Amir Garrett – have not had the same success to this point.

Several Redleg Nation writers have pushed hard for the Reds to reconsider Lorenzen’s role; I’ve been chief among them. Obviously, he isn’t a sure thing, but we won’t know until the Reds give him a shot. Right now, it appears Lorenzen will begin Spring Training 2018 as a starter.

But I’d argue that the Redlegs should use this disappointing season to collect data on Lorenzen in a starting role for several reasons.

The Reds may have more competition in the spring and won’t get enough data to properly evaluate Lorenzen as a starter. The following pitchers will likely be competing for or assured a rotation spot during Spring Training:

  • Homer Bailey
  • Anthony Desclafani
  • Brandon Finnegan
  • Amir Garrett
  • Cody Reed
  • Robert Stephenson
  • Sal Romano
  • Tyler Mahle
  • Luis Castillo
  • Michael Lorenzen

That leaves out Rookie Davis, who doesn’t even crack Doug Gray’s top 25 Reds’ prospects and probably isn’t on the same level as the guys on this list. Jackson Stephens could unexpectedly force the issue as well.

Yes, Desclafani still might have surgery at some point. Finnegan and Bailey are also injury concerns. That’s still a lot of guys to sort through.

Currently, that traffic is a little lighter. Garrett and Reed are busy in AAA trying to recapture the magic that made them top prospects. Stephenson and Romano are in the Majors but showing plenty of growing pains. Desclafani is still a few weeks away, and Finnegan won’t pitch again this season.

Those factors have led to Tim Adleman making 19 starts this season. He has had his moments, but he’s posted a 5.54 ERA and 5.19 xFIP since the beginning of May. Adleman hasn’t been adequate in quite a while and has zero future in a winning rotation, though I think he could succeed in a relief role.

Adelman is decent the first time through the order, posting a 4.35 ERA with a 25.7 K%. After that, lineups leave a pile of wreckage so high that the Big Red Machine would struggle to dig themselves free.

If the Reds could get Lorenzen starting now in Adleman’s spot, they could get a jump start on starting pitching decisions for 2018 and a look at Adelman in a multi-inning relief role.

They do not, however, need to send Lorenzen to the minor leagues to do it. While he will require some stretching out, his usage this season, as well as the presence of Adleman on the roster, means he could go into the rotation immediately.

How? Lorenzen has already thrown as many as 46 pitches in an appearance this season. He has pitched multiple innings eleven times. It’s not a stretch (haha) to say that Lorenzen could throw 50 pitches in a start right now.

That’s where Adleman comes in. The Reds should start Lorenzen and let him throw three or four innings and around 50 pitches. They can then bring in Adleman for 2-4 innings to save the bullpen. During Lorenzen’s next start, he can pitch around 65-70 pitches, and Adleman can again come in for a couple innings. After another start or two, Lorenzen will be stretched out.

The Reds should not have a problem with a tired bullpen. If something goes awry, the Reds can continue to play musical chairs with relievers in Louisville as Austin Brice, Ariel Hernandez, Kevin Shackelford, and Barrett Astin will all be available. Asher Wojciechowski can also throw multiple innings during the transition.

With this plan, the Reds will get a look at Lorenzen as a starter with his cutter and sinker, which he didn’t have in 2015. And again, Adleman will get a chance to show he can fill a long term role as well.

Lorenzen has already begun using his repertoire like a starter and wouldn’t need to change the way he pitches. As you can see in the chart below, he is mixing in his breaking and offspeed stuff more and more as the season progresses.

Month Hard Breaking Offspeed
4/17 81.90 17.62 0.48
5/17 85.32 14.22 0.46
6/17 73.08 24.04 2.88
7/17 67.12 30.59 2.28

As he has gained confidence in his secondary pitches, he has begun to strikeout more batters. Lorenzen’s K% has risen to 25% in July, his best strikeout month of the season.

Maybe the Reds are concerned about his health with a mid-season transition. They could reasonably want to get him through the year in the bullpen to see how his elbow holds up before preparing him for more innings in the offseason.

I’m not sold on that though. Dick Williams stated they wanted to get Lorenzen 100 plus innings this year, which isn’t happening with his current usage because he only has 54.1 innings so far. If they were really concerned about his elbow, they probably wouldn’t have set that lofty goal.

If Lorenzen starts this week, he will likely get only 10-11 starts. Because of the transition starts, he will accrue roughly 50-60 more innings and finish the season around 105-115. That’s well within the range they discussed for Lorenzen, even if he accumulates them differently than they anticipated.

When Desclafani and Feldman return, the Reds will need to make other rotation decisions. I hope they don’t waste anymore valuable starts on Feldman in a lost season unless they think he can rebuild trade valuable and get a decent return (I have my doubts).  When Disco arrives, they may send a young guy back down who is struggling or running up against an innings limit. Maybe they go to a six man rotation to ease Disco back into the fold after two seasons of injuries. Regardless, the Reds shouldn’t wait to replace Adelman.

With two months to go, the Reds have few answers to their starting pitching questions. Now is the time to get some of those answers, and it should begin with Michael Lorenzen. If he shows promise, the Reds can use the offseason to consider other options for the bullpen. It’s time to #FreeLorenzen.

 

68 thoughts on “Don’t Wait: Start Michael Lorenzen Right Now

  1. I always go back and forth about decisions like these. Dick Williams is a smart guy. He is the GM of a professional baseball team for a reason. There has to be variables unknown to us that go into these decisions.

    This sounds like a great idea but I am not holding my breath Lorenzen sees any time in the rotation this year. I would not be surprised in the slightest if both Adleman and Feldman finish out the year in the rotation. Why that is, I have no idea.

    • I like DW and you are right that there are things we don’t know. But, you could say that about any post we write. Should Cozart be extended or traded? Well, we don’t know everything about his injury or situation. Should Peraza be benched? We don’t know as much as the Reds do about the mechanical changes he might or might not be working on.

      It’s just fun to write about and discuss Reds topics based on what we do know, but I understand your point.

    • I’m sure Dick Williams is generally an intelligent person, certainly highly educated, and knows the things that fans want to hear. But he is the GM of a professional baseball team because he has family members that have an ownership stake in the Reds. It’s possible that he ends up being remembered as a good GM, but there was no extensive search, or even multiple candidates interviewed. The entire reason he is the GM of the Cincinnati Reds is because of nepotism and I think it’s important to remember that.

      • That doesn’t mean he isn’t qualified.

        I guess what I was trying to say is I wish things like this were as simple as making it happen, when 99.9% of the time that is not how it works. Talking about this stuff is great and fun and that is why I read/write, but it does almost make it more difficult when things like this cannot happen for whatever reason.

        • Dumb decisions can be made by smart people. The problem with Williams is 1) Price seems to do whatever he wants not what is good for the long term 2) he looks at the players as filling roles. What in the world does this team need a “closer” or an “8th innng guy.” We will win maybe 70 games trying to “win” instead of losing 60 games trying to develop players.

        • I’d argue there probably isn’t another organization that would hire him to be the GM, but that’s unproveable.

          I think a lot of times it IS as simple as making it happen. There just has to be the will within the organization to do it. The Reds as an organization simply put a lot of emphasis on bull pen roles, regardless of what Dick and Price have publicly said.

          • The Reds would have a 15 game lead for the worst record in baseball if they had last years bullpen

      • A good point, ERIC3287. The Williams Brothers have had an ownership stake in the Reds since the early 1980’s and the GM, Dick Williams, is a member of the family. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but I think it does decrease the chance of new ideas emerging for the direction of the Reds.

  2. Every time I see Adleman pitch, I keep thinking he’s our next Sam LeCure. I’d be happy with that.

  3. Per spotrac… Feldman has incentives that are in play. On my review he gets 100k fir every additional start from starts 10-25. He has started 19 games. He has 600k on the line for 6 more starts….if I’m reading his incentives correctly. That also may explain why they pitched him 5 th out of the all star break when he clearly wasn’t ready to pitch. That 1 inning he threw against the Nationals was a nice payday though.

    • Good information. Once healthy, if the Reds make moves that deny him starts the MLBPA and his agent are going to go ballistic. It would certainly behoove DW to not unnecessarily make the wrong enemies at this point

      • We went through the converse of this issue with Amir Garrett early, where I thought it is BS to play shenanigans with service time, and bad policy to be cheap with one’s employees.

        But I’m on the opposite of this one. Even if Feldman’s incentives were not in place, I would not give him any more starts, because the franchise needs to see what the younger guys can do. I wouldn’t worry about any grievance under these circumstances. I do think it was a bad incentive structure, because it opens up the possibility to a team’s benching him for financial reasons only.

        It also makes it difficult to trade him, not that there would be any great demand for him. A team’s having to fork over $100-200k per start, in addition to paying Feldman his base pay, would make it tough to trade him.

  4. Starting Lorenzen now makes so much sense, for all the reason you give. I don’t care as much on the how, though the Adleman solution does seem viable.

    It’s frustrating that we’ll be reading the same sorting articles next year. This is a perfect opportunity to get a month and a half of solid data to help in making future decisions.

  5. I am all for #FreeLorenzen.

    However, are the possible risks worth the reward of moving Lorenzen into a starting role for the last 2 months of a lost season?

    -If the Reds finish with 90 or more losses, it is unlikely they will be a playoff team in 2018. Any winning percentage improvement of 15% or more in one season is an outlier, and would be in the top 30 or so in MLB history.

    The rush to move him to a starting pitching role makes sense if the Reds were about to contend, but that is unlikely.

    -Lorenzen has only reached 3 innings in an appearance once this season, back in late May in Toronto.

    -Minor point, but draft position? I thought that was a focus (sadly) now for the rest of this season.

    Could you imagine the uproar if another Reds pitcher, another “lynchpin of the rebuild”, suffers a serious arm injury in a meaningless start in September, and there is even a hint of it being traced back to transitioning in the middle of the season?

    Better, IMO, to keep Lorenzen where he is, and bring him to spring training next year, taking Feldman’s place in the rotation, and the assurance he will get a (very) extended look at locking up a SP slot. No Louisville or Bullpen shuttle.

    • I disagree on your central premise: that starting him now has something to do with contending or the short term.

      Moving Lorenzen to the rotation now is a long-term decision and has nothing to do with the short term. They need to figure out who can start for the next 3-5 years and are willing to give Lorenzen a chance. They have an opportunity to get value data with 10 starts to finish this season that will help them figure out whether he can be one of those guys for the long term. It has nothing to do with winning now. If you were talking about a young guy and service time, I’d understand the point.

      They have space in the rotation now to give him a shot; that space will be more limited next spring unless you are saying they should give up on Garrett, Stephenson, and Reed (and maybe moving Finnegan to the pen).

      Also, he pitched 3 innings twice this season. Not a ton but he has pitched at least 2 innings 11 times. And I don’t think Lorenzen will affect their draft status even if he does really well. If they win two or three more games because of him, I don’t think it matters that much.

    • Here’s where I disagree; the most innings Lorenzen has pitched in a month was 15 in May. If he pitches 15 in August and September from the bullpen (unlikely), he’ll finish with 84.1 innings. If he pitches 13 innings/month (basically his average) he will be at 80.2 innings. Even if the Reds are willing next to year to increase him 50 innings (like this year, from 50-100 as they say), he’d be limited to around 130 innings next year.

      If they increase him only another 30 innings (like this year), then he would be limited to 110 innings in 2018, and still probably not start a full season in 2019. If, however, they star the process of making him a starter this year, and get him over 100 innings pitched, he could be limited in 2018 to something like 140-150 innings and be ready to pitch a full season in 2019.

      Also, if they don’t start the transition now, they will use every excuse in the book to keep him in the ‘pen next year too.

      “Who will he replace? We have Disco and Bailey and Finnegan, and have to give our younger starters more time to develop.” “We lost Drew Storen, so we really need someone with late inning experience in the bullpen.”

      • I agree. Get him 8-10 starts and get his innings to 110-120 and stretch him out. They could alternatively use the AFL to get him another 25 innings I suppose. I suspect Reds FO made a consensus organizational decision he is in the bullpen this year and they aren’t wavering from that. I hope I am wrong.

  6. I agree 100% that the Reds need to find out as much as they can about the starting pitching situation before the off season to enable them to make informed decisions about it during the off season.

    On the surface, it seems like the plan here of pairing Lorenzen and Adleman has merits.However as pointed out above, only the Reds org (and presumably Lorenzen) truly know the full story on his arm health and long term prognosis. Should Lorenzen suffer from simple fatigue related issues they could shut him down; and, he would have the off season to recover. If he truly damages something, who’s to say it wouldn’t have happened anyway? So much comes down to the proprietary information we don’t know.

    • Great points, Jim. The Reds may very well just be stupid….or there possibly is proprietary information that suggest Lorenzen is better served not starting.

      In order to put this situation on ice , the Reds would need to hold a press conference to announce that they are stupid….or one to announce that their proprietary biometric/analytical data suggests that Lorenzen is extremely succeptable to injury/ badness after ” x” number of pitches so he’s a reliever. My guess is we won’t see either of those things

      • They’ve said they think he can handle a starter’s load multiple times for a year now. Maybe they are being cautious with him this year and monitoring his health closely, and that could be wise. But they’ve already said they will likely bring Lorenzen in to Spring Training as a starter too so the “susceptible to injury” doesn’t fly.

        It’s perfectly reasonable for them to have health concerns with Lorenzen. They’ve repeatedly stated otherwise. It’s also perfectly reasonable for them to assess his stuff and feel he fits better in the bullpen. They seem to now think he should get a chance to start.

        No one is suggesting they are stupid. Nowhere did I even imply that.

        • It takes Price forever and is always weeks late to decide simple situations. Finally decides that Gennett ought to start and now hopefully comes to his senses and move Lorenzen back into the rotation. Price needs to go now. Worst manager in then history of baseball ( look it up)

        • Not to be disagreeable, but I do question if any decision would truly be made off 10 – 12 starts by Lorenzen this season.

          #FreeLorenzen is one of the few things virtually everyone that posts at RLN seems to agree on.

          As Nick mentions, the Reds are intending to start him in spring training anyway. What if he bombs as a starter, or at best, is meh? Is anyone, here or with the Reds, going to say, “We have seen enough. Give Lorenzen’s starting spot next season to Stephenson or Reed.”

          Doubtful.

          I think we (I know I do) have confirmation bias that he should get a shot next spring, so I still don’t see the overall reward over all the possible risks of starting him this season.

          • I don’t see the risks unless they are medical. And, no one is suggesting that they can make a firm decision off of 10+ starts, but it’s a much better data sample than relying only on Spring Training starts. Collect the data now and collect more in the Spring. More information should lead to a better decision. That’s the argument.

          • Well stated, Nick. Not only is that the argument, it’s also the most sound reasoning. What are we worried about with trying Lorenzon as a starter beginning this year?

            If there’s an injury concern, it hasn’t been publicly stated. Other than speculation, I don’t think there is a well articulated concern about stretching him out now.

            Put him to work now, he’s not taking starts from anybody that really matters in the long run. They’ve got the roster flexibility that they won’t have at the beginning of next year. Six to ten starts is a lot more meaningful data than spring training.

        • We know Lorenzen had PRP injections for his elbow last season; that the team maintains that he is “healthy” now; and, they have talked of using him as a starter in the “future”.

          The part we don’t know is is whether the reason why the this “future” hasn’t arrived yet is perhaps because of some long term recovery time frame regimen they might be applying. Maybe they don’t want him throwing over 50 pitches in a game right now; or getting up and down over twice in a game or throwing his various pitches in the ratio he needs to throw them as a starter.

          • All of this might be true, and if so, they are wise to get him through this season on the appropriate plan. But all of that is speculation too.

            This post wasnt meant to be critical of the Reds in any way. My suggestion is based on what they’ve said thus far and what we know. If they have an unspoken reason why this can’t happen, then that’s fine by me.

          • Understand, and I’m not intending to be critical of you.

            The irony to me is that other teams probably have a pretty read on why Lorenzen is in the bullpen even as the Reds dance around avoiding transparency,

      • If those are the only two options, I am going to say the Reds are stupid is the answer. Looking at the decimated rotation, the laundry list of failed pitchers the Reds have either drafted, signed in the international market, or traded for as relief pitchers in hopes of turning in to starting pitchers leads me to believe they have either no proprietary biometric info or very poor info,

    • Did something specifically come out about him?? He started 24 games in 2014 and 27 in 2015. They seem to attribute start concerns to players like him, Chapman, and Iglesias. but why don’t starters like Finnegan and Disco and even Bailey fall under this concern?

      • Injured starters–the three you mention–could make them gun-shy, I suppose. Lorenzen throws very hard, hadn’t been a starter in college, and has had injury issues. Also, the Reds may not have given up hope on Stevenson, Reed, Garrett and Mahle, and don’t feel that the rotation is in as dire condition going forward as we do, so they’re being cautious. That said, I agree that it makes sense to get Lorenzen started on the transition in this (lost) year if having him start is the goal.

  7. Chris Welsh was pretty adamant yesterday that the transition from reliever to starter doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process, but that the recovery after a start should be monitored closely. I concur. The 6 man rotation would benefit Disco and Bailey as well.

    • Yes, and the Reds announcers went further saying that the Reds are trotting out AA pitchers into ML games.

      Given the state of the pitching staff, DW & BP must be playing it cautious with Lorenzen. We may not know the reasons, but any pitcher with electric stuff and experience would be plugged in right away IF IT WAS FEASIBLE. BP is fighting for his job. If he could, he’d have ML starting every five days. What manager could handle watching these young guys struggle if he had an ace ready and waiting, knowing his job is on the line.

      Thus, it must be a factor we just don’t know.

  8. I am a big advocate of the 6-man rotation for the rest of the year.

    As I’ve said, the Reds appear to have a medical/biomechanical reason for restricting Lorenzen to the bullpen this year. They are not sharing that reason with the universe, but they’ve been consistent all year in saying that Lorenzen will be given a chance to start next year. I am generally with you, though; they have saved him a bunch of wear and tear, and starting him now shouldn’t be much of an injury risk.

    • I doubt the Reds have conclusive medical evidence, but there is a strong intuitive sense between Price, Williams and the rest that they just want to get Lorenzen through this year healthy. Price had a press discussion after a game a few weeks ago, and mentioned the tragedy of cutting on the arms of young men that pitch and hurt themselves, and they just don’t understand exactly why arms are injured. Pitch counts, innings, what is it?
      So Lorenzen has actually proved he has real value, and there is justifiable reluctance to risk injuring him at this time.

      I think he can be a good starter, and he wants to start. He has the mental toughness and willingness to “do the work” to be a starter. There is then the unknown factor of decision making in Reds management.

  9. Reds already gave Lorenzen a chance to start. I was not impressed. I want someone else given a chance to start.

    • He was 23 and got rushed up to the major after less then 200 ip in the minors….not to mention he was a 2-way college star and didn’t pitch that much then? Zack Greinke went 5-17 with a 5.80 era in his first full season. Who else you got and I’ll rip them to pieces. ML is far from a guarantee but its not like we have a bunch of candidates breathing down his neck. Tyler Mahle and that’s about it.

    • Not impressed have you seen what the Reds have been tossing out there this season, as a 23 year old rushed up to the major 2 seasons ago he would b ethe 2nd best starter on this staff. I suspect he would improve with experience

    • He’s also a different pitcher than he was then. He has added a sinker and cutter to his pitch arsenal that he didn’t even have in 2013. He also seems to have more confidence in his off-speed and breaking stuff. Very small body of work as a sample to base a decision on that he can’t do it.

  10. I’ll be happy if they just pull Adleman. Reds management isn’t exactly proactive. By the time they make a move, the 6 yr old kid that watches his cotton candy more then watches the game, has already been calling for it.

    • Oh by the way fact. LisaBonet Bonilla has allowed 1 run in 28 innings at Lville. I know he’s been horrific w/the Reds but he has good stuff. I’d take him over Adleman. I think Wojo might’ve found his niche in long relief.

      • I think Asher can assume part of the role of Lorenzen, going forward. One innning set up, or multiple innings in a close game. It is not unusual for young pitchers to struggle in their first few ML encounters. Lorenzen has mastery of a pretty good running sinker and a slider now, that he did not have two years ago. All he had was his four-seam fast ball and a curve. I think Finnegan is in the bullpen for 2018, and could be set-up/closer with Iglesias. He may go back to starting in 2019, and remember he is still so young.
        Working Reed and Stephenson out of the bullpen was not a terrible idea, because working out of the BP allowed Lorenzen to master a couple more pitches. Reed and Stephenson are not Mike Lorenzen, obviously.

  11. I’d guess, given recent results, that Stephenson, Garrett, Reed, and Adleman will not be in the mix UNLESS they show significant improvement this year OR someone is hurt next spring.

    • I’m not saying I disagree with you; but, I will say if it turns out this way, somebody in the Reds development and evaluation staff should have a heck of a lot of ‘splaining to do.

  12. Hmmm….. I was all aboard this train at one point but….. Castillo, mahle, Bailey, disco, Finnegan and lorenzen would be in the mix for next year. But my bigger thing has become, is Michael lorenzen really that good? We keep going on and on about him being a starter but in reality he has been a not very good reliever. You bring up his k rate in July, what about the the 9 ER in 12 innings in July? And the six walks? His overall WHIP is not great. It’s interesting, I think we have gone on and on about what his role should be so much we have neglected how mediocre he has been in his current role pretty much all year.

    • That’s fair to question, but we should also consider that one terrible outing in the bullpen can skew things. He had six earned runs in one appearance in Washington, which was clearly an outlier. Three of those earned runs were given up because Blake Wood gave up a grand slam. Without that damaging performance, his ERA is 3.00 overall and 2.23 in July.

      Yes, you can’t take out that performance, but the difference between his results last year and this year is one bad outing.

      Overall, he pitched better last season. The command hasn’t been quite as good in 2017, but he’s shown enough command that I think he could succeed with more experience. Still hasn’t been a pitcher that long.

      • Is there any reason Lorenzen couldn’t go to the AFL and ” transition” in an Ultra micro managed situation? The Reds seem to be actively resisting an in-season transition. The AFL would give a clear scripted plan without any distractions and full attention from all parties involved….trainers..pitching coaches…front office personnel….all overseeing. That would at least be a clear plan.

          • My mistake. He is ineligible. Only can play if less than 1 year service time. I remember Mike Leake did….and he never played in the minors…..but, scratch that.

    • ML hasn’t had a great year but its the potential. Last year, he had a 2.88 era & 1.08 whip and rolled up 10 GIDPs in 50 ip. He can hit as well. Its about potential

  13. Trade deadline just about 15 minutes away. Its been a busy afternoon. Crickets so far for the Reds. DW doing his best Jocketty imitation of standing pat.
    This team doesn’t need any improvement. Everything is coming along according to The Plan.
    Hopefully it will be a much busier winter meetings in far off December.

    • Hard for him to do anything when the guys that really need to be moved are hurt. Iglesias and Duvall have value and are healthy but it would have to be the right deal… I wasn’t thrilled that the only move was a Cingrani trade but we don’t know what was out there and we don’t know what Williams was trying to get done. Moves just to do something seldom work out.

  14. The dude has not even looked good as a reliever in recent weeks. However, maybe as a starter he gets in a routine and that helps him get in a better rhythm. You gotta see what you have and the Reds aren’t going anywhere this year anyways. So yes he should be given the chance NOW to start.

  15. Rumor has it Cingrani was dealt just prior to the dealine, but Zach Buchanan says the team is an unknown team. Hmmmm.

  16. Cingrani is salary relief…he’s easily replaceable and arbitration raises next 2 years don’t make sense for the Reds.
    Good move.

  17. The Dodgers aren’t messing around. They get LHP Tony Cingrani, LHP Tony Watson, and RHP YU Darvish in an hour’s time.
    No word yet, on the return for Cingrani.

  18. Reds get from LA OF Scott Van Slyke and some guy named Clemintine. Van Slyke would have been nice 3 years ago, but he has been injured a lot last couple of years.

    • The other player the Reds get is 20 year old C Hendrik Clemintina. He is in his 4th year at Rookie ball for LA. Fourth time is a charm though as he sports a line of .370/.439/.554 in 24 G’s and 108 PA’s.

    • Not sure on Van Slyke, would rather them just take cash instead. Wouldn’t be surprised is he’s DFA’d or something to that nature

  19. Anyone else think something is wrong in Louisville? Our young pitchers seem to do good coming up, breeze through AAA, perhaps brought up too early to plug holes in the MLB squad, then get sent back down…and then seem to just get worse!! Plus the AAA squad seems to be perpetually in last place. I know that a AAA team is inherently in turmoil as players come and go, and the point is not necessarily to win championships…but it just doesn’t seem to bode well if those guys don’t know how to win.

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