Titanic Struggle Recap

Recap: Heaven knows we’re miserable now

Holy cow. Another game against the Cubs tomorrow.

Cincinnati Reds 3  Chicago Cubs 9 || Box || Play Log || Statcast

Asher Wojciechowski has been much better as a reliever than he has been a starter. The issue, a common one for pitchers, has been his lack of success with hitters the second and third time through lineups. A 30-second glance at his FanGraphs splits page would reveal that. His FIP the first time through the lineup as a SP (2.20) is pretty much the same as his FIP as a RP (2.07). Yet, someone in the Reds organization thought it would be a good idea to have Wojciechowski pitch from the stretch at the start of the game, as if that mattered.

I like the job Asher Wojciechowski has done with the Reds. He’s 28 years old, so not a young guy. But I could see him doing a solid job in a long relief role. He’s just not built to start. It’s hard to explain why the Reds would keep feeding him starting opportunities – this was his 8th – instead of calling up a younger pitcher to give experience and opportunity.

Stretch, windup, first time through, second time through, none of it mattered for Wojciechowski tonight. He gave up 7 earned runs in 3.2 innings. Wojciechowski did strike out six and walked one.

The game featured the debut of pitcher Alejandro Chacin. Chacin (24) was acquired by the Reds in 2010. He’s made 332 appearances in the Reds organization, every one as a reliever. Chacin has pitched in 44 games for the Louisville Bats this year. The Cubs greeted Chacin with a 2-run homer. He struck out two of the next four batters he faced, completing 1.1. innings.

Luke Farrell got a chance to pitch long relief in his first game with the Reds. Farrell (26) made one appearance earlier this season for the Kansas City Royals. The Reds claimed him off of waivers a few weeks ago. Farrell pitched three scoreless innings tonight, but it seemed like the Cubs by that time had their minds on getting to Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse.

Sad trombone for Raisel Iglesias‘ appearance in the 9th inning of a 9-0 game.

The Reds managed only four hits and a walk before three solo homers in the 9th inning.

Joey Votto hit his 33rd of the season. He had extended his streak of 27 consecutive games getting on base earlier with a single.

Eugenio Suarez hit his 24th, a career high.

Scott Schebler hit his 24th right after Suarez had homered.

Jesse Winker, who has started one game in the last week, singled in his only at bat. Winker is now hitting .306/.405/.514. Needless to say, if the Reds cared enough about development and the future, he’d be playing more. Winker is an ideal leadoff hitter, notwithstanding obsolete theories about how to win baseball games.

63 thoughts on “Recap: Heaven knows we’re miserable now

  1. Well, I think I’m glad I went to the FCC soccer match tonight. Got home just in time to see the 3 home runs in the 9th inning. It is sad that Winker is getting little to no playing time. It is probably even worse that we continue to see people sent out to start games that have no chance of being part of the future rotation. Sigh. Time for bed.

  2. I salute the writers of Redleg Nation who are forced to watch, and then write the recaps, of these debacles day after day. I just hope I have reached the nadir of my life as a Reds fan and that it gets better.

    • Read in the Enquirer that Price says that Duvall, Hamilton, and Schebler are his starters… Ugh. At the very least, Schebler is not a full time player…I’d make the same argument about Hamilton.

        • There are issues with both. 23 HRs with as few RBIs as Schebler has indicates Schebler doesn’t hit well with runners on base. Love Schebler’s hustle, he has speed, but he is a hole in the lineup until he hits with more consistency. Winker as a day in day out get on base and hit guy is far more valuable than both Schebler or Hamilton. Hamilton if he were inexpensive would be excellent to use as a pinch runner/CF replacement late in games to get that key run in close games which can mean a difference of a dozen or more key games that mean the difference between playoffs and not making the post season. If BH makes $5MM or more, though, than it may become too costly a proposition….as costly as a useless bullpen piece like Storen when using Reed or Stephenson or Cingrani at 1/3, 1/5 the price was just as good if not better.

          • I don’t disagree that WInker is likely more valuable than either. I just value Schebler more than I do Hamilton as a regular in the lineup. I think Schebler has a greater likelihood of developing some measure of consistency to hit than Hamilton does, and it pains me to say that as I really was high on Billy early on.

          • I was curious about your Schebler comment on hitting with guys on base. Scott Schebler hasn’t hit all that well with men in scoring position according to Fangraphs, but he does only have about 2/3 the plate appearances of Duvall (by comparison). He DID not .296 last year with men in scoring position.

            Adam Duvall:
            AB PA H 1B 2B 3B HR R RBI BB SO HBP SF SH AVG
            129 146 33 22 4 1 6 6 50 8 35 3 6 3 .256

            Scott Schebler:
            AB PA H 1B 2B 3B HR R RBI BB SO HBP SF SH AVG
            83 99 18 11 5 0 2 2 22 9 21 5 2 0 .217

  3. Didn’t watch … couldn’t watch … skipping the double BLARGH and going right to TRIPLE BLARGH!!!!

    On the bright side, I’m thinking that Votto guy can hit a bit if he just wouldn’t try to walk so much …

    • On Brennaman and Jones on Baseball on WLW yesterday Marty was once again being effusive in his praise of Votto’s hitting. They were talking, among other things, about his ability to foul off pitches almost at will waiting for the pitch he can drive.

  4. I would trust this rebuild more if Adelman, Wojo, Arroyo, Bonilla had not made so many starts this season. Time to call up Mahle, Garrett, Reed etc.

  5. Woj gets 6 of his 8 outs by K. How does he K so many while getting hit so hard? Feast or famine.

  6. I want to see Scott Schebler play, too. If it were up to me, I’d have Winker play RF 3-4 nights per week with Schebler in CF most of those nights. I’d let Winker play LF once or twice a week. Most, but not all, of the lost playing time would fall on Billy Hamilton.

    • It would seem, for home games, the dimensions of GABP, or Great American Smallpark as some like to deride it, would result in giving up less without BHam’s defense over Schebler in CF. Same for any similarly sized ballparks on the road. Billy could always come in for defense later in the game if there is a lead to protect. Wish they’d try it. We’ve seen enough of both Billy and Schebler to warrant it.

      • Yes indeed. Sitting BH will solve the Reds’ problem: starting pitching. He’s got the second most hits on the team and his OBP is .300 to Schebler’s .307. The narrative about the small park minimizing his defensive contributions fails to account for: 1)he can play shallower. 2)the alleys are the same as in other parks. 3)half of the games aren’t in GABP. It would be great if he were a better hitter. It would be great if Schebler were a better hitter. Offense isn’t the Reds’ problem, though.

        • 1. OPS
          2. Not all road games are played in the more expansive outfields of ballparks like those on the West Coast.
          3. Whether to use Hamilton, Schebler and Winker more judiciously is a separate question from solving starting pitching problems.
          4. I believe it’s generally accepted that Billy would have more value to a team with a more expansive home outfield. Correspondingly, it would seem Schebler’s disadvantage defensively vs. Billy would be mitigated to some extent in smaller parks, including, but not limited to, GABP.

          • No, not all road games are played in expansive parks. The same holds true for teams whose home games are in those expansive partks. Saying that something is generally accepted doesn’t really advance the argument, since it doesn’t deal with any of the questions raised. In a big park, BH would either play deeper or risk having lots of hits land behind him. In GABP, he can play shallowly (not sure about that adverb) and catch some would-be singles. I don’t know how these things cancel each other out, if at all, but it seems clear that this is not a simple proposition.

    • This requires Price to think a little bit too much about his lineup cards on a daily basis. Plus don’t forget that speed.

    • what? you do not want to see a player with all that speed get on base 30% of the time, only getting thrown out 20% trying to create havok like a true lead off hitter should over one who gets on base 40% and does not create outs on the base-baths?
      They might just be stuck to wasting his talent for opportune PR duties or defensive switches

    • You and Chad run a great site.
      But, the Reds aren’t committed to rebuilding the way I think modern thinking baseball executives should. I am signing off. Good luck.

      • Thank you old-school! You see this scam like I do. I’m so sick of this rebuild… it’s total bs. A rebuild doesn’t start Wojo, Adelman, Bonilla, and Arroyo. This find what you have season they have found nothing in regards to the starting rotation. They told us 2018 would be the year… it’s a joke. I’m usually optimistic but not anymore with this organization.

    • That makes way too much sense Steve. Won’t happen with Price but I agree.

    • I agree and I wish I knew who is calling the shots on playing time and the reasoning behind it.As with the Wojo start instead of as you said giving the ball to a younger pitcher.These things are baffling to me for just a bunch of reasons.

    • I like that idea, unfortunately it seems too logical, I live to far away to attend games but if I did live in Cincinnati or close enough, I would see no reason to go unless Castillo, Romano or Stephenson were pitching or Winker was playing. Like Schebler and Duvall, they both play hard and who doesn’t like Home runs. Love to watch Billy play centerfield. But the only reason to watch right now is to watch the young guys and hope for the future.

      • The thought “0h, why do I give valuable time?” ran through my mind as I waited to write the recap. 🙂

  7. Hey! I have a great idea. Let’s use Iglesias when we are behind by 9 runs! That’s high leverage. No sense wasting him by having him pitch yesterday, when we had the lead, the game was close, but Blake Wood was ready to go.. That’s the ticket!

    • Iglesias hadn’t pitched in 4 days. He needed the work and that’s why he went in for the 9th inning. Price has had to do that before with him thanks to the Reds’ struggles and Iglesias has requested the work to help him stay sharp for then they actually might need him to save a game.

        • I’m just telling you what Price has said about it more than once and reiterated in his postgame comments last night.

      • As VaRedsFan indicated, Price had great reason to use Iglesias in the prior game, to maintain a 3-0 lead, or at 3-2, or to maintain a 3-3 tie game, or to hold a 6-3 lead, or…. you know, the way Francona uses their best relief pitcher, Andrew Miller, or the way Girardi used Betances for the past two, three years. You know, when the game still matters….instead of using your worst relief pitcher to protect a 3-0 lead. Or using Wood your second worst reliever while the game was still a game….

        Price did the same thing in Yankee stadium bringing Iglesias in the 8th inning of a 2-9 ballgame when he could have brought Iglesias in earlier while the deficit was only 0-2. He’s done this several times throughout the year – opting not to use Iglesias in a tie game, then ultimately throwing him in there to ‘stay fresh’ in meaningless situations. waiting for godot…..i mean a ‘save’ situation.

  8. I brought this up Sunday and no one seemed to comment, but it seemed so obvious to me to just pitch Romano on 4 days rest tonight
    1) This would’ve been normal rest
    2) you could have followed with Stephenson tomorrow This would’ve been normal rest
    3) you could have followed with Castillo Friday This would’ve been normal rest
    4) Wojo could have pitched in relief last night in place of Shakleford
    5) They could have prepped whomever, Jaskson Stevens, Reed, Rookie Davis or even someone not yet on the 40 for Sat
    I doubt limits on inning is an issue for most and if you are trying to get the guys AAA starts why let Winker rise the bench racking up service time, when he could have been playing every day in AAA…
    but I guess we get to see how Farrell and Chacin fare at this level, I guess Drew Hayes and Layne Somsen had something better to do tonight

    • For those, and many other reasons, Price should not be back next year

      • Some like me will agree with you.Others continue to not blame him or believe any of these results are his fault.Dick Williams is the one that counts and I feel Price will be back because Dick doesn’t believe he is at fault either.

    • I have to also admit I don’t understand how most teams (not just the Reds) manage young pitchers. I recall the Cardinals doing similar things with Trevor Rosenthal when he came up. Guy wants to start, has the stuff, presumably the moxy, never gets a chance.

      Why? I see it everywhere. Now, the contrast of of that is when Trevor came up his MLb club was averaging 91 wins per year so why the Reds are running never has beens out there nightly is just baffling.

      • I think you answered your question.The Cards are good and were good so there was no rush with Rosenthal.Lots of teams do the same thing but most are not rebuilding or have a more defined plan.We have no plan its just lets try this and that and then lets do it all over again.The definition of insanity if you will is to try the same thing over and over and expect different results.

  9. Stat of the night:

    Hamilton: Three home runs in 503 at bats with an OBP of .300
    Peraza: Four home runs in 420 at bats with an OBP of .299
    Winker: Four home runs in 72 at bats with an OBP of .405

    Given that we are 16.0 games out of first place with 35 games left makes me think that the individuals who feel Winker should be tried at leadoff have a good point.

    • You are forgetting Billy and Peraza are fast.Winker can hit,get on base and has some pop but is missing the one thing that Price values more then anything and that’s speed.Go figure but he is on record for saying so.

  10. This is now a lost season. We didn’t use it to find out what we have in our young players. Management will say that’s what September is for, but that’s only because they are forced to call up more with rosters expanding. You watch, Price will still use Hamilton every day and Winker/Ervin will just sit there, collect a paycheck, and we will once again have no idea heading into 2018. This org doesn’t get it.

  11. I honestly do not care if Winker and Ervin ever play. I think Reds have written both players off. Reds are tanking I do not understand the outrage. They should try and lose this year and next to continue to get high draft picks. Winning meaningless games now hurts their future.

  12. They will continue to lose even if Winker and Ervin play every day.They would have lost the same if not more by opening the year with Feldman and 4 rookies in the starting roatation but if they had done that you would have given those rookies some great experience.Who knows one of them may have got better and better.Remember Disco in 2015 and Finny last year.Tanking may be exactly what they are doing based on what they put out on the field each night.

  13. Blake Wood was finally designated for assignment. On a March night in 1984, Robert Irsay designated the Baltimore Colts for assignment….to Indianapolis! I think that’s the only possible way the Reds don’t lose 90+ again next year.

    Big Bob C moves the team to Albuquerque or someplace! We could take a few years off from this mess and eventually get a new 40 man roster! This one has ZERO pitching and has no chance to move above the bottom few rungs in era til 2020 atleast! Homer will be going Matt Cain (only in GABP) til 2020 as well. You just can’t rebuild an entire pitching staff with their limited resources. Its depressing

    • Vegas, baby!
      The Las Vegas Reds. Makes sense, gamblers put their money down on red or black. Pete Rose as the Special Assistant to the GM.

      • Sounds like a plan! Then we get the Cincinnati Marlins….change it to the Cincinnati Catfish or something? Stanton hits 77 HRs per season!

    • Correct, Indyredman. They MUST get some major league starting pitching — not just a spring training waiver pickup — prior to next year. They’ll have to deal from their areas of apparent surplus, which are the outfield and middle infield. Not doing so will mean essentially wasting prime years of Votto’s, Duvall’s, Suarez’s and perhaps Gennett’s careers.

      • They can’t afford the Yu Darvish mega contracts, but the Cubs picked up last nights starter Mike Montgomery last summer. They didn’t give away the farm for him and he’s better then anyone not named Castillo on the Reds. He could be a loogy, spot starter, setup guy, etc. Instead we get guys like Wojo that were on their couch or Adleman….that are so short on talent that they weren’t even in the game in recent years.

  14. Votto knew the situation when he signed his contract. The Reds do not owe Votto anything and they are not wasting anything. The Reds are tanking and should continue to tank for the next two years. Look how bad the Astros were before.

    • No….tanking might work in the NFL or NBA but MLB is different. If there was a Bryce Harper coming out and it was between 2 bad teams then maybe in the last week or 2? Overall…no. Plus MLB #1 draft picks often come down to what they’ll sign for and not who is the better player…..like McKay w/Louisville this year. An NBA or NFL stud college player is contributing the next season. MLB? Maybe 3-5 years later if you’re lucky? The Reds are bad and will be bad, but its not from tanking

      • Tanking is not the best choice of words because it really is hard to do in MLB.So many things to factor in every game that determines if you win or lose.Even if you played Winker every game the rest of the way and started young pitchers every game you still may not win any more games but it would sure make sense to do it for lots of reasons.

        • Maybe the Reds have determined like I have that these young pitchers and Winker just have a big bag of nothing. I am not impressed one bit by Winker, Ervin, Stephenson, Lorenzen and Reed. It is quite possible that the Reds have decided to move on from them and that playing them is pointless.

  15. One thing the Reds have sorted is their ability to hit off other team’s low leverage relievers

      • He has a point though….our overall offensive stats look pretty good because unlike other teams, we’re down 10-2 in the 6th several times a week usually. Nobody else is 30th in pitching…again!!

  16. All the Reds have done sense BP was hired is lose. They cannot renew his contract. I sincerely believe they need to fire Price on Sept1st and make a statement to the players/Organization, that if you’re not in it to win it then we don’t need nor want you. The culture has got to be changed!!!

    • The counter argument is that Price has never been given a good team to work with. Look at all the injuries!

      I roll my eyes when I hear this argument. Bryan Price is a terrible manager and should be fired immediately.

  17. Price is not the problem. The pitching is the problem. Winker wil get his chance but even if he was playing everyday it would not make any difference in the Reds record. The Reds need to decide if they want to keep Hamilton. What is the future at catcher. Mesoraco may never be an everyday starter. Do they move Suarez to SS? Is Scooter for real? Fixing the pitching will not be easy. It might take at least 2 more years or more.

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