For today’s article I decided to hit up twitter for some questions to answer and you guys stepped up.
How long does it take Senzel to see Cincy in 2018 and where will he play when he gets there?
Is the Hunter Greene two way experiment over? If Ohtani does well as a 2 way guy does it give more impetus (or a rebirth) to Greene as a 2 way guy. Any other Reds 2 way possibilities?
— James Walker (@jn_walkerjr) December 19, 2017
If the reds aren’t in contention but Nick Senzel is ready, does it affect their decision to bring him up/keep him down for arbitration reasons?
— Ben B (@BenAllen464) December 19, 2017
I think that based on everything that we know right now, Nick Senzel is going to play second base for the Reds in 2018. When, is the much bigger question. Scooter Gennett is coming off of a big season, but still has some warts on his resume (defense, heavy splits). Dilson Herrera could also be in the mix, somewhat, as he’ll be out of options and has to remain on the 25-man roster. Either way, though, it’s tough to imagine either player holding off Senzel for too long. Unless the team gets out to a very quick start that is not being helped in the slightest by the second baseman, this could help the Reds work around the Super 2 status and keep him in the minors until June.
With Hunter Greene, it’s interesting. What we do know, is that Hunter Greene won’t be playing shortstop in the minors. What is a bit more murky is whether or not he will hit. Greene has made multiple comments that he will, but below Double-A, pitchers don’t hit. That doesn’t mean he won’t get chances at designated hitter, but it does mean he’s probably not going to be a 2-way guy in the long run. There are no other 2-way types in the organization.
What role do you see for Keury Mella? Starter or reliever? Do you see Vladimir Gutierrez having a chance to get to AAA this year?
— Eric T Stauffer (@EricTStauffer2) December 19, 2017
I think that Mella winds up in the bullpen. Even if he weren’t down the starting pitching depth chart as much as he is, his stuff seems to work better there, anyways. His fastball/breaking ball combo could do real damage out of the pen, but his change is lacking and makes it tougher for him to get a good look a 3rd time through the order.
I think it’s a possibility for Gutierrez to reach Triple-A. My expectation is he will start in Double-A and if he has success there, he’ll be promoted in July.
Wild-ass guess on ETA for Hunter Greene?
— Steve Mancuso (@spmancuso) December 19, 2017
Redleg Nation’s own Steve Mancuso chimed in on this one. Hi Steve!
If we are talking a true wild guess, late 2019 would be the ultimate wild guess. That would be an incredibly accelerated path, so it’s quite unlikely – he would be a just-turned 20-year-old at that point (he would celebrate his 20th in early August). A more “wild” guess that’s far more realistic would be late 2020, though if I had to put money down on an actual date, it would be some point in 2021.
Which miLers do you expect to debut in 2018, and who will have the biggest impact? (besides Senzel!)
— Obscure Former Reds (@ObscureExReds) December 19, 2017
Among the guys without any actual Major League experience, and not accounting for Senzel. With guys like Winker and Mahle not being accounted for in this, I believe that the biggest impact guys could come from the bullpen. Guys like Jimmy Herget, Jesus Reyes (starter now, future reliever), Zack Weiss or Jose Lopez (starter now – could start in the future, but could break in as a reliever simply because of a lack of opportunity in the rotation right now). For a position player, I could see a place where Alex Blandino could get some time and make an impact as a utility man.
In the minor league system, AA and AAA, are there pitching prospects that have shown potential the Reds could be interested in? Get them while they’re cheap! Or are the Reds secure in the farm systems arms?
— Richard Cobb (@rhcobb) December 19, 2017
If you’re asking about the guys already in the system, I think it’s going to be tough for any minor league starters without previous MLB experience to break into the big leagues this upcoming season as starters. There’s simply too much depth there between everyone else. That does mean, though, that it will give guys time to develop and they won’t have to try and rush them forward like they’ve had to in the past few years (with guys like Stephenson, Garrett, Romano and Davis all getting big league action before having much Triple-A time under their belts). Next season I’d keep an eye on starters Vladimir Gutierrez, Jose Lopez, Jesus Reyes and relievers Jimmy Herget and Zack Weiss as the best of that “next” group.
What’s your favorite dinosaur?
— Thomas Baker (@realthomasbaker) December 20, 2017
I love the hard hitting questions. My 4-year-old nephew is currently obsessed with dinosaurs, so I’m quite well versed. But, I think that both he and I would go with the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Siri vs Trammell. Who will be the better pro? Who would you rather keep if you had to give up one? I feel like this may be a whole article.
— Joey (@BuckeyeJoe6) December 20, 2017
Right now I feel far more comfortable going with Trammell. While his upside isn’t as high as that of Siri, it’s still an All-Star caliber ceiling, and his floor is higher. It comes down to pitch recognition right now and Trammell is just more advanced there. With Siri, if everything goes right for him, you’re talking about a 30 HR, 50 steal center fielder who can win Gold Gloves. But, he’s also a guy who you may see wind up as a 4th or 5th outfielder because he never figures out how to lay off of the slider and hits .220 in the upper minor leagues and gets all of his value out of defense and baserunning as an extra outfielder in the big leagues. While you’re always an unsure thing while in A-ball, Trammell just seems more likely to not have struggles against more advanced pitching because he gets the strikezone better – and he’s still got all kinds of outstanding tools.
With the BAMTech money coming in, would you do a trade like Dodgers/Braves did if you got a lot of expiring contracts to get rid of Homer’s contract?
— Joey (@BuckeyeJoe6) December 20, 2017
No, because in order to get rid of his contract in that kind of deal you’ve just got to take on another one. And I’d rather just roll the dice with Bailey returning to some sort of form than someone else. For those wondering about the BAMTech money – here’s an article that I wrote about what it is and how much it could be for.
Minor league managers most important job, win games or develop players? What do minor league team owners pay for? Hotels, food, player salary, etc?
— michael morris (@mikemo1221) December 20, 2017
The most important job of a manager is to develop the players into future big leaguers. The Reds and others all say that winning is important too, and they certainly believe that it is, but realistically, each minor league team has anywhere from 1-3 future big leaguers of note on the roster. Winning in general helps with that, but if you asked anyone off the record what’s more important, I’d be shocked if they told you that winning games was more important than developing players because developing players helps the Reds and the minor league teams winning games doesn’t.
The minor league owners basically just facilitate the stadium. The big league club pays the player salaries (which are an absolute joke, by the way – full description of just how little they make can be seen here). They pay for the travel. The Reds, but not every team, also pays for food these days before the home games (good, quality food – not like you used to see when it was peanut butter and jelly sandwich provided by the clubby). They don’t pay for housing. That’s paid for by the players themselves, which is why most of the guys have multiple roommates. It’s also worth noting that the players are not paid during spring training, or instructional league.
If the Reds happen to be in the race come mid-July, what MiLBer’s will be the most wanted (excluding Greene and Senzel) that will bring best MLB level players to maybe push the team over?
— Jason (@sjasonhollar) December 20, 2017
The biggest chip may be one of the young pitchers who isn’t in the big leagues. Let’s play this scenario out. The only way the Reds are going to be in the race that late in the season is if the pitching is relatively healthy and performing. That means it’s unlikely we see the rotation full of all young guys. Maybe a guy like Sal Romano, Robert Stephenson, or Tyler Mahle isn’t in the rotation as a result of Bailey, Finnegan, and DeSclafani all being healthy. If that’s the case, then they are likely in Triple-A, starting. That could be the “big” chip, so to speak.
Beyond that, I’d think that Taylor Trammell, Tyler Stephenson, Tony Santillan or Vladimir Gutierrez could be the next big chip. The first three will all begin in Daytona, with Gutierrez in Pensacola. They will need to continue to perform, of course, but all have upside and plenty to like on their resume. They’ll also not be among the group of “upside” guys with only a few months of full-season ball under their belts. Don’t sleep on Jose Siri, though. With another step forward in his pitch recognition and the sky is the limit.
Thanks for submitting the questions, everyone. If I didn’t get to yours, sorry. I answered the ones that I got by the time I was ready to start typing.