2018 Reds

Cody Reed wants to start, Jesse Winker isn’t going back to the minors, and Amir Garrett will prevail

Really interesting comments by Cody Reed yesterday in Goodyear, Arizona. He sounds a little salty over the fact that he only got one start last year, but demonstrates some much-needed maturity:

As you may know, I’ve been pretty vocal about the fact that I think Reed should be in the mix for a starting spot in 2018. (We discussed it in our most recent podcast episode.) I just think it’s way too early to consign Reed to a bullpen spot. He’s only 24 years old! (Yes, he’ll be 25 soon.) And yes, he should have gotten some of Bronson Arroyo’s starts last year.

I’m pretty certain that the Reds have more information at their disposal when it comes to Reed than I have. So, I’m perfectly willing to believe that there is a legitimate reason why Reed is more likely to be successful as a relief pitcher than as a starter. But what’s clear is that Reed is intent on proving himself as a starter. He spoke to Mark Sheldon the other day, too:

During Reds Caravan late last month, manager Bryan Price took pitcher Cody Reed aside. Reed, who is primarily a starter, was told by Price he would not be included in the battle for the club’s fifth spot in the starting rotation.

Instead, Reed is in the mix for a spot in the bullpen.

“As long as I get the opportunity, that’s all I need,” Reed said Wednesday. “I need someone to take a chance and I’m really ready to fill the spot. If I do get stretched out and have a good spring, who knows? Maybe I can go back to the guy that I was when they traded for me in ’15.”

Read the whole thing. Price seemed to leave the door open for Reed to be a starter long-term.

“If he’s here in our bullpen, he should be pitching with some regularity. Or he should be starting in Triple-A,” Price said. “He needs to be pitching wherever he is and whatever role he’s in. A length guy, we did that last year for a bit and I thought he did the role fairly well. But I think we would need to get him in some higher leverage situation than long relief — with the ability to throw some length when needed.”

Price, of course, is managing for his job. I hope he doesn’t make short-term decisions — like pitching Reed in the bullpen when he should be getting work as a starter — that won’t benefit the Reds long-term. GM Dick Williams and crew will have to monitor that all season long. Or as long as Price is employed by the Reds.


Jesse Winker doesn’t want to go back to the minor leagues:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again today and I’ll probably keep repeating it all season long: If Jesse Winker is healthy and doesn’t get 500 at-bats this season, heads should roll.

Let me add this one, since I’m making grand pronouncements about the 2018 season today, and we were talking about Bryan Price’s job security above:


Reed is one of my favorites, but I like me some Amir Garrett too. Hopefully he’s ready to bounce back from a disappointing 2018. Garrett thinks he is:

I’m ready for baseball. You?

63 thoughts on “Cody Reed wants to start, Jesse Winker isn’t going back to the minors, and Amir Garrett will prevail

  1. Agree on Reed, Price and Garrett. I’d like to see Winker get 600+ PA.

    And yes, yes I’m ready for baseball.

    • Whether he can back it up, I don’t know, but I like Garrett’s attitude.

      • He had a hip injury last year that messed him up.
        Should start at AAA this year, and see what happens

    • Yes!

      Billy Hamilton has 4 seasons, 537 games & 5180 PA and has proven that he can do and what he can’t do. Hamilton plays an excellent defensive CF and he runs very fast. Hamilton does not get on base and does not provide any offensive production at the plate. Hamilton has accumulated 10.6 fWAR but all of his WAR has come from playing excellent defense in CF and running fast.

      Adam Duvall has 2 seasons, 362 games & 1404 PA and has proven to be an offensive juggernaut during the 1st half and an offensive lamb during the 2nd half of the season. He has provided solid defense playing an offense first position. His offense comes exclusively from his power with poor plate discipline and a poor hit tool. Duvall has accumulated 5.1 fWAR with all of his WAR coming from his power at the plate.

      Scott Schebler has 2 seasons, 242 games and 766 PA and has not yet proven what he may or may not produce at the major league level, mostly due to significant injury related performance in 2017. He has demonstrated below average plate discipline and significant power with average defense playing an offense first position. Schebler has accuulated 2.5 fWAR in just slightly more than a full season of playing time.

      Jesse Winker has less than 2 months, 47 games and 137 PA with nothing left to prove at the minor league level. He has demonstrated a podigious ability to get on base and provided a hint of power missing after a wrist injury zapped his power in the minor leagues.

      Winker needs to play virtually every game. The Reds (and Winker) need to find out what Winker can and can’t do at the majot league level. Schebler needs regular playing time to establish what his expectations and capabilities are at the major league level. Duvall can produce 3-4 months of top performance and needs regular rest along with his playing time. Hamilton has 2 seasons of team control and will become a FA after the 2019 season and makes $46MM for the 2017 season. The other 3 OF candiates make league minimum. Duvall has 4 years of team control and will become a FA after the 2021 season. Schebler has 5 years of team control and will become a Fa after the 2022 season. Winker has 6 years of team control and will become a FA after the 2023 season. All of the Reds OF are flawed. The Reds need to decide which, if any, of the OF deserve regular starting positions and which are role players.

      • I hope that is $4.6 MM not $46 MM. Otherwise I think he is way over paid. LOL

      • Cossak,
        Think we got a type on PA’s by Billy
        5180 PA, think ya meant 2180.

      • Limit Hamilton to 120 or so games. Start Billy in the bigger outfields where his defense is more valuable (Colorado, San Diego, etc) and sit him against most left-handed pitchers. Give Winker 150 starts in left or right field. Platoon Duvall and Schebler in the other corner. Rest Duvall at least one game a week and sit him against some tough right-handed starters. See what Schebler and/or Ervin look like in CF on the days that Hamilton sits.

        • I would not normally look at that much platooning but the players involved and their capabilities!!!!!!!!! I think we may have found the Redlegs next GM!! I mean when you catch every nuance for each player hell I am impressed!

  2. Well ST is the time and place for the players to make their case; and, for Dick Williams to be in Price’s ear.

  3. “But I think we have at least two guys that have been primarily starters in our system that will compete for bullpen spots in Spring Training and bullpen spots only.” – Bryan Price

    So Reed is one, there should at least be one more right?

    Someone in Reds management is going to have to eventually evaluate some players, make some decisions, and actually commit to them one of these days. If not, how do they expect to inspire any confidence in the fan base that they are capable of bringing the team through this rebuild.

    • Spot on, Tom.

      The Reds surplus value in young talent that is expendable, such as it is, is tied up in the young starting pitchers. Some need to be committed to and some need to be moved on from, even if the return is modest.

      Committing to a rotation also finalizes this feeling of “I am a starter” that Lorenzen, Garrett, Reed, etc. all apparently feel. Move the non-winners and give them a shot elsewhere, rather than more “bitter” comments from disgruntled minor-leaguers/bullpen guys.

      Yes, always great that baseball is back, but there is already a circus-type feel surrounding this SP tryout thing, and Captain Bligh managing for his job (again) and running it doesn’t inspire the greatest of confidence.

      • To Tom: I would guess Jackson Stephens is the other guy that may get a look in the bullpen. I would think they want Garrett to remain a starter in AAA for now. Stephens is a guy whose stuff could play up in the bullpen and he’s got two above average pitches.

        In regard to Reed being bitter, I don’t really blame him. If I were in his shoes I’d be bitter about Bronson getting starts over me. I’m not even in his shoes and I’m a little bitter about it.

        • Setting aside the question of who got the starts over Reed, bitterness is fine if you like that sort of thing, but determination to prove himself is what he needs, because he didin’t do that at all last year. It’s hard for a manager to keep running a pitcher out to start who can’t find the strike zone and gets hammered on the occasions when he does.

        • Reeds control last year was akin to Rick Wild Thing Vaughn before he got glasses.

          Bitter? Okay. But the fact that he doesn’t remember slipping in a few batting practice fastballs between a slew of walks is concerning.

          In my mind, the rotation is bailey Disco Finnegan Castillo and Mahle. With bob Steve ready when someone’s arm goes flying off into the stands the opening week.

    • And, unfortunately, it looks like they made up their mind on Reed. He’s either making the MLB pen or he’s working in L’ville as a starter. Maybe the bullpen is the better place to be for him. I don’t really know. The Reds should have an idea of where he fits best. My problem though, is I don’t see how they DO know, with any amount of certainty. They seem to be playing this as though they know that he is a bullpen pitcher, with a slight chance of starting at some point in his career.

  4. Agree on everything you said. Winker should receive 600+ PAs. I’m starting to get the feeling that won’t be the case.

  5. I’m hoping Reed is in the Bats rotation and pitches so well that the Reds have to give him starts if (when) someone is hurt in Cincinnati. I’m hoping Garrett is healthy and motivated and becomes a reliable starter for the Reds. I’m hoping Winker starts at least 5 days a week. And I agree about Price. The Reds manager should be managing for long term, not short term, success. Can’t wait for baseball, even exhibition games!

  6. How did we ever think that Price was good at developing pitching? At best he seems to be good at making young pitchers afraid to pitch, but he makes up for that by letting washed up veterans pitch to 9.00 ERAs. Maybe its a millennial thing.

    • Hey now? Just because Stephenson pitched 1 inning a week for half the season and Cody Reed gets 1 start a year vs the Cubs while Arroyo, Adleman, Bonilla, Feldman pitched all the time?

    • Price got UNDO credit for the amazing 2012 rotation of Cueto, Latos, Arroyo, Bailey and Leake. Don’t think Price aided in the development of any of the five starters.

  7. BP skated on the 2012-2013 pitching staff reputation when he didn’t do jack but sit back and roll out the same five starters who in 2012 pitched EVERY single game but one (due to a double header). Did not develop Johnny Cueto, nor Mat Latos, nor Bronson Arroyo, nor Homer Bailey, nor Mike Leake. We fans are paying the ‘price’ for that historical success in slower than normal development times as these current youngsters are forced to figure things out for themselves while their manager complains about inability to throw strikes, and when they throw strikes for getting shelled. what does marvin lewis say….do your job? (wish ML would take his own advice, too)

  8. Wait are you saying that Bob and Reed may have been better options then the warm bodies?I mean these guy set records for being the worst ever in baseball.Surely you can see why Bob and Reed never started.

  9. I don’t think Price is managing for his job. I think of him like Hamilton, BC likes them so much he will never let them go anywhere.

    • Price is a bright guy and he was a very good pitching coach under Dusty. I don’t know what happened to him when they made him the manager? He could be just a stooge for all the whims of upper management? Who else are they going to get that would explain why they needed Arroyo and had to wait patiently for him to break 85 mph? Or fat washed up Simon or deli boy Adleman or whoever? When he brought in Lorenzen in the 3rd inning last spring vs Pittsburgh and it worked out….thought Price really turned the corner. The last straw for me was when Winker got called up and then played 1 game of 3 in Tampa…with the DH available? I don’t get it, but no legit manager would take the job under the same restrictions as Price has? If Price is that ignorant on his own and they keep running him out there then that’s on DW and company as well? They’re no escaping 90+ losses again?

      • Bryan Price has a history of having been a very good pitching coach, but when he was moved up to manager he reached his incompetence. It’s a dated sociological concept called the Peter Principle. The GM and/or the majority owner must think Price has something to prove or his contract would not have been extended. I have no stats to back up my opinion, but I think managers do make a difference.

  10. Without a solid track record at the major league level or a solid track record in the upper minor leages that forces a major league opportunity, spring training is not an audition process to define a players ability. If a player has not performed consistently at a superior level previously, then spring training performance simply shouldn’t mean squat.

    Price has not provided proper opportunities at the major league level for the players needing those opportunities. He had starting pitchers sitting in the bullpen wasting away and position players sitting in the dugout wasting away when they needed major league playing time to prove anything. Now he tells a starting pitcher that he’s competing for a bullpen spot and only a bullpen spot, after the Reds only activity during the off season was to sign relief pitchers, and promising that things will be different. I don’t buy it and the players don’t buy it and I don’t blame them. Price has lost all credibility as a manager and he has wasted his opportunity to establish such credibility.

    I agree that the top starting pitcher candidates have identified themselves by past performances, but only two of those candidates appear to be locks for the starting rotation, Bailey and Castillo. Disco and Finnegan have to prove they are healthy and prepared to start. Stephenson and Romano have to prove their progress in the 2nd half was more than a mirage of small sampling. Lorenzen needs to demonstrate the durability and consistency as a starter after expending his pitch repertiore. Beyond those 7 starters comes a line forming for an opportunity at the major league level with Mahle at the front of that line, but Garrett and Reed included in that line waiting for an opportunity.

    Waiting for an opportunity as a starting pitcher can take two forms…pitching as a starter at AAA or pitching out of the major league bullpen. In order for a player to welcome the opportunity to pitch out of the bullpen while waiting for the opportunity for a the starting rotation, a player has to trust the manager to have both the players best interest and the teams best interest in hand and capable of balancing those interests. Price has failed miseerably.

    • This is absolutely spot on and why last year was so frustrating. The Reds had every opportunity in what was obviously going to be a bad year from a W-L stand point to at a minimum gather as much evidence as possible about the future of the starting rotation. Instead, through mismanagement of the 40 man and 25 man rosters, by both the field manager and front office, they wasted it.

      Every smart GM will tell you that you cannot make long-term decisions based on the very limited results you get from Spring Training. Yet here we are, February 19, 2018, and you Cincinnati Reds are preparing to do just that.

      And so we all get an idea of what is meant by “small spring training sample size,” Amir Garrett led all pitchers in spring training innings pitched last year with 21-1/3. Cody Reed was second with 20-1/3 and Sal Romano threw 20. That 21-1/3 spring training innings pitched by Cody Reed in 2017, by the way, was more than the total number of innings he pitched during the regular season with the Reds (17-2/3).

      So essentially the Reds are going to use 20 innings at most to choose between Romano, Stephenson, and maybe Lorenzen (ha ha).

      It’s one thing to use a good process and still make the wrong decision or have a poor outcome. What the Reds do, time and time again, is use a bad process and hope to get lucky.

    • Pretty harsh but I can’t see any compelling reason to disagree with you. The Reds of course have details about every player that we are not privy to. I’m sure those details play a large part in their decision making process. It is for this reason that I don’t put this 100% at Price’s feet. If Williams disagreed with what Price was doing, then I’d assume he’d be putting a lot of pressure on Price to toe the company line. I’m not hearing a peep to that affect. If this is a problem, and I think it is, then it is a Reds organizational problem and not just a Price problem.

      • It is of course possible that the information on the players that is not common knowledge is the driving factor at play here. I’m not sure that the knowledge is as complete as perhaps the Reds think it is. I mean, how can it be? Originally, I thought, well maybe Reed wanted to pitch in relief. Maybe he was more comfortable. Hearing his comments though, that is clearly not the case. Of course the Reds have info that make them think that perhaps Reed is best used out of the pen. My question is, do they have enough of a sample to rule him out at the start of ST? I don’t see how.

    • This is the crux of my frustration with the Reds. In 2017, decisions made by our MLB manager were not in-line with what was needed to develop a young team. That was abundantly clear. But we re-signed him for another year.

      We wasted precious time in 2017. We didn’t get near the sorting completed that we needed. And there seemed to be no urgency to address glaring issues.

      Now we are stuck in no-man’s land, where we expect young pitchers to compete for positions that look to be pre-determined. How is this different than 2017? I see no change in philosophy, no encouraging optimism, no willingness to take a chance on young guys.

      I hear and feel frustration starting to rise to the top. The players are stirring the pot.

  11. The scourge of veteran privilege has to be eliminated on this club. In the larger context, I think baseball is waking up to the fact that veteran presence doesn’t carry much added value and the free agent market to a small degree reflects this new thinking.

    With nary a peep from the front office to the contrary, Price truly went out of his way last year to call out Reed/Stephenson/Winker/Garrett in the press. He railed about how it’s a meritocracy and that guys have to perform to keep their place on the team. He passed himself off as an expert on whether a player is major league worthy while giving playing time to veterans who were clearly not. Huge organizational credibility gap.

    To that end, pencil Hamilton in at leadoff and Finnegan into the rotation. Jesse will not start on opening day.

  12. I am in agreement with you tweet Chad, My opinion of Price is going to be determined with where Winker and Hamilton are in the batting order on opening day.” I am hoping that Winker is in the lineup. Unfortunately I don’t think my opinion of Price as a manager is going to change. He wasted a lot of time allowing young pitchers particularly Reed and Stephenson rust away in the bullpen and wasted Winker on the bench. He would have to do an about face in his thinking to change. Don’t see that happening, unless he is forced to by the FO.

  13. Winker needs to play nearly everyday. I really hope Price sticks to his preseason talk of a rotation more than he has walked his talk in the past.

    I’d like to see Reed and Garrett starting and getting chances with the Reds when opportunity arises. I agree it’s too early to consign Reed (or Garrett) to the bullpen yet. I’m really hoping Stephenson takes that 5th starters spot by the horns and doesn’t let go. His stuff is just filthy when he’s near the zone.

    Unfortunately, much like my opinion of Billy’s bat, I think I’ve seen enough of Price to know what I think. I’m willing to wait and see, but if I’m being honest I wanted him gone two seasons ago.

  14. Can everyone please stop complaining? All of the arguments against Price have been explained. The guy has made some mistakes…we get it. I’m no Price apologist and won’t make excuses for him, but there is a new season of baseball starting up with a lot of promising youngsters scheduled to play a big part. I like reading the comments here because there are a lot of knowledgeable fans. Whining about past transgressions and blaming Price for everything that has gone wrong the past few years is not enjoyable to read. So can we please stop dwelling on the past and look positively toward the future?

    • +1 favorite site for Reds baseball, but the constant Monday morning quarterbacking is getting old. I still like the articles, but the comment section used to bring me back several times a day, not so much anymore.

      P.S. Hopefully Peraza doesn’t make us wish for the next Janish. It’s spring so I’m hoping he figures it out sooner than later, but then again it’s a defense first position.

  15. I thought Price did a poor job last year and should not have been brought back. I didnt see him building relationships with the next group of young reds core players. They also could have transitioned lorenzen at the all star break to start from Aug 15 on if they were serious about him starting this year.. They had Deck McGuire and Wojo and Stephens and Rookie Davis pitch over Reed and Lorenzen late in the year.

    It makes perfect sense Reed isn’t starting. If he didn’t start last September..he never was.

    The reds have a brutal schedule in April and May, including an earlier than usual dreaded west coast road trip at LA and SF. I could see the reds 10 under by June 1 and Price being out at the all star break.

  16. Price has been and , in my humble opinion, continues to be a very good pitching coach. I like what he’s done with the Reds pitchers. WHO he pitches, I believe, has been largely out of his control. I like how he challenges his boys. He wouldnt take the ball from Cingrani when he was getting hammered. He expects them to compete and throw strikes. Let your stuff do the talking. If it’s not good enough, then it’s not good enough. At least we know and know where to start.

    The rest of his managerial skills… well, I dunno.

    • Well, Cingrani did go to the Dodgers where he had a breakthrough of sorts and started to pitch to his capabilities. So their coaches obviously knew something that our coaches didnt.

  17. Last year was a wasted opportunity to find out as much as they could about who is part of the future.The same people are still here and I don’t expect anything different expect we will pitch much better barring injuries.The improvement on the mound will be more then offset by Price and his lineup construction

  18. Unless one of te OFers are injured. On opening day it will be Billy leading off in CF and Schebler will be in RF and Duvall will be in LF book it. Price will say my vets have earned a opening day start.
    I am OK with this as long as Winker gets a 145 starts minimum the next 161 games.

  19. Cody Reed isn’t starting. Winkler won’t get 500 abs (unless there’s a trade or injury) and Amir is destined for the bullpen. You can “wish” all you want but as long as Price is Manager, not much will change.

  20. It’s interesting how many fans are blaming Price for batting Hamilton lead off, giving starts to veterans with no chance of being part of the Reds next competitive team and for placing Stephenson and Reed in the bullpen and using them sparingly. I can’t imagine these decisions were not in step with others in the front office. Price is still managing because he is in sync with the front office.

  21. Chad you say: “Honestly, my ultimate opinion about Bryan Price will be heavily influenced by where Billy Hamilton and Jesse Winker bat in the Opening Day lineup. ”

    I just looked at the box scores from the last seven games the Reds played in 2017. Winker started only two of the seven games and Billy Hamilton hit lead off in every game he started. Unless Price had some sort of epiphany in the off season I see no reason to believe Winker is going to get a lot of at bats and that Hamilton will not hit lead off. I hope I am totally wrong.

    • Wasn’t Winker hurt at that point? I’ve tried to forget everything about last season.

      • Winker was healthy and shut down the last 7 games to prevent him from accruing more stats. Lets not forget game 162 against the Cubs….Hamilton came in to the game down 1 stolen base from Dee Gordon and went 0-4. Winker pinch hit in the 9th and ripped a single. Hamilton then walked but was blocked for a stolen base to tie for the league lead because Winker was at second. What did Winker do? tried to steal third and had a nifty swim move that was put up for review and ultimately called out in a bang bang play at third. But he was trying to help his teammate get the back end of a double steal to tie for the SB title.

          • great questions. Why else would you bench your best young hitting phenom who is raking in Jesse Winker the last week of the season in a 67-95 lost season.

          • The original premise isn’t even correct, he started games 159 and 160.

            After starting 6 games in a row, he did sit for games 154-158 (limited to pitch hitting only), but is there actually proof that he was just a healthy scratch?

            We all have ample evidence by now that Bryan Price is not forthcoming with information to the Reds’ media, and Winker spent time on the DL in late August, early September with a hip flexor injury. Like it or not, Price generally acts rationally. He started Winker 6 games in a row prior to sitting him for the season, and then didn’t start him 5 games, which is easily explained by some type of nagging injury.

  22. The winker-hype on this site is a bit much. 4 of his 5 skill sets are rated below average. He has a strong hit tool, but he’s yet to have won a batting title. I wish Jesse the best this season. but he hasn’t earned a starting job-yet.

    • Many expect him to be Votto 2.0, which is setting up everyone for a huge letdown. The same thing happened when Bruce came up and will probably happen when Senzel comes up. I think he will get on base at an above average rate and if the power shown last year was not a fluke he will be an above average player. His defense will never be elite and he isn’t going to challenge Hamilton for the SB title. I think he has proved he deserves a shot at starting. The only question is who loses a spot to make room for him. He may not be a great deal better than Duvall or Schebler, but I would like to see him leading off or hitting 2nd.

      • Neither Bruce nor Senzel are comparable prospects to Winker. I don’t get the sense that the general public is very high on Winker, but people here are maybe a little too optimistic.

        • And when I say “not comparable,” I mean they were much, much better prospects. Fans were/are right to be excited overly optimistic about them.

          • Right… When Bruce was brought up, I think he was the #1 prospect in all of baseball as rated by either MLB, Baseball Prospectus or Baseball America. I think he was in the top 5 on the other two lists.

        • I want to see Winker as a Reds regular outfielder for a full season before I’ll admit to having been too optimistic.

        • In 2016 & 2017 at AAA, Jesse Winker produced:

          2016 => .303/.397/.384/.782, wRC+= 128
          2017 => .314/.395/.408/.803, wRC+= 127

          In a limited sample of 137 PA at the major league level, Wnker produced:

          2017 => .298/.375/.529/.904. wRC+=135

          That’s what the Reds need hitting in the #1 hole and that’s why so many fans posting on RLN are excited about the prospect of Winker starting in LF for as many games as possible.

          You want a 3-year comp for Winker? How about…

          .312/.382/.446/.828, wRC+=130
          .313/.351/.460/.811, wRC+=118
          .301/.364/.444/.808, wRC+=125

          Those comps were from 1665, 1966 & 1967 for Peter Edward Rose, aka The Hit King, during his 3rd, 4th & 5th seasons at the major league level.

          The Reds need to see Winker playing full time and hitting leadoff in order to properly assess his capability at the major league level, but the hype and enthusiasm is not misplaced, just unfulfilled due to the lack of a valid opportunity.

  23. The Reds should send a package of players including Billy to Tampa Bay for Archer…. Winker, Duvall and Schebler are the outfielders that should start.

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