In response to some of the comments on last week’s post that took issue with my politically inspired poll question (it’s still happening once a month, you sour pusses *shakes fist at sky*), I decided to do a poll with more options this week. Let’s take a moment to observe it and then discuss.
Trying to ignore what just happened with the Nationals, how would you grade the Reds in terms of how they’ve constructed the roster?
— Redleg Nation (@redlegnation) April 2, 2018
The dominant answer, as you can see is Fine, followed by Blargh and Good with Great way down. I wanted to do an A/B/C/D/F poll, but Twitter only lets you have four options. I think Good is closer to Blargh than it looks because several people commented that they clicked Blargh because it was a fun word. Anyway, most people think things are fine. I’d choose good, personally, but we all seem to largely have the same gripes:
- The bench is… weirdly constructed. I don’t think anyone understands why Cliff Pennington and Phil Gosselin are both on the team (unless the Reds are trying to stock pile a roster of guys with names that belong on late-80s sitcom uncles). The only thing I can come up with is that they plan to have Nick Senzel up sooner rather than later and didn’t want to jack Alex Blandino around. But then why not Brandon Dixon? I’m not super sold on Dixon’s spring performance, but some more power off the bench would be nice, and you don’t really need more than one backup shortstop. So, yeah, who knows.
- It stinks that bad things happened with the bullpen, but that isn’t the Reds’ fault. (Random aside here, as I occasionally mention, I also work over at the Hardball Times and we recently had an article that, among other things, showed that most of the perception that your teams pitcher get hurt more than other teams pitchers is just a matter of what you’re paying attention to. That is, everyone has good years and bad years and there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the pitching injury bug.)
- Yovani Gallardo? That’s weird.
- Cody Reed over Amir Garrett for the fifth starter. This is one I think we all really understand as, apparently, Garrett is definitively on the team and Reed is just here until Finnegan gets healthy. But still, I don’t personally like the consigning of Amir Garrett to a bullpen roll and I find this decision flummoxing if it is now the longterm plan.
The long and short of all of this is that these are minor quibbles. We all have ideas about where things should go as the season progresses, but for now, there’s little to complain about with the roster even if we aren’t completely thrilled with how things are going. Or, to be more specific, if the Reds are going to be weird, I’d rather they be weird with the 25th man than with the starting outfield. I assume you would, too.
As always, I am going to try to be responsive, so chime in and stuff. What do you want to see happen with the roster as the season progresses? Are there any issues that you think should be examined using a Very Scientific Twitter Poll with words like Blargh, SparkleBritches, and Cucumber? If so, let me know that also.
Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.