Yesterday, I planned to run a poll to gauge how ready the fan base was to stop waiting and have the Reds put their foot on the collective gas. Well, I ran that poll and posting it here is pointless. Essentially the fan base wants the 25 best players on the roster either NOW or as soon as the Reds get another year of control with Senzel.

So I became curious about what a crowd-sourced roster would look like. I asked the Nation and this is what they gave us:

Starting 8

Catcher – Tucker Barnhart
First base – Joey Votto
Second base – Scooter Gennett
Shortstop – Nick Senzel
Third base – Eugenio Suarez (DL)
Left Field – Adam Duvall
Center Field – Scott Schebler (DL)
Right Field – Jesse Winker

Bench

Catcher – Devin Mesoraco
Outfielders – Phillip Ervin and Billy Hamilton
Infielders – Alex Blandino and Jose Peraza

Starting Rotation

Anthony DeSclafani (DL)
Luis Castillo
Tyler Mahle
Amir Garrett
Homer Bailey
Sal Romano
Cody Reed (AAA)
Robert Stephenson (AAA)
Jackson Stephens (AAA)

Bullpen

Raisel Iglesias
Brandon Finnegan
Michael Lorenzen (DL)
Jared Hughes
David Hernandez (DL)
Tanner Rainey*
Wandy Peralta
Zack Weiss
Austin Brice
Jimmy Herget (AAA)
Kevin Quackenbush (AAA)

Some Thoughts

This is an interesting roster. It is VERY offense heavy. This team would likely hit quite well, but the defense would be terrible up the middle (I think this lineup would turn the Reds in to a below average defensive team, they were +20 runs defensively last year). My personal opinion is that Blandino is probably a better player than Gennett now largely because he is certainly a better fielder. Based on what I’ve seen, I’d say Blandino is slightly above average defensively at second and probably a fair bet to hit as well as Gennett. I gave respondents the option to have Brandon Dixon in both the outfield and the infield, he was selected in neither instance. I honestly don’t know why you’d want Hamilton and Ervin both on the bench, but there we are. I will say that the trend in the poll comments was that Billy or Ervin should start in the parks with larger outfields.

The starting rotation is arranged in the order respondents preferred the players. That mean Bailey is regarded as the number five starter. Romano and Finnegan were close for the sixth spot (which is needed with Disco hurt) and the wisdom of twitter preferred Romano as a starter and Finnegan in the pen to Finnegan as a starter and Romano starting at AAA. I also asked about Lorenzen as a starter and he got no traction. Garrett, you’ll note, was regarded as the third best starter in the organization.

The bullpen is about what you’d expect, with the addition of Finnegan. I have an asterisk next to Rainey because I didn’t poll him, but the Reds called him up today. I do think he’s one of the best options, I just didn’t think they were ready to pull the trigger on him yet developmentally.

With the pitchers, I included more than the minimum number for obvious reasons.

Overall, I’m not sure this roster is better than what the Reds currently have. I think the strengths and weaknesses are different, but I’m not sure you’d see a meaningful difference in win total from the two configurations. This is assuming, of course, that Senzel is up shortly and stays up.

For whatever it’s worth, I’d go with a Senzel/Blandino middle infield and something close to the current outfield rotation. I would absolutely start Garrett and move Finnegan to the pen. But I understand the case to have Finnegan in the rotation. I’d have Peraza and Gennett as my infield bench subs. I’m split on Ervin vs. Dixon for the fifth outfielder, but we’re talking 25th man on the roster at that point.

What do you think?

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.

Join the conversation! 18 Comments

  1. I love this post and praise the collective wisdom of the Twitterverse on this occasion.

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  2. I think I’m finally at the point where I prefer Billy to Schebler as long as Billy hits 9th and only 9th. Maybe this comment is moot given Schebler’s current DL status because otherwise that roster looks pretty darn good

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    • It’s such a tough call because the offense suffers when Hamilton, Peraza, and a pitcher are all in the lineup. The damage is limited when Billy bats ninth and Peraza bats seventh, at least, but it’s still a glaring weak spot. On the other hand, the defense up the middle is really poor when anyone but Billy is in center field. I’m not convinced Schebler can play center field every day, and I think the Reds would legitimately become a bottom-10 defense without Hamilton there. Easy to say you want the switch when the offense is struggling, but when innings are getting extended and games are lost because of poor defense, that’s no good either. I don’t think there’s an easy answer.

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      • Did not read your post before I posted. I agree with you. We have to many guys giving away outs every game at the plate.

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    • The problem with Billy is Peraza. Having 2 guts in the lineup that can’t hit , plus the pitcher is a killer. Then you add in Duvall who is atrocious right now and that is basically 12 outs out of 27. Schebler is terrible defensively and who knows offensively. Winker is not good defensively. Scooter makes me close my eyes when the ball is hit to him. Losing Cozart has turned out bigger than we thought.

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  3. Looks like a last place team… oh, wait …. it IS a last place team and has been for the last several years.

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  4. This looks about right. I still think the starting pitching will be fine, but wish the “sorting” hadn’t been in neutral last year with so many starts going to pitchers going nowhere. And as much as I like the bats in that offense, I do think upgrades are needed at shortstop and center field. Hamilton and Peraza don’t hit well enough to start (and Peraza doesn’t field well enough either), Senzel’s glove is probably a much better fit at 2nd or 3rd than short, and there’s no true center fielder other than the weak hitting Hamilton. But given the current options this is pretty much the roster I’d choose. Interesting info Jason.

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  5. we need Billy in the line up. He is the only guy that has a chance to score a run. he is the only one I see out there giving 100% in the field and on the bases.

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  6. L’Audace, L’audace, toujours L’Audace

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  7. In my opinion, you can play Billy or you can play Peraza, but you can’t play both. If push came to shove I’d say play Billy over Peraza, because while we hear about Peraza’s speed and we hear about Peraza’s defense, Billy actually IS a plus defender and base runner. I still haven’t seen anything from Peraza that says “gold glove defender”, and while he may be fast he doesn’t look like someone who understands base running.

    The bigger problem I have with the roster is in whom I want to see struggle. I’d rather watch Ervin struggle for a stretch than Duvall struggle; I’d rather Blandino struggle than Gosselin/Pennington/Scooter; I’d rather Senzel struggle than Scooter.

    All but the most wild-eyed optimists knew this roster would be a sub .500 roster. I want to know as much about the 2019 season as possible come November so the front office knows what moves they need to make to compete instead of signing retreads like Pennington/Gosselin/Gallardo/Revere (even though he was cut).

    Play the young guys, and play to win with the young guys. That means you use Iglesias for multiple innings when the time calls for it, but Rainey/Weiss/Garrett/whichever AAA starter flames out are guys you go to before Jared Hughes. It means you play Blandino every day while he’s up, but you can still get creative with where he plays based on pitching match ups. Bryan Price is either too ignorant or too stubborn to effectively manage the team.

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  8. Can’t be any Championship track with Price as Manager. I just don’t see any heart or passion in this team. I always wait for them to lose, not find a way to win.

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  9. I would platoon schebler and Duvall in RF.
    I want to see Winker in LF leading off and Hamilton in CF hitting 9 th for a month.

    . Suarez SS when hes back and Senzel 3b.
    Platoon Gennett and peraza 2b.

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    • I agree with everything but Peraza. Platoon Blandino. Peraza has shown no improvement at the plate. I keep hoping the best for him but it’s not there. Send him to AAA.

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    • Have you seen Winker play defense? He can’t run , he can’t catch, & he surely can’t throw. His most memorable defensive moment so far is taking out cf’er Billy Hamilton it what has always been a cf play(especially involving a rookie lf). He has been effective at the plate- but that’s only half the game in the NL.

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  10. I agree with nearly every player from the twitter selections. One exception is I think romano is the #4 and Garrett is the #6.

    I’d like to see Blandino in the lineup regularly until Suarez is back. But it seems more likely that Senzel will be called up sometime around this weekend, which means gosselin will likely be dfa’d and Blandino would either be our utility IF or go back to AAA.

    Bailey is beginning to make me believe he can at least be an ok #5 starter for 18′ and 19′. His changeup was impressive yesterday in the early innings(I missed the 4th inning on).

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  11. Looking at the starting 8 listed above, it seems to me that we are likely solid with Barnhardt (catcher), Votto (1B), Winker (corner OF), Suarez (inf. likely 3rd) and Senzel (inf, likely 2nd).

    Question marks still exist at centerfield, 1 corner outfield spot and 1 infield spot (likely shortstop)

    The following highly rated prospects have recently been included in trades involving high-end relievers (prospect rankings from mlb.com at time of trade):
    Gleyber Torres SS, #17 prospect in MLB – 2016 trade of Chapman to Cubs from Yankees
    Clint Frazier OF, #15 prospect – 2016 trade of Andrew Miller from Yankees to Indians
    Manuel Margot, #25 prospect – 2015 trade of Craig Kimbrel from Padres to Red Sox

    I think that the Reds should be looking to move Iglesias before the trade deadline if a similar prospect can be gained in return.
    Maybe the Nationals get desperate to win a title before Harper hits free agency and would send Victor Robles (CF, currently #6 prospect on mlb.com). Or the Yankees want to add even more weapons to their bullpen and would trade Gleyber Torres (SS, #5 prospect). The Astros (OF Kyle Tucker #16 prospect) or Dodgers (OF Alex Verdugo #33 prospect) might want to bolster their bullpens for another post-season run.

    Point is that if the Reds are going to compete in 2019 they likely need to upgrade a corner outfield spot, centerfield and shorstop. That upgrade might come from improvement by current players (Duvall, Schebler, Peraza, Ervin, Hamilton etc) but I’d prefer to bring in at least 1 more talented young player and would be willing to trade Iglesias to do it.

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  12. I think that if we made a deal for a true center fielder who could hit, everything would be a lot better. I think it’s time to make Peraza take a seat, we’ve given him tons of playing time to start hitting, and he has shown absolutely no signs of progress. Honestly, he’s a good defender but he seems to make errors at the worst times.

    Reply

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About Jason Linden

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.

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