Losing isn’t the problem.

Losing is the by-product of what happens on the field. It’s what happens when Sal Romano gives up 5 runs in 6 innings. Losing it what happens when Scooter Gennett makes a throwing error or when Jose Peraza fails to get on base. Most of us expected the Reds to lose more games than they were going to win this year. The talent just wasn’t there…or it was MAYBE there. Maybe Homer Bailey was going to come back from injury and be the ace of this starting rotation. Maybe Sal Romano, Tyler Mahle, and Brandon Finnegan would end up being good pitchers. Maybe the outfield would work itself out and the Reds would give playing time to those who fit into their future. Maybe Scooter Gennett and Jose Peraza would be good enough to hold down the middle infield.

That’s a lot of maybes, and I’m honestly OK with it. Some of those maybes have worked out and some of them have not. That’s what a rebuilding year is for; to sort through the junk and find out which pieces are worthy of putting on the mantle and which pieces are meant to be tossed in the dumpster outside the back door of GABP. I can handle the sorting, the trashing, the losing. What I can’t handle is the lack of organization, direction, and common sense. What I can’t handle is flip flopping, far fetched ideas, and failure by this organization to do everything they can to set players up for success.

To be honest with you, I haven’t really been upset that the Reds have lost a baseball game one time this year. Call it apathy, call it low expectations, call it what you want. I expected the Reds to miss the playoffs this year. Them losing 100 games or 80 games didn’t matter to me. I wasn’t using this season to enjoy a pennant race, I was using it to evaluate young players and to see some of those “maybes” turn into “definites”.

There have been decisions by the Reds front office this year that have bothered me 100x more than their current record. The decision to keep Amir Garrett in the bullpen, the decision to bench Jesse Winker, the Matt Harvey signing (I mean I get their idea, but seriously, what are we doing here?), the lack of opportunities for Alex Blandino, not giving guys like Robert Stephenson a chance (but we could flip Matt Harvey for a low level prospect, you guys!), the weirdness of the Homer Bailey situation. All of these questionable decisions, among many others, have led me to be more upset about how this season is going than any box score or the Reds current place in the standings.

This is why its frustrating to be a Reds fan right now. Forget the current record, forget that they might lose 100 games this year; its the sheer lack of leadership and direction that is driving many of us fans crazy. It’s one thing to be concerned about the talent on the field and to really wonder if some of these players are going to turn into decent baseball players, but its another thing to question the rebuild as a whole and to have an uneasiness that the people running the show have any idea of what exactly they are doing. Some of the decisions made recently point to a lack of organization and cohesiveness. Some of the most obvious decisions that the Reds could make are handled in such a difficult and stubborn way. It’s almost like the Reds are trying to make this rebuild as difficult as possible…and that’s whats really scary.

So, the Reds will continue to roll Matt Harvey out there every fifth day, and they will continue to sit Jesse Winker on the bench and continue to let Amir Garrett waste away in the bullpen…and I will continue to watch. I will continue to watch hoping that for just one time this season the Reds make a decision that I (and most fans) agree with, and then they make another that I agree with, and another, and I eventually stop thinking “maybe this organization has an idea of what they are doing” and start thinking “this organization definitely has an idea of what they are doing and where they want to go”.

Jeff is Cincinnati born, Ohio University educated. Reds baseball has been a central theme of his family ever since his mom and dad helped him skip school to attend Opening Day. Jeff has been accused of having a “man crush” on Joey Votto and longs for the day that he gets to witness the Reds finally win a playoff series. You can follow him on Twitter @Gaaangs

Join the conversation! 85 Comments

  1. Yep.

  2. Ditto

  3. Did a robot from “Westworld” write this? “We will build one of the most respected organizations in baseball. As partners in other successful baseball organizations we know how it’s done. We will build a winning management team by putting the right people in the right positions with the right resources to win. We will foster a winning attitude and culture.”

    • Well, did they use synergy? Probably not. And this would explain nearly everything. No synergy. Sad.

  4. Yes.

  5. Great article Jeff.
    And it all goes back to this winter on standing pat on a last place roster and doing absolutely nothing to improve it other than a couple of pretty decent bullpen upgrades. I got roasted over the winter and in spring training by a couple of RLN editors complaining about not upgrading the offense and not signing a starting pitcher. Most everyone kept saying the offense would improve on last year’s middling offense. It got worse, much worse, just I as thought it would.
    Thus the lessons of standing pat on a last place roster. The fans don’t deserve what has happened, but the Reds front office are getting just what they deserve. Another last place team on a historically bad Reds team.

    • I don’t think Jeff’s post is saying what you think it’s saying. It certainly doesn’t make the case for a more active offseason. It says that he can live with the personnel decisions in the offseason, if the Reds were just doing a better job of managing what they have now. So it’s sort of the opposite of your oft-stated complaint. How is Greg Holland working out for the Cardinals, btw? Remember when you complained that the Reds didn’t do something like that?

      • Steve, with all due respect, they stood pat in the offseason when there were things that could have been done. They did not trade Hamilton and Duvall, and now they are frankly without any value. Hamilton has a bigger contract, and is not hitting AT ALL. No one wants him for anything.
        They could have traded Iglesias for a new CF or SS. They could have pulled the trigger on the trade for C. Yelich to play CF. They could have signed a free agent pitcher.

        Look at what an ACTIVE FO did for the Brewers. A couple of years ago, the Brewers got off to an awful start (much like the Reds in 2018), but ended the year playing decent ball. The FO with the Brewers and their manager, Craig Counsell, are very much into advanced metrics to evaluate players, etc. They made some hard decisions. One of them was to let Gennett go last Spring (2017). That has gone down hard for some of their fans, but the overall results for the Brewers are much better than the Reds. They are in first place in a division which picked the Cardinals or the Cubs to win.
        The Reds will continue to fumble along, and I would also guess that Iglesias value will actually decline this year. The Reds fumble because they have no plan, and have no idea what they actually have as talent and what they could do with the talent that they do have. Hence, Winker sits, while Duvall is out there on the interstate playing most days. (out on the interstate was an old slang term for have a BA of 0.1-something).

        • Rehashing the offseason isn’t the point of Jeff’s post, as I said. In fact, his criticism, which I share, is what the front office has done with the players it had. They had plenty to look at to start the season. They’ve mismanaged it, in my opinion, and shown a remarkable lack of focus on rebuilding.

          We’ve been over and over the offseason. The free agent market collapse prevented any return for Hamilton, Duvall or Gennett. We don’t know if the Reds were shopping them or not. For all we know, they were, aggressively. Trading Iglesias would have been fine, but equally fine now. 2018 was a year too soon to do what the Brewers did. If the Reds don’t do something like that for 2019, I’ll join the chorus strongly.

          https://redlegnation.com/2018/05/07/austin-brice-and-the-imperative-to-trade-raisel-iglesias/

          https://redlegnation.com/2018/03/29/brightening-horizon-steve-mancuso/

          • How do we know they were shopping them aggressively? Hamilton was the only name mentioned all winter with SF. Is that aggressively? I don’t recall any report that mentioned the Reds shopping Duvall or Gennett. One sports writer threw Duvall’s name out there as a possible fit for another team, but that was about it.
            And the “shown a remarkable lack of focus on rebuilding” goes directly back to the winter.
            And by the way, I never called for the Reds to sign Greg Holland. Not once. You have that confused with another pitcher the Cardinals signed. If you would remember correctly, I called for the signing of the very affordable Miles Mikolas before anybody knew who Miles Mikolas was. The same Miles Mikolas that is 6-1, 2.49 ERA, 3.18 FIP, 3.38 xFIP, 3.61 SIERA, 72.1 IP in only 11 starts, 8 BB and 53 K. That probably would lead all Reds starters here to date. But hey, don’t let little things like facts get in the way of a cheap shot.

          • From you last December: “That was very disappointing news about Mikolas. However, the Cardinals had a big thing in their favor that I had overlooked. I knew Mikolas and his wife were from Jupiter, FL. But I forgot the Cardinals spring training facility is there too, about 5 miles from Mikolas’s home. He can work out there all winter and transition into spring training with no hassle. Plus the Cardinals bevied up to the free agent bar and paid. Most projected him to sign in the $11M-$12M range, but Rangers and Cardinals bid it up past $15M.”

            From you March 29: “The Reds bullpen is a hot mess. No Iglesias. No Lorenzen. No Hernandez. Peralta is erratic. STL today signs RHRP Greg Holland. MIL today signs LHRP Dan Jennings. Reds have a cracker-jack front office.”

          • He said,”for all we know” they were shopping them aggressively.

          • Agreed that the all-in move(s) made by the Brewers was a year too soon for the Reds. The exception to that was the potential trade for Yelich and his team-friendly, longterm contract. Likewise, going after a FA starting pitcher was a year too soon, irrespective of how well Mikolas has done.

            I got the distinct impression that the Reds were VERY interested in Yelick as a buy low option, but as soon as the cost in trade was a reasonable return for the Fish rather than unloading a team-friendly contract, the Reds balked at additional negotiations.

            The coming off-season will be the time for pursuing starting pitching and starting position players via trade or FA’s, unless the Reds punt the rebuild entirely and trade anyone and everyone for prospects. If the Reds can’t salvage something from this botched rebuild this off-season, then just oh well…

        • “They” tried to trade Hamilton to the Giants but the Reds asking price was Heliot Ramos. I have that on very good authority. The quote was: once the Giants stopped laughing, they said thanks but no thanks”. Everyone rips Duvall but he was very good for us the last two years. Have you forgotten the vastness of LF before Duvall! How’s Duvall’s defense? Oh by the way, Duvall was the “throw in” for Mike Leake trade. How’d that work out? In the meantime, everyone screams for Winker but he hasn’t proven he deserves to play every day.

  6. Winker seems to be playing as much since being “benched” as he did before. I’ve kinda suspected that maybe he wasn’t putting in as much work as they wanted on something like defense or launch angle, or otherwise needed some water in his face to wake him up. I find it impossible to believe that they’ve “given up” on Winker. They do have a roster-construction issue, of being ill-equipped against left-handed pitching. The everyday lineup includes Votto, Gennett and either Winker or Schebler – lefties all — plus Hamilton and Barnhart are both better (less awful, in Hamilton’s case) against righties. That leaves them 3 RH hitters against lefties, 2 of whom are Duvall and Peraza. (Nick Senzel, anyone?)

    Can’t disagree on Garrett.

    Don’t mind the Harvey experiment, because the performances of Stephenson, Reed and Finnegan still haven’t required them to be promoted, although all are getting close, while Romano and Mahle may be due for reset stints in AAA. I don’t think Harvey is taking any starts from somebody who has earned them (other than Garrett . . .), and if Harvey improves a notch or two, then the return may be worth it.

    To me, the Reds’ plight is simple to diagnose: they have a vastly under-performing outfield, and a bunch of erratic young starting pitchers. The fix is twofold: (1) They have to make personnel changes in the outfield between now and spring training 2019, by ridding themselves of at least 2 and probably 3 of the incumbents, and maybe bring in a big RH to play right field. (2) They need to continue being patient with the young starters. It would be great to sign a free-agent starting pitcher in the off-season, but what decent pitcher wants to pitch in the bandbox known as GABP?

    And get a shiny new manager.

  7. Can I get an Amen!? The Reds’ braintrust appears at times to be an oxymoron.

  8. Jeff, thanks for the very passionate and heartfelt post. Hard to argue on the merits of much of what you say. People like you who insist on accountability and success will be what persuades this organization to mend its ways.

    All that said, it merits mention that this front office has made some good and even great deals over the past several years. To wit:

    1. Acquiring Eugenio Suárez for Alfredo friggin Simon
    2. Acquiring Luis Castillo for Dan Strailly.
    3. Signing Joey Votto to his extension. (Yes, look it up. Jason Linden has explained this well.)
    4. Acquiring Shin Soo Choo for Drew Stubbs.

    There have been bright spots at the same time that there have been bad trades and terrible contracts. Everyone knows the terrible extensions to Mesoraco, Homer, and Brandon Phillips (we paid another team to take him for the last year. Yes, it was bad.). Anyone remember the Sean Marshall extension or the Ryan Madsen contract? No doubt we received nothing for Jay Bruce or Aroldis Chapman. Shame.

    So… not really disagreeing with you. There has been good and bad and I personally can recognize both. Ultimately I think what we fans are asking is that the organization develop better analytics and show willingness to spend money for marquee players. I fear we may wait a long time. Personally I at least hope I get to see 19 finish a Hall Of Fame career as a Red since i still watch to see his at bats.

    • Well said. And I too rue the day Votto gets hurt or leaves Cincinnati. He is must see TV.

    • I’d add the trade to acquire Anthony DeSclafani for the imploding Mat Latos. The front office has made a few good moves going back to 2012.

      But that’s not the point here. It’s the mismanagement of the roster in 2018.

    • I think part of the trade for Shin Soo Choo was Didi Gregorious (to Arizona in that three way thing). Whatever happened to that guy?

      But really, who could have foreseen THAT?

      • Yeah, the Choo tradeg was great for that year. If the Reds won the World Series all would have been forgiven, but having Didi as a shortstop today would be nice. I can’t call the Choo trade a win, but I wouldn’t call it a failure either. It was just an example of giving up young talent to go for it that year

        • Not sure that Didi would have been the shortstop on the next good team, though.

          • Maybe not, maybe he would have been extended, or maybe he would be the Red we are arguing over if he should be traded or not. My only point is he is a much better shortstop today than Peraza. Also maybe if he was still on the team the Reds would have handled certain trades differently. Choo had a great year, and Didi has turned out to be a good player. That was the risk the Reds took to make the team better for 2012 and it almost worked out.

          • My point was that, at 28, he’d supposedly be in decline by the time the Reds are contending. I’d certainly rather have him than Peraza.

      • I always thought the Reds willingness to part with Didi was a wonderful example of the short-sightedness and reliance on all things known and veterany that has proven more than anything to be trademarks of the Reds Way during the BC era. The Reds had two inexpensive MLB ready SS in Cozart and Didi. Instead of parting ways with their aging 2B they give out an absurd contract to him because he’s a fan favorite. I always look back at the Cardinals willingness to trade David Freese after his World Series heroics and try to imagine the Reds doing something similar. There’s simply no way it does. And the Cardinals didn’t get anything huge back in return. But it allowed Matt Carpenter to move to 3rd so that young Kolten Wong could take over 2B and they got a few good years out of Grichuk too.

        The long-winded point I am trying to make is that when you look back at the Joey Votto contract extension, seemingly the rationale was to extend the Reds window to win beyond 2012/2013. Instead of making the moves that could have made that a reality, the Reds acted as if the window was going to close n 2013 anyway and has put us in the position we now find ourselves in.

        • Really, we’re back to the Votto contract? Prior to the 2011 season, Votto signed a 3-year, $38MM contract, covering his all 3 of his arbitration seasons, . That contract provided cost certainty following his 2010 MVP season until he reached FA in 2014. Votto signed a 10-year, $225MM contract extention in 2012. Votto has produced more benefit to the team in every season of the contract than the Reds could have possibly obtained by reallocating the finacial resources of Votto’s contract. This includes his injury-decimated 2014 season and the current 2018 season.

          Regarding this season, over the last 2 months, Votto has improved his SLG from .158 to .436 and his ISO from .000 to .137. Votto’s $25MM annual salary is not preventing the Reds from making any improvements to the roster that would provide more value to the team than his salary going forward. The problem is not Votto or Votto’s contract; it’s the management decisions made by the individuals running the Reds organization. The Votto contract extention was a bold, contraversial and potentially disastrous move, but it worked, despite an injury that essentially robbed Votto of elite performance for 2 seasons. I wish I knew why Votto doesn’t seem to kick things into gear for a couple of months every season, but that seems to be a consistent performance trend. Equally consistent is his production once he does kick things into gear and this season looks no different.

      • I find it somewhat funny that he couldn’t beat out Chris Owings or Nick Ahmed during his D-Backs days and they ended up with Robby Ray when Gregorious went the Yankees which in the end worked out well for both teams. Although they can be exasperating, both Trevor Bauer & Bryan Shaw were a good return for the Indians in the Choo trade and the Tribe really miss Shaw in the 7th-8th inning role.

    • We really don’t know that the Bruce trade was bad, yet, and Madsen and Marshall had unpredictable injuries (inasmuch as any injury to any pitcher is unpredictable). My problem is the lack of a discernable plan, though there’s no reason why they should reveal such a plan to me. An undercurrent of many of our complaints (mine, too) is that the FO doesn’t seem to be reacting to the poor play and losing. In other words, this isn’t entertaining, and the guys who are responsible for that aren’t doing anything about it. Of course, much the same could be said for any rebuild.

      • If Herrera ends up in the majors, maybe the Bruce trade ends up turning out ok. My problem with the trade has been they traded for a guy who was known to be injured after supposedly backing away from another Mets prospect due to injury concerns. While they were sorting out that mess, they missed the deadline to trade Cozart to the Mariners. Instead of getting something in return for Cozart, minus the half year of a donkey, he left via free agency. Potentially they got nothing in return for Bruce and Cozart, which isn’t something a rebuilding team can afford to do

    • They got Choo FIVE years ago…

  9. Related short story…

    Way before I went out on my own, I worked at Highlights for Children. Highlights was (still is) family-owned and valued control of all situations over success.

    Leapfrog, the educational learning tablet, approached HFC, desperate for its quality content (Goofus and Gallant, etc), because it was a young product and had none of its own. Leapfrog wanted a partnership, but HFC wanted so much control that, eventually, Leapfrog walked away, no deal struck.

    To this day, HIghlights is an after-thought, resigned to being just another magazine in doctor’s offices, while Leapfrog went on to be a mega-success.

    It is not hard for me to guess how daily operations are run at the Reds, with owners’ family members at top of business and baseball operations. Not to mention the spectre of Uncle Bob, a self-admitted meddler, and yesterday’s man, Walt Jocketty.

    This organization is screaming for an influx of experienced MLB personnel in key roles. I won’t hold my breath on it happening any time soon.

    • I think that is a very astute comparison and explanation of the Reds’ problems. And why they are running in place and really, no real rebuild is afoot or about to be afoot. They really are clueless about what they are doing.

    • The family run “business model” is one of the most difficult to implement “CHANGE”. That one word can create so much fear and chaos in an old school owner that it always gets worse.
      I spent 20+ years dealing (contractual and legal) with owners and their families and The Reds have all the negatives. Many owners only promote from within their family and/or longtime friends and employees. Trust is what they use to base the decision. You will also find that the “Son’s” become appointed leaders when many can’t spell the word. Daddy doesn’t want them failing as it would not look good for the family or the owner’s legacy. “Big Bob” is motivated by his legacy.
      In many cases it is death, long term illness, or the sale of controlling interest (decision making) that creates the stage needed for positive change to take place. Until Bob is out of the picture as majority shareholder it is what it is.

    • The reluctance of the ownership of the Reds, and Bengals for that matter, to bring in young, knowledgeable GM’s to run the organizations points to a mindset that’s not playoff bound and beyond. But both ownership groups are doing fine financially, while the fans wait.

    • Insularity and nepotism.

  10. I’d like to see you guys write an article comparing rebuild timelines of the Reds and maybe the Astros. It would be interesting to see..

    • How about the Braves, who enhanced their rebuild by making TIMELY trades of veterans and getting QUALITY players in return; and, drafting well.

  11. Don’t forget the signing of Gosselington, and playing them (miserably) ahead of Blandino and Dixon. And don’t forget Quackenbush. Or (shudder) Gallardo.

    Those were all horrible FO decisions that got this team off to a horrible start this season.

  12. Totally agree with this article. Really sums up what it’s like to be a Reds fan at this point. One point I might add though revolves around hope, or the lack thereof. We can believe in a #rebuild if we have hope that the pain of losing we’re going through will eventually pay dividends down the road.

    I think most fans with any semblance of sophistication understand win curves and the importance of developing from within. And the need to get all the small things right. That said, when an organization starts out on a rebuild they have only a limited amount of goodwill–call it “hope capital”–to work with. This FO has nearly (or already has) exhausted their capital. As a result, even the most loyal Reds fans are losing hope.

    Sure, the Reds may stumble their way into contention over the next couple of years, but at this point I’d be more inclined to believe it was due to a confluence of lucky breaks rather than fruits of a competent and well-run rebuild.

    • Agree. This is the 13th season of Castellini’s reign. They’ve exhausted their “Goodwill” capital of many, many fans. The core players from the 2010, 2012 & 2013 division championship teams were put together by pre-Castellini/Jocketty regimes. The present regime has only provided lame *ssed bromides and excuses for their inability to build a contender.

  13. As a life long Reds fan…and I’m 56….I’ve given up on this team and this franchise until there’s a major overhaul of the FO,new ownership or the combination of the two. I no longer go to games and I seldom watch/listen to games. A lot of this for me is frustration of nearly 40 years of new owners,new FO personal,rebuilds and more rebuilds. In 40 plus years there has been one WS title and a handful of playoff appearances to show for all the changes and rebuilds. There was some hope just a few years ago with the Votto/Bruce/Phillips/Chapman/ect teams buy the FO didn’t make enough moves to get that team over the hump and into a WS. Then it came time,because this is a “small market franchise”,to unload most of those players via trades and “build for the future”. Needless to say they completely,totally,amazingly screwed that up beyond comprehension. So here we are with a bad team and a bad franchise. But as fans,because we ARE fans,we are supposed to believe that eventually this franchise will get its act together and we as fans should go to the games and watch the games. I can’t and won’t until they show me something besides this.

  14. What will the Reds do with the 5th pick in the draft tonight? Any clues? I agree with an earlier post to avoid a high school kid.

    • Seems as if the Tigers and Mize are in a Mexican standoff over the bonus slot money. Tigers don’t want to pay full slot and Mize wants full slot money. Stay tuned on that one. It could shake up the whole top of the draft.

  15. The Reds also blew their International signing pool money, paying over the allotted amount for a weak hitting, slick fielding Cuban shortstop. Most other teams that go over the allotment do it to sign multiple players. Instead the Reds signed one questionable talent.

    What hurt even more is that the Reds were penalized for doing it and limited to signing of $300,000 each of the two following years. The International signing allotment is based upon a team’s record. Meaning the Reds were limited for 2 years in seasons where they would have had a high allotment available. They have an allotment of over $6 million this year, but are still limited to a maximum of $300,000 per player:
    https://www.mlb.com/news/2018-19-international-signing-bonus-pools/c-269965184

    The Reds blew 3 seasons of top notch International signing money for one player who hit 265/.301/.284 in 304 plate appearances in his only professional season:
    https://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2016/07/04/reds-announce-deal-cuban-shortstop-alfredo-rodriguez/86686410/

    • Another example of going after fast defense first type guys. Someone in the front office loved the idea of defense and stolen bases while the rest of baseball was looking at OPS and advanced stats.

    • This whiff doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it should. That signing was so widely panned by everyone in baseball that calling it second guessing or revisionist history is simply wrong. This was known at the time to be such a giant blunder that there is honestly no justification for it. It’s one of those signings where if you sign him AFTER you’ve blown through your pool money on a sure thing it’s fine to take a waiver on. Be he WAS their “sure-thing.” And he’s hit .247/.299/.290 in 640 minor league plate appearances. Bravo front office, bravo.

    • AND we sat and listened to Krall, during the RLN meet and greet, extol the virtues of that signing and attempt to justify the signing by by using the same scouting logic from 40 years ago that is now universally panned by modern baseball organizations, except of course the Reds.

      • Of course the same adherance to antiquated scouting logic resulted in the absolute pursuit of Peraza as a starting middle infielder and the absolute insistance to of promote Hamilton as a starting CF without either player ever demonstrating the ability to hit effectively in the upper minor leagues.

  16. Is it just me, or does that picture of Bob Castelini indicate he is morphing into Marge Schott?

  17. Good stuff. I feel very similarly. The losing was expected, it’s the way they’re going about the sorting that’s infuriating, especially the lack of a clear plan.

  18. Jeff, your thoughts and emotions scarily mirror those of the Old Cossack. I was probably among the most positive and hopeful fans heading into this season. I thought a significant improvement was possible, albeit not really probable. I was prepared for a juggernaut performance if many if’s meshed into solid contributions, but equally prepared to watch another disappointing rebuild season if several key player performances fell short of possiblilities. Wins and losses are what fans agonize over during every season. Player hot streaks and cold streaks are part of the game and readily accepted and anticipated. Injuries happen, fans just hope those injuries are not career-threatening.

    I was virtually ‘all in’ regarding the organizational and managerial changes over the past couple of seasons, because without that belief, there really was no hope for the next decade or two. I hoped against hope the Price would be removed as the field manager at some point during the season. I hoped against hope that BC refrained, or better yet removed himself entirely, from interfering with any and all Baseball Ops cecisions. I hoped against hope that DW was the GM and Pres of Baseball Ops that we all hoped to find, despite him having absolutely no experience to justify his capability in that position. I hoped against hope that ALL of personel responsible for the incompetence of the Baseball Ops organization, since BC assumed the role of CEO, would be summarily removed from the organization (looking squarely at you WJ!). Alas, the old boys network and commitment to a tight, inept inner circle of management prevailed to the detriment of the Reds on-field success and expected future success. The decisions and methodology since Krall’s ‘promotion’ to GM have only exacerbated my frustration with the organization.

    At this point, I have no realistic expectation for any positive changes within the Reds organizational structure or improvement by that organizational structure. I fear the Reds are relegated to a 2nd division performance through the career of Joey Votto and the current contracts for Eugenio Suarez and Tucker Barnhart. The Reds have yet to identify a single starting pitcher to provide any anchor within the starting rotation for the next successful Reds team. My biggest fear is that the young Cossack’s only wish for her 13th birthday, a seat in the Diamond Boxes for a Reds game, will simply go by the way as she loses interest. I doubt that she is the only member of the next generation of Reds fans that will simply fail to materialize to support the Reds as the aging fan base becomes non-existent.

    The sad part of this disaster, is that the value of the Reds franchise will continue to grow as the value of all MLB franchises will continue to grow, despite the mismanagement of the Cincinnati franchise. I can ultimately see the Cincinnati franchise moving to greener pastures once the fan support within the Cincinnati market completely implodes into a Miamiesque organization. I just hope I don’t see that day. Thanks BC for everything you’ve done for the Reds organization…and that’s a big ol’ NOT!!!

  19. I still have trouble losing. Its just my nature. I don’t like losing at twiddly winks. But yes I can put up with the losing, I may grumble and grouch (I’m an old man, I’m entitled) but it would go down a lot easier if I could see a plan being formulated and followed. I would have liked to have seen them trade for Yelich or sign Cain but with the starting pitching we have had over the past two+ months neither signing would have a made a difference. What I want to see when I turn into the game is Winker and Blandino and hopefully soon Senzel playing every day, I want to see Dilson up this year and see if Stephenson can pitch regularly in the MLB. (I still think he has the best pure stuff of any pitcher on our roster). I’d like to see Garrett stretched out to start. We may and probably will still lose, but it will be a lot easier to stomach.

  20. Cleveland’s rotation is 9th in era. Their pens era is 30th! Feel free to trade anyone and everyone. Lorenzen and Iggy will be shriveled up old men by the time the Reds are good again so don’t let that stop! The rebuild starts now….if you own a time machine!!

  21. Lots of moving parts.

    First I think the beginning of some of the answers are starting to materialize.

    1. Bailey was giving a opportunity and it was determined he can’t handle it. Who told who first and all that is not a issue for me. His performance is.

    2. What to do with Gennett will ultimately drive the decision on what to do with Senzel (all of which has been hindered by his battle with vertigo) If Scooter is the 2nd for the next 3 or 4 years Senzel can become a outfielder. More importantly a CF’er replacing Billy Hamilton. This won’t be tried until it is obvious that Gennett will not be traded and offered a long term contract.

    3. If Robert Stephenson would have thrown strikes this spring we would not be wishing he was in Cincinnati and not Louisville. The thought of him burning through the bull pen every 5th day with pitch counts north of 75 after 3 innings gives me a headache, Hopefully he has worked through that in AAA.

    4. Harvey I have no answer for. From what I have seen I can’t believe he will be targeted by a contender at the deadline unless they are in dire need.

    5. Winker needs to improve defensively.As a corner outfielder I saw Duvall make at least 3 plays and Schebler 2 that he would not have gotten close to. He also is very slow footed and has very little power. Giving him at bats will not change his foot speed or make him a better defender. It may not help him find a bit more power either. Trammel is my LF of the future.

    6. if Billy Hamilton wasn’t the only CF’er on the roster I could be alright with Peraza at SS. I can’t have both of them in the line up. Peraza would be alright battling 8th where he would be forced to take a walk batting in front of the pitcher.

    7. eventually I would like to see the reds starting 8 become

    Trammel LF
    Senzel CF
    Votto 1b
    Suarez 3b
    Schebler RF
    Gennett 2b
    Barnhardt c
    Peraza SS

    If Gennett is moved at the deadline Long, Herrera or Blandino can play 2nd. If Siri surprises me and gains some plate discipline and reduces his K rate CF’er and Senzel could move RF,2nd.

    • I have begun to think about Senzel in CF. They have said he runs really good.

      At this point, why not? Someday he might move back into the infield, but really…..why not? If his vertigo is over and he gets his hitting back together. Maybe the first week of July.

  22. I ACTUALLY see some things developing with the Reds in the next couple of years.

    the outfield will get better with the young guys coming up with Friedel , Trammel and Siri.

    I see the Nasty Boys Version 2.0 with Garret, Lorenzen and Iglesias

    we are good at 2b, a1b, 3b and catcher

    our main weakness is ss and starting pitching. I Like Peraza but I don’t think he is your everyday ss

    options I see are to trade for a ss or see what Hunter can do. (I have watched him twice pitch in Dayton and I don’t know just seems like there is something missing)

    main trading pieces in my opinion are Senzel, Winker, Schebler and Duval.
    these may net a good starter to go along with Mahle, Disco, Stevenson, Castillo

    • You’re banking on Disco staying healthy and being the guy he was 2-3 years ago and on Stephenson finding some semblance of control. Those are big gambles. The rotation is the key to the future and outside of Castillo and Mahle, the Reds have more questions than answers.

      I hope you are right but hard to count on Disco or Stephenson right now.

      • Not to mention….didn’t Castillo have the 3rd best fastball last year for starters? Luis Severino for the Yankees parlayed his heater to 9-1 with a 2.20. Our Luis converted his 98 mph heater into 95 mph batting practice and a 5.64 era. His future could still be bright, but why do our pitchers always take 2 steps backward for every one forward?

    • The thing missing for Green is maturity, physical and mental; as well as experience. Green is mature for his age but he’s 18. He’s already looking a lot better on the mound in Dayton. Did you see either of his last 2 starts?

  23. Earle you sure Hunter Green was pitching? He has been dominating recently.

    • From Doug’s site

      “Hunter Greene allowed a run on a solo home run in 5.0 innings, allowing 2 hits and a walk. He also struck out 8 batters. Over his last 5 starts he’s posted a 2.91 ERA in 21.2 innings with 5 walks and 26 strikeouts. He didn’t hit 100 MPH for the first time all season, topping out at 99 on multiple occasions. The home run he allowed came on a 94 MPH fastball.”

      Sounds like he is figuring it out

      • Sure does. And he’s a whopping 18 years old. It’s ok if it takes him a couple years to figure it out.

  24. Never have minded losing it just how we lose that ticks me off.I am ok with the young starters and 5 is ok with me taking the ball every 5th day.Keep the bus gassed up that goes to Louisville if need be and I will take 5 innings every day from every one of them regardless.As was mentioned and I agree nobody owes any of us a detailed plan as to what will be done but at least do some things that makes some sense.Manage the roster to find out who can and who can’t.We know about our outfield except Winker.We know about Peraza.That’s 3 spots that guys should be playing in that we don’t know about.

  25. I do not believe the Reds management ever actually believed they could emerge from this rebuild successfully until 2020- at the earliest. Unable to compete for the top international prospects until mid 2019, & unwillingly to bid for ML FA talent to augment the players they have; the Reds have been destined to be mired in the ML basement through next year. And they darned well knew it. Everything else has been PR.

  26. My impression is that there has been an organizational war going on in the front office. I believe BC has been listening primarily to Jocketty for the past couple of years, effectively neutering Williams. Williams has finally been able to remove Jocketty in an official role by becoming solely the President and promoting Krall to GM. This has led to the general lack of vision/direction within the organization.

    What is killing this team is the lack of a process. There’s no “Red’s Way” from the rookie leagues on up with regard to player development. I see that historically, the Reds are fantastic at developing position players (Votto, Bruce, Larkin, ED, Etc.). They should embrace that ability and use it to their advantage. They focus on developing position players to be flipped for pitchers who have been developed by another organization and are ready to deliver. I think of trade partners like Arizona or Tampa. Teams that historically develop pitchers but have trouble developing position players.

    As for some of the moves, there’s not a whole lot of difference that one player here or there was going to change. Robert Stephenson had a TERRIBLE spring training. He earned getting shipped down to AAA. He’s lucky they didn’t cut him, because the team had already told him he needs to throw strikes or else. The Harvey trade (Not Signing) actually makes sense. We acquired a starting pitcher that has way more trade value compared to a backup catcher that wasn’t going to get enough playing time to audition to another team. Finally, I believe Garrett’s situation was due to Price. Garrett lied to Price about his injury last year, and that probably put him in the doghouse. I do believe Garrett should be starting, and I feel that is going to come to fruition sooner than later.

    I agree it’s hard to watch, but I truly believe there’s going to be a sorting out the remainder of the year as far as who is going to make the organizational decisions. After that’s settled, we should finally see some sort of vision.

  27. New York, New York.
    I guess we can be glad we are not Mets fans. The Mets were going to have a Todd Frazier replica batting practice pullover giveaway. It had to be canceled. A “quality control Issue” arose with the shirts causing the cancellation. I would guess a spelling error of some sorts or the wrong number or name was put on the pullover. Mets refuse to disclose what the QC issue was. Mets fans are howling about the ineptitude.
    And the Yankees are considering boycotting ESPN now. ESPN moved a Sunday Yankees game in July from a 1PM start to their night game at 8PM. Problem is the Yankees have a makeup double-header the next day against Baltimore leaving the Yankees to play 3 games in a 24 hour period. Yankees want the game moved back to 1PM. ESPN ineptitude. ESPN is the worst.

  28. Like I’ve said before , see you in 2021.

  29. I can’t figure all the love for Jesse Winker. .240 hitter can’t run throw field or hit for power. Yeah let’s pay him every day and lead him off! Lol

    • Winker is about we have in the OF currently. OBP is a nice skill that 95% of our guys have never heard of. Most guys can’t really do damage if they swing at everything, but if you can lock in on strikes then you have a chance. Winker has a chance just like Stephenson has a chance. Tim Adleman had no chance. Billy has no chance to ever be a decent hitter. Winker hit his only HR recently at GABP to left-center. I think his swing can help him get several of the Votto GABP HRs that land about 2 rows deep in left. I posted some stats the other day and he has more HRs per atbat then Suarez did with Detroit/Reds in his first 2 years.

    • I just don’t see how we can know that given the limited amount of playing time he’s had and his age. You may be right but if I’m the Reds and have put that much developmental effort and money into a player, I want to give him every chance in the world to prove to me he was worth the effort. Winker hasn’t had that chance yet. I don’t think it’s Winker love. I mean, I was talking to Chad D on Twitter about me being disappointed in Winker so far. Thing is though, he needs to be given regular playing time over the next couple years to see what he is at the MLB level. If he stinks, he stinks. His plate approach and the fact that he’s hit for a high average in the minors, along with his power when he first was brought up, give a glimpse of the player that the Reds need to give a chance of showing he can be (or not).

  30. Fine-tuning my fantasy teams and looked at Jorge Soler’s stats. I know the Cubs were really high on him at first. He’s finally coming around pretty well with KC this year (9 HRs, .850 ops) and he’s only 26. The Reds should put together a package for him! They’re also in last and don’t have much pitching.

    If the Reds had Senzel/Soler in the lineup while subtracting Peraza and Billy and/or Duvall then they could put up some serious runs!

  31. Winker and Stephenson are players that should be moved on. They cannot produce. Winker is too slow and Stephenson is too wild. I do not see the love in either one.

    • Love how you know that about Winker given how much playing time he’s actually had. Stephenson even probably deserves more of a shot in MLB, especially since he’s been throwing strikes lately in L’ville. Yeah, just give up on those guys that you spend so much development time and money on. Ugh.

  32. So a little what if scenario…

    What if the Reds try to trade Scooter but are unable to find any takers for a trade that returns anyrthing even close to par value for a 3.0 WAR starting middle IF (and Scooter will have produced significantly more than 3.0 WAR for the past 2 seasons), so the Reds hang on to Scooter’s contract via arbitration through the 2019 season. With Scooter playing 2B in 2019, Suarez locked in at 3B and Senzel playing lights out in AAA and looking for a place to play defensively at the MLB level, he moves to the OF and proves equally capable in CF and RF as he did at 3B and 2B. With regular playing time in LF, Winker improves both his offense, with an .800+ OPS, and his defense.

    The Reds enter the off season with Senzel penciled in for CF, Suarez penciled in for 3B, Scooter penciled in for 2B, Votto penciled in for 1B and Barnhart penciled in for C.

    I can not see the Reds competing for the 2 big FA (Harper and Machado), but an interesting name could be added for a reasonable cost and contract. A.J. Pollack has an extensive injury history and is on the wrong side of 30 for a FA contract, especially after last season’s difficulty for FA contracts. Maybe a 3-year, $42MM contract, including the buyout of a team option on a 4th year, could bring him to Cincinnati or maybe even a 1-year contract to try and establish value for another run at FA after the 2019 season.

    RF Senzel (RH)
    1B Votto (LH)
    3B Suarez (RH)
    2B Scooter (LH)
    CF Pollack (RH)
    LF Winker (LH)
    SS Peraza/Blandino
    C Barnhart

    BENCH (one of Peraza/Blandino, Dixon, two of Hamilton/Duvall/Schebler & catcher)

    Then address the starting pitching, with hopefully at least 3 young starters and preferrably 4 young starters established from the 2018 season. (Ryu, Ross, Richards, Keuchel, Gonzalez, Corbin, Cahill, etc. as FA) I am completely against sign a FA starting pitcher, but the Reds organization has boxed themselves into another corner with their mismanagement.

    Of course, if the Reds management wants to try and make up for their lost goodwill with their fan base and sign Machado to play SS, who is the Old Cossack to argue…

  33. Nice insight Jeff.

  34. Has Winker actually sat on the bench since he was benched? He’s hitting lead off again today. if the Rotation was bad, then they are still doing it. If the Rotation is good, then it’s not very good. Has Homer seen the bullpen? Will he see it when his “injury” is healed?

  35. What’s frustrating for me as a fan, is there seems to be no real plan. No, they don’t need to tell the fans what it is but even the communication coming out of the organization often conflicts. I don’t expect much from my favorite team for several more years. They could be close enough that with the right leadership than 2019 could be a lot better and 2020 could actually be competitive/winning baseball. The leadership from the top down throughout the org just isn’t there though.

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About Jeff Gangloff

Jeff is Cincinnati born, Ohio University educated. Reds baseball has been a central theme of his family ever since his mom and dad helped him skip school to attend Opening Day. Jeff has been accused of having a "man crush" on Joey Votto and longs for the day that he gets to witness the Reds finally win a playoff series. You can follow him on Twitter @Gaaangs

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