Final (10) R H E
St. Louis Cardinals (34-27) 7 8 0
Cincinnati Reds (22-42) 6 13 1
W: Norris (3-1) L: Iglesias (1-1) S: Brebbia (2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Scott Schebler had 4 hits tonight, which is good. He’s doing that thing where he hits the crap out of the ball now.

–Votto, Suarez, Winker, and Scooter all also made positive offensive contributions.

The Bad
–Matt Harvey, overall. Sometimes he looks really good and sometimes he doesn’t. I dunno who else the Reds have to send out there, but he shouldn’t get much more rope. The trade deadline is closer than you think.

–Barnhart TOOTBLAN’d the Reds out of a rally in the sixth. That wasn’t cool. Barnhart had a rough night offensively over all.

–Billy Hamilton isn’t a major league hitter now. Not even close.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Baseball. They continue to play something like it in Cincinnati.

–This team tries really hard every night, I’ll give them that. But the starting pitchers simply have to do more than they’ve been doing. It’s getting to a point where I expect guys to give up 3 runs in 5 innings or 4 or 5 in 6+. And you know what? That’s not good enough.

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! 68 Comments

  1. Agree we are deluding ourselves when we try to rationalize away the starters giving up 4 runs in 5 innings or 5 in 6 etc. If guys at AAA are going 5 innings and doing stuff like that and often running up high pitch counts in the process, we don’t expect or want them brought up. If guys do it time and again and again at MLB whether old or young or in between, something needs to change.

    • Deluding is the appropriate description, Jim.

      In addition to the starting pitching, another game where the other team out HR’d the Reds. Tonight, it was 3 HRs for the Cards, 0 for Ye Olde Redlegs.

      The Reds are going to have several guys end this season with nice offensive numbers.

      But….

      HRs Allowed – 90 (2nd worst)
      HRs Hit – 61 (7th worst)

      In 2018 MLB, can’t win like that…especially in GABP. Add in the TOOTBLANs, high pitch counts and so many guys that can’t seem to get hits in key situations….

      • Understand what you are saying about HRs.
        For example it is great if Votto has a .440 OBP. Period not questioning that. However if he is a guy they were counting on to hit HRs and he is not hitting HRs then somebody else needs to be hitting HRs to cover that slack unless virtually the entire team can OBP in the .400 range.

        The 9th inning tonight was a good example of this. If Scooter or Suarez or Winker hit a HR, they win the game. Two of the three do reach and they tie it but then a relatively soft out in Peraza is up and they fail to put the Cards away. The long short is the way the game is played today, if somebody doesn’t hit HRs, a team is going to have trouble getting the correct sequencing to score enough runs.

        • I would argue that the larger issue here isn’t a lack of home runs, but having too many slots in the lineup filled by unproductive hitters. I haven’t checked the stats this morning, but as of two days or so ago, Votto, Geno, and Scooter were all hitting over .300 with more than solid slash lines. Schebler is currently murdering baseballs. None of these four are the problem.

          On any given day, though, they are followed in the lineup by 2-3 of Peraza, Duvall, and Hamilton. Peraza is a light-hitting SS who can’t get on base at even a .300 clip. Duvall can’t seem to find a .200 average with a map and a flashlight, and Hamilton appears to have forgotten what to do with the big wooden stick the batboys keep handing him.

          Those three, plus the pitcher’s spot in the lineup, are dead zones in the lineup. Even if the top 5 are hitting home runs at an above-average clip, you’re still going to strand a lot of runners if your lineup drops off a cliff at the 6 spot.

          • It is six of one and half dozen of another. The question for the folks putting together a team and a line up is which way to go. It is probably easier to surround a couple boppers or three with league average range OBP guys than to put a lineup of guys on the field everyday of guys who are all high enough OBP guys to overcome a marked power shortage.
            But as you said, the line up cannot drop off a cliff in the bottom third regardless. And as long as the one league has the DH and the other doesn’t. we will keep seeing that proven just by the difference in offense between the leagues caused by having one built in soft spot in the league without DH.

        • It’s all about roster construction and quite frankly, the Reds suck at roster construction and have for as long as BC and his cronies have been associated with the Reds. If the starting position players are not top shelf hitters, then the backup for those positions must be capable hitters. This is especially important for positions like catcher which require frequent substitutions. If the starting position players are poor hitters, why are they starting?

          There are only 10 catchers in the NL with more than 150 PA, only 7 catchers with more than 170 PA and only 4 catchers with more than 200 PA. Tucker has 212 PA, an iron man among catchers, but as a hitter with a .714 OPS (and career MLB .699 OPS), Tucker ranks 4th among the top 4 in PA, ranks 7th among the top 7 in PA and ranks 8th among the top 10 in PA.The Reds backup C is 29 years old with a career MLB .689 OPS.

          There are 17 CF in the NL (only 15 teams) with more than 150 PA, 14 CF with more than 170 PA and 11 CF with more than 200 PA. Hamilton has 219 PA but as a hitter with a .556 OPS (and a career MLB .625 OPS), Hamilton ranks 10th among the top 11 in PA, 13th among the top 14 in PA and 16th among the top 17 in PA. The Reds backup CF is…well the Reds don’t really have a backup CF on the roster. Whoops! Not having a capable starting CF and having no legitimate backup CF is a real problem.

          There are 15 SS in the NL with more than 150 PA, 14 SS with more than 170 PA and 13 SS with more than 200 PA. Peraza has 264 PA (2nd most PA in the NL), but as a hitter with a .629 OPS (and a career MLB .656 OPS), Peraza ranks 11th among the top 13 in PA, 12th among the top 14 in PA and 11th among the top 15 in PA. The Reds backup SS is…well the Reds really don’t have a backup SS on the roster. Whoops! Not having a capable starting SS and having no legitimate backup SS is a real problem.

          That’s 37.5% (3 of 8) of the starting position players that represent serious, non-productive flaws in the Reds roster. A NL team can afford to carry 1 serious, non-productive flaw in the roster. The Reds have 3 times that amount. Hitting more HR would certainly help, but the Reds are middle of the pack in HR. The problem is covering for 3 starting players on the roster that are non-productive. It can’t be done.

          Who’s responsible for roster construction amd roster management under the BC regime? I challenge anyone to provide a legitimate answer to that question, and THAT’S(!) the problem. Until BC and his cronies get out of ALL baseball ops decisions, it’s not going to get better.

          • There is no problem with Tucker being the catcher and batting 7th or 8th. The problem is SS and CF. Time and time again those two players are up to the plate with the game on the line. You just can’t hide them. I listen mostly to the other teams broadcasters on the MLB extra innings. They all know those two and pitcher are the weak links. How come this organization doesnt?

          • I think you hit on some key points about the Reds offense and roster construction. In my opinion, the Reds offensive issues aren’t related at all to Votto, Suarez, or Gennett. I tend to believe Schebler is going to to be a slightly above league average contributor through his prime years. And honestly I’m not worried about Barnhart’s production (though I would like it come out of the 7/8th spot in the line up rather than #2) because he brings so much more to the team with his defense and intangibles. I also still believe Winker can be a contributor to a good offensive team, it’s just going to have to come at the top of lineup where his on-base skills will play up.

            The near future Reds issues with the offense aren’t likely to come from 3B, 2B, or 1B. I also believe that between Winker, Schebler, and potentially (probable) a move of an INF to the corner OF (Senzel, India, Gennett, Long…) that the corner OF will be fine moving forward. We could upgrade behind Barnhart, but the main glaring areas remain, and have been, SS and CF. Trammell, Siri, Friedl, and Fairchild (the guys most capable of being the next CF) are all likely two years, or more, away still at this point. There are no SS’s above Low A at the moment that look capable of being an everyday guy. The Reds seriously need to address these two gaping holes in the line up or we will continue to have dead spots in our lineup.

          • Tucker Barnhart is not the problem. He plays THE most critical defensive position on the team and plays GG caliber defense. His .700 OPS plays just fine, but the physical demands of catcher does dictate less playing time than any other position and his offense plays muct better at the bottom of the lineup than the top of the lineup.

          • Your points on roster construction are very good, but apply less in a rebuild. I don’t mind that the Reds didn’t jettison Mes and spend the dough to sign a good backup for Tucker. You do that when you have sorted and built a core roster.
            Similarly, I don’t mind no backup shortstop of quality. Let Jose play and either develop or not. And let Blandino get the reps if Jose gets hurt. Again, the time to sign the quality bench from the FA market is when the major sorting is complete.
            When it comes to center field, I’m less content to say the same. This team has no starting center fielder. BH can be a great bench weapon, but that’s it. If they want to see Schebler develop there, then he should be playing there. If they don’t think there is a chance of that, then another option should be in play (try converting Senzel, trade last off season for Yelich, trade 3 second base prospects for one CF prospect who is ready for a shot by the end of this season, etc.).

  2. Really good and concise summary of yet another bizarre Reds game, Jason.

    Schebler 7 for 12 last 2 days hitting leadoff.

    Small sample size, for sure, but you know who else hit leadoff today? Kris Bryant for the Cubs and he went 3 for 4. “Speedster” Matt Carpenter got a hit and 3 BBs tonight hitting leadoff for the Cardinals.

    If Schebler takes to leading off, then Hamitlon surely is gone…traded for bucket of baseballs, or just not tendered. Hamilton is likely to get $8M or so through his last year of arbitration. The Dodgers can afford an expensive base stealer off the bench, the Reds can’t/won’t based on their current spending.

    Also, Barnhart htting 2nd still feels odd, and is more ABs over time for a guy the Reds really lean on.

    • Do you think more ABs (and presumably more base running) for Barnhart could be bad because of the extra wear and tear of his position? I’ve not thought about that; but, it could be correct.

      • Yes.

        We might see signs in August of Barnhart affected by being out there more overall.

        I could understand if he was the high OBP guy on team, but Schebler/Votto/Gennett/Suarez/Winker all have a higher OBP and all are above league average in wRC+ and Barnhart is at 95.

        Keeping Barnhart at 7, where he hits better anyway, feels like the best thing all around.

      • Yes. Given the current usage (which is what should be happening so Tucker can help the young pitchers), he will wear down. Hitting and running the basepaths more often will only increase the wear.

  3. I remember the early 2018 predictions for the Reds: good offensive team, not pitching at all. I still think FO was able to assemble a decent bullpen corps, but unless they want to continue without a reliable starting rotation for years to come, it’s time to start thinking in other options behind Disco, Mahle & Castillo. All other starting pitchers in the majors and AAA are just useless. Garrett & Lorenzen should be given the opportunity to start games.

  4. The Reds burned a bench player as a pinch runner… and the guy they used isn’t even a good base stealer. Why oh why isn’t Billy riding the pine where he belongs? There are basically burning 2 position players with this inverse logic.

    • Two thoughts here. The pinch runner was probably in order. Imagine if the game would have ended with Votto thrown out trying to score the tying from first on a double or second on a single or with him standing at 3B because he couldn’t get around in one of those situations. However, why not use a pitcher in that situation as the PR? Neither Mahle nor Floro were going to pitch in that game regardless; and, I’ll bet either, certainly Mahle, are quicker around the bases than Votto and perhaps even Dixon.

      They also burned a bench spot by using Duvall as a PH when Lorenzen could have batted for himself in the bottom of the 8th. They were 2 runs down at the time; and, it was the lead off of the inning. Did Riggleman really believe Duvall was more likely to reach than Lorenzen which was a more important consideration than who was more likely to run into one for a HR since they were 2 down. Then of course they could have brought Duvall for Hamilton regardless of what Lorenzen did.

  5. The reds team .ISO is 3rd to last in MLB. They get on base but a major power outage indeed. Even the reds announcers are using the term “GABP home run,”. Yet- the other team seems to hit more. It’s also more Xtra base hits for the opposing team.

    The SP is the worst in baseball. No one is pitching into the 7th or 8th innings. Castillo and Mahle show the best potential. Garrett has grown as a pitcher- but he’s in the bullpen and not even facing a lineup twice. Romano and RS and CR are regressing. Harvey and Homer aren’t part of the future. Finnegan could theoretically string something together but that’s a long shot.

    Who are the reds starting pitchers in 2019? 2018 was to sort that out and the sorting isn’t looking good.

    Is it possible to change the dimensions in Right center and RF by taking out 2 rows of seats and raising the fence 2 feet? Leave LF to the smokestacks alone but toughen up the opposite field home run by a RH hitter. The other option would be more radical and expensive but change RF entirely and make GABP pitcher friendly. Looks easier and cheaper to acquire hitting than it does Max scherzer or Jon Lester.

    • I agree totally. Move the dimensions back to the old riverfront stadium dimensions and Viola !!!you have a decent pitching staff. I also think we need to go back to AstroTurf to speed up the game a little bit.
      I was watching highlights from the 1990 World Series and the game was so much faster then

    • I believe there are tunnels and other things behind the walls that prevent moving them back with out a significant reconstruction of the stadium

    • Green Monster, MW edition.
      The Black&Yellow Monster.

    • I was thinking the same thing about enlarging the outfield by removing seats. Cheaper and easier than rebuilding with a larger footprint. Yes, they’d lose some capacity, but that won’t be noticed until the Reds are a good team and actually have fans coming to the games. My imagination isn’t robust enough to predict when that might be.

  6. Yes

  7. I won’t give up on the young guys pitching until the end of this year because it does take awhile.This is a homer friendly park and to continue to run out guys that have no power and don’t get on base just doesn’t work.Schebler and Winker need to play every day and not because they are performing its because they have the least experience and potentially the most upside.

    • Amen. With the caveat that certain things in individual pitchers would lead to demotion/giving up on them in the meantime.

  8. Even though I hate them I’m also really jealous of the Cardinals. They have built a franchise that is competitive year in and year out. “Rebuilds” to the Cardinals isn’t completely overhauling the team every few years. When a player is deemed too expensive there is either a great replacement in the farm system pipeline or they make a great trade. They are the best franchise in baseball.

    • RLN game recaps have THE GOOD and THE BAD but the Cardinals are still THE UGLY.

    • Hate to say it, but the Cardinals have taken over the Reds as THE baseball team of the Midwest.

  9. Ah , Reds attain 20 games under (22-42) before Father’s Day & are now poised for another June swoon. They have about the worst 25 man roster in the ML, are relatively unhampered by injuries this year, & have precious few prospects at the AA/AAA levels to positively impact this team. Their Louisville & Pensacola teams are just bad, plus now Dayton has slipped to losing baseball. If there’s any silver linings to this dreary forecast that I’m overlooking, please feel free to straighten me out.

  10. Listening to Grande and Welch last night would one of the wise persons on the site answer this question; do the Reds have the wrong pitching coaches in the organization or are they drafting the wrong people. According to those the Reds have the greatest coaches in baseball. I just was wondering.

    • Something is definitely missing in the coaching aspect. Drafting at times is questionable but, even they guys they trade for who are highly rated fail to develop

      • Consecutive draft years 2011-14 with to date none of the anticipated outcomes on first round choices they projected as starting pitchers is part of why they are in the starting pitching mess. Robert Stephenson #27 overall 2011; Nick Travieso #14 overall in 2012. Michael Lorenzen #38 overall 2013 (1st round supplemental); Nick Howard #19 overall 2014. Travieso has had big time physical/ injury issues. The other three just haven’t blossomed to as starting pitchers (to date).

        By way of comparison all three Rockies starting pitchers in the recent series with the Reds were 1st rounders of similar vintage. Tyler Anderson #20 overall 2011; Jon Gay #3 overall 2013; Kyle Freeland #8 overall 2014.

        Interesting to note that all three of the Rockies guys were originally drafted lower out of high school but did not sign until after attending college and being 1st round picks while Stephenson and Travieso werer first rounders out of high school.

        • Some interesting points here. I would agree that the Reds drafts from 2011-2014 unfortunately missed more than hit. I think there’s still time for Stephenson to figure it out, but every start he is confined to AAA I believe the eventual outcome becomes clearer. He needs to sink or swim against ML hitters. HIs problem isn’t talent, it’s command/control and he should work on that against the best and most patient hitters, not guys that can’t match up with his stuff on most nights.

          I will note that part of the strategy by the Reds is at fault. Both Lorenzen and Howard were primarily relievers when they were drafted. The Reds tried to make them into starting pitchers. That hasn’t worked out. Travieso looked to be on track until injured, and you just can’t predict injuries. You do have a good point about drafting HS pitchers, there’s a bigger risk because the development time is much longer and increases the chances of being injured in the minors.

          The other note, between the Reds and Rockies is that two of their starters were taken in the top 10. The “hit” rate of top 10 guys is (obviously) higher than those drafted later, even in the first round. That combined with the fact that college guys carry less risk gave the Rockies a better chance of finding success in those drafts.

          • Don’t disagree about the likelihood of any one individual being a miss or blow out below the top 10 but to have nothing from round 1 but a few crumbs for 2011-2014 is pretty incredible to accept as pure chance. BTW the “natural” first rounder for the Reds in 2013 (year Lorenzen was picked #38) was Philip Ervin at 27 overall. Also Winker was at #49 over all was a 1st round supplemental in 2012.

          • Agreed, either incredibly unlucky to have that many misses strung together in the first round, or just plain old bad draft strategy.

            It’s hard for me to chalk it up completely to the later, because since Buckley took over in 2006 the Reds have been above average in selecting future big leaguers in the first round and have hit on quite a few early round picks (comp picks/2nd rounders). On the other hand, as you mention it’s unlikely their lack of success is just pure chance.

            Here’s where I believe the missteps in strategy occurred. Drafting HS arms back to back as their first picks in 2011/2012. A lot of risk involved, as discussed above, in drafting HS arms. Probably too much risk to put back to back especially when both came outside of the top 10 in the draft.

            Second, as mentioned above, trying to convert relievers into starting pitchers. Maybe we can blame Cingrani’s initial success for this brief trend. Howard wasn’t good enough to be a full-time starter for his college team, and Lorenzen only moonlighted as a pitcher in college where played CF regularly for his team. It just seems like a backwards strategy that hasn’t provided good results.

    • Their hype and PR seems to grow more and more unbelievable as the team’s poor play goes on and on.
      In the game thread it was pointed out that one of the Reds announcers said that things will “click” for Billy Hamilton any day now. Really?! Seriously?!

    • Grande’s function is to say very nice things about lots of people, including relatives of people I’ve never heard of. He tries to avoid letting the events unfolding in the game in progress interfere with his assigned duty. I don’t feel like listening to happy talk anymore. Welsh has cautiously offered criticism from time to time–so has Thom, though it’s often misguided–but I’m pretty sure that they really aren’t allowed to reflect too much on the misery unfolding.

  11. Oh Billy. Billy. Billy. Billy.
    Is it too late to send him down?

  12. When playing in a band box Duvall gives,you a better chance than Billy. Billy has no confidence at the plate. The look on his face when he comes up to the plate tells you that. Anybody right now but Romano. I don’t care if it’s Bob Steve or Finnegan. They can’t do worse. A loss is a loss and at this point in the season who cares if you lose. Pitch them for 2 months and if they don’t pitch well put 2 more guys in there. Even the Cardinal announcers pointed out that the only thing the Reds lack is starting pitching. They said the Reds would be a good team if they had that. Oh and they pointed out that Billy is terrible offensively and he can’t steal first.

  13. I don’t care what we do about Hamilton and Duvall. Have each start every other day if you want, and use them as defensive replacements and pinch-runners and pinch-hitters.

    BUT START SCHEBLER AND WINKER EACH AND EVERY GAME.

    • Schebler is starting to hit the way I thought he might this year, which prior to the season I believed was going to be the year he proved himself as an above-average, productive major league outfielder. I hope it continues. He does show signs of Jay Bruce-like streakiness — hot as heck for a couple of weeks, but offset by a couple of weeks where he can’t hit the ball hard at all.

      I’m with Doc. For now, as long as Winker and Schebler are producing (and Hamilton and Duvall are not), start Winker and Schebler every day and platoon Hamilton and Duvall.

      • Jay Bruce can’t hit for a couple of weeks? He would go missing for a month every other month. The Mets are finding that out for the 2nd time around. Oh and there is no reason for Winker or Schebler to ever sit. I would play Dixon out there before the other two buffoons. And I don’t care about defense right now. When you are going to lose 110 games when did we start worrying about losing? It’s about finding out who can play and who can’t. Call up Ervin and put him in center for the rest of the year. The guy is 26.at some point soon his 40 man roster spot is up. There isn’t to many people below him.

    • Right now, Schebler would rank in the top 30 (17th!) OPS among all qualified NL hitters, if he had enough PA to qualify. That’s not just OF, it’s ALL NL hitters! That would give the Reds 4 of the top 30 hitters in the NL and if Schebler continues his improvement (1.316 OPS in June) after his May swoon (.632 OPS), he will certainly crack the top 15 hitters in the NL very soon.

      Right now, Winker ranks in the top 60 (48th) OPS among all qualified NL hitters. That’s after a beyond abysmal May performance (.524 OPS), but with the flip of the calender page, Winker has produced an equally solid performance during June (1.083 OPS) and is quickly increasing his season production. If Winker continues his turnaround performance after his May abyss, he will almost immediately crack the top 45 qualifed hitters in the NL and also head to the top 30 qualified hitters in the NL.

      Winker (playing LF) and Schebler (playing RF) are not the problem. They just need the opportunity to prove if they are part of the solution.

      • Exactly. Play them until they beg for a day off.

      • I’m convinced that both of them have been slowly recovering from early-season injuries. They’re now back at full strength and looking like the Winker of last season and the Schebler of spring training.

  14. When Billy came up the Reds had good pitching. In 2014, the team ERA was 3.59. The ERA for the top 5 starting pitchers that year ranged from Cueto’s 2.25 to Bailey’s 3.71. The 2018 team ERA is 5.04. Mahle has a 4.33 ERA. The other starters range from 5.64 to 7.40.

    Saving a run when the pitchers are giving up 2-4 runs per game is meaningful. Saving a run when the pitchers are giving up 5-7 runs per game is only preventing their ERA from going to astronomical from terrible. The team is most likely going to lose anyway.

    The decline in Billy’s hitting (2014 OPS+ 81, 2018 OPS+ 53) along with the lessening value of his defense to this team makes him expendable.

    • And then there are plays like that triple by the Cards in the 8th last night that BH missed catching. More and more this year he seems to be just missing on plays like that which he seemingly made routinely as recently as last season.

      Yes they are “special” plays; but, if a guy is in the game because he is a defensive specialist, he needs to make them with regularity. That used to be the case for BH but is coming less and less so.

      • He also has 10 stolen bases with almost 40% of the season in the books. He’s on pace for 27 SB.

        Wily Taveras had 2 promising seasons with a good 2007 postseason. That was it. Speed can’t carry a career. The hit tool has to be there.

        Billy can be a late inning bench role player- but not at 5-8 million a year. How much has his trade value fallen from last off-season? Did the Reds mismanage trade timing again???

        Chapman, Frazier, Cozart,and now Hamilton.

        • Seems to me his issue in the field is not simply speed even. He looked to be in position to make that play last night and then just flat out did not catch the ball. Seen him do that several times this year. But also agree he seems maybe slower on his first couple of steps after a ball; and, some he has missed by not quite getting there on time.

      • It’s getting in his head. You can see it all over the field with Billy. He’s doubting himself.

    • Saving a run when your pitchers are giving up 5-7 of them is meaningful if you are scoring 5-7 of them. What matters is who has the most when the game is over. Billy can’t hit at all, now, and it’s painful to watch. I imagine his self-confidence is shot and he dreads coming to the plate. He clearly can’t be a starter under these circumstances, but forming an outfield that can’t field–a whole team, nearly–is not going to lead anywhere good. The so-called 3-outcome at-bat occurs at an unprecedented rate this year–35% of the time. I’d remember the 65% when constructing a team to avoid getting my lunch eaten on a regular basis.

  15. It seems odd we play players to raise their trade value, but they keep playing worse. Then we have players you can’t get even get a bucket of balls for.

  16. Pro’s: Schebler and Winker! Schebler’s swing seems shorter then last year for some reason? They were also shifting on him and getting him out on alot of hard groundballs in the grass in rightfield. Not so much now….he’s hitting the ball the other way consistently! Leadoff is good for him….more atbats the better because pitch recognition and knowing the strike zone is his only weakness.

    Con’s: Hate to see Iggy losing any trade value….threw alot of bad pitches to Gyorko or whatever his name is. He usually buries righties when he’s ahead in the count.

    What about some kind of a trade….Iggy/Hernandez/whoever for Paul DeJong/prospects, etc? I know the Cards are our rivals, but they signed Molina to big $ and they’re playing for now! Their pen is pretty bad overall! DeJong is 24-25 years old and has 33 HRs in 560 career atbats…something like that.

  17. The SS upgrade…

    UInless the Reds are willing to bite the bullet and ante up the big $$$ (and assume the high risk) for Machado to play SS, there are no other options available thru FA aquisitions to aquire an acceptable SS option and there are no likely future SS options in the Reds minor league system.

    If the Reds are going to make a trade this season, their target must be a young, controllable, can’t miss SS prospect at or near MLB readiness. That means a proven track record in the upper minors with skills tranferable to the MLB level. Those prospects will only come from organizations with multiple good options at SS with a proven MLB SS blocking nearly MLB-ready options. Oh, the trading partner must also be a contender needing what the Reds have to offer as quality inducements.

    MLBTR has a nice synopsis of the Reds available trade assets…

    https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/top-50-mlb-trade-candidates.html

    • I like your thinking. The Reds need to be bold. While it may not be time to end the rebuilding or, more accurately,while it may be time for the rebuild needs a reboot, the team needs to “bite the bullet” and go get a young cornerstone franchise player, aka Machado, around whom to build the next Reds contending team. Machado + Suarez are those pieces and cover the left side of the infield. Votto won’t be that player in a few years. Yes, Machado will be expensive now, but he’ll be a bargain in the later years, like Votto’s contract. He already in the HOF trajectory. I want the team to seriously try at least.

      So give up some assets now that have value (like Scooter, Iglesias, BillyH, etc.) for solid prospects who could play with MM + Suarez in the next good Reds team.

    • Brendan Rodgers in a package for Raisel Iglesias.

  18. The CF upgrade…

    This is an interesting situation with many potential options for improvement, including internal and FA possibilities. All internal options for a CF upgrade are playing in the low minor leagues now and are 3 years away from beiong ready to take ove CF at the MLB level. That 3 year period represents a narrow window necessary for any stopgap options.

    The one FA option available this off season is A.J. Pollack. Pollack has serious injury concerns and history (including this season) that will limit the monetary risk teams are willing to take on a high value, long term contract for an age 32 player. Pollack also has the deomnstrated production (career 116 OPS+) including a 149 OPS+ this season. No one knows where his FA contract might land this off season. It could range anywhere from a 1-year balloon contract in an attempt to establish Pollack for a better FA contract after the 2019 season to an $80MM+ contract from the losers in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes. This could fall neatly into the 3-year window at a reasonable cost and risk/reward scenario for the Reds.

    The also might have players (prospects) who could shift to CF and play reasonable CF defense with some experience at the new position. These players could also fill that stopgap period then shift to their natural position as the more elite CF prospects become MLB ready. This could provide the Reds with an enormous boost from CF with little to no risk, but it means the Reds have to act like a modern professional baseball organization with a willingness to make changes. This is something that the organization has shown a decided unwillingness to do during the BC regime.

    • I think 3 years is a bit on the long side unless we’re being incredibly cautious.

      There’s an incredibly likely chance Trammell (Top 50 in MLB prospect) moves up to AA after his league’s All Star break. That’s a very similar to the track Senzel is/was on. Trammell spends the 2nd half of 2018 in AA. If he continues to progress he should reach AAA by the 2nd half of 2019 at the latest. Starting off 2020 in AAA he should be primed to make his debut sometime that season. So in about 2 year from now.

      Siri, already being on the 40-man roster may even arrive before then. He’s also a candidate to move up to AA this season, it was rumored he may have been targeted to start there before he was injured in ST. Likewise Freidl is due for a promotion to AA about the same time as Trammell, and being older, could move a little quicker if he continues to produce.

      • With 2019 a losing season and the last year of the Bailey contract- 2020 seems the new timeline. Wonder how Votto feels about that.

    • I’d think that a 32-year old with injury issues would only make sense if he were cheap and the Reds looked to be seriously in contention next year. I’ve been doubtful, but maybe Schebler can improve his defense in center with regular playing time and keep hittting.

  19. Today’s lineup…

    1. Scott Schebler (L) CF
    2. Tucker Barnhart (S) C
    3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
    4. Scooter Gennett (L) 2B
    5. Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
    6. Jesse Winker (L) RF
    7. Adam Duvall (R) LF
    8. Jose Peraza (R) SS
    9. Luis Castillo (R) P

    Duvall in the starting lineup with Schebler and Winker starting against the RHP and Hamilton on the bench. Nothing really new there. The OF rotation is alive and well. The OF rotation will nailed in the coffin when whoever makes the decisions within the Reds organization dictates that Winker plays LF and Duvall will play RF or ride the pine with Schebler playing CF or a combination of CF and RF with Hamilton and Duvall forming a little mini-rotation.

    Likewise, whoever is making the decisions within the Reds organization has obviously decided that Barnhart will hit in the #2 hole. That’s not how the Old Cossack would address the top of the order, but right now, it really doesn’t matter except for the additional fatigue factor on Barnhart. Once the Reds roster is filled with one or two more round pegs to fill the gaping round holes, I certainly hope decision maker(s) are identified within the Reds organization that work externally and independently from the cronies within the BC regime.

    • I believe this is the lineup until people get traded. Duvall and Hamilton flip flopping . I think Peraza will be given every start possible until then. Then Senzel gets the phone call and the trades or no trades will decide where he plays. At this moment in time who cares about wins. Worry about sorting in the next 3 months and take your top 3 pick.

  20. Chris Welsh has lost his mind .
    Says he walked Michael Wacha because he isn’t throwing secondary pitches???

    If Luis Castillo can’t strike out an opposing Pitcher with a located fastball…. All hope is lost

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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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2018 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap

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