It was the summer of 2013. Dusty Baker’s Cincinnati Reds won 90 games and qualified for the postseason for the third time in four seasons. In contrast, the Chicago Cubs finished 66-96, posting the second-worst record in baseball. The Cubs chose a third baseman out of the University of San Diego with the second pick of the draft. His name is Kris Bryant. On the Right Coast, the New York Mets’ Matt Harvey started the 2013 All-Star Game at their shiny new Citi Field. Harvey would finish fourth in the 2013 NL Cy Young voting, with a league-best 2.01 FIP.

Meanwhile a 19-year-old from Olympia High School in Orlando was playing left field for the Dayton Dragons.

Five years later, the Reds are headed toward their 5th straight losing season. They’re 113 games below .500 since 2013. The Cubs, on the other hand, have reached the postseason the past three years, including winning the 2016 World Series. The Reds are in last place, the Cubs in first, with 15 games already separating the two teams in June. 

Matt Harvey has gone from being the toast of New York to being toast in New York. Harvey started fewer than 20 games in 2016 and 2017, recording a 6.70 ERA (FIP 6.37) last season. After 8 appearances this season with the Mets, sporting an ERA of 7.00, he was traded to a midwestern, last-place team, hoping to resurrect his disintegrating career.

The Cincinnati Reds played the Chicago Cubs tonight at Great American Ball Park. Matt Harvey started for the Reds. And that kid who played left for Dayton five years ago hit a baseball 417 feet to right-centerfield for a two-out grand slam. In play, run(s).

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we looked back five years from now and were able to pinpoint Jesse Winker’s dramatic home run as the moment that turned around the Reds fortunes? 

Cincinnati Reds 6 (29-45) • Stupid* Cubs 2 (42-30)

Box Score || Win % || Reds Pitcher Statcast || Reds Hitter Statcast

The “trade Matt Harvey at the deadline” scheme, flickering on life support, got a 5-day reprieve. Harvey pitched his best game for the Reds, holding the Cubs to 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk over 6 innings. He struck out 6. Harvey had exacting control of his fastball, dotting the edges of the strike zone. His fastball velocity hit 98 mph once and he averaged 95 mph.  

The Reds had already scored a run in the 6th when Winker homered. Billy Hamilton walked, then Jose Peraza and Tucker Barnhart made outs. Joey Votto started the 2-out parade with another walk. Scooter Gennett hit an infield single loading the bases. Eugenio Suarez worked a walk to drive in the first run. Cubs manager Joe Maddon replaced his starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks with left-handed specialist Randy Rosario. I guess I hadn’t mentioned that the Odd Man Out hit his home run off a left-handed pitcher. Singles by Adam Duvall, pinch hitter Alex Blandino and Hamilton produced the Reds sixth run.  

Sam Greene (Cincinnati Enquirer) gets the great pic: 

DgQ3He4XUAAMYuS

Wanna see another beautiful sight? (If you can’t find it, I provided a small hint.) 

In a moment of theatrics that matched Winker’s dramatic home run, 26-year-old Amir Garrett entered the game with two outs and bases loaded in the top of the 7th inning. He faced masher Anthony Rizzo, Chicago’s first baseman and a batter eminently capable of tying a 6-2 game with a flick of his bat. But it took Garrett just three pitches to strike out Rizzo: an 84-mph slider that Rizzo took, a 96-mph fastball that Rizzo swung through, and another 96-mph fastball that Rizzo took for steeeerike three.  

Jared Hughes came in with two outs in the 8th inning to strike out Albert Almora, Jr. with two Cubs on base. Hughes retired the Cubs in order in the 9th. 

The Reds took the first game of this four game series. They’ve won four games in a row. Luis Castillo tomorrow night. 

As Tom mentioned in the game preview, the Reds finally sent Wandy Peralta to the minors (sad trombone) and called up reliever Kyle Crockett. Crockett came up in Cleveland’s system and has a fair amount of major league experience. He’s exhibited quite a handedness split during his time in the majors (1.95 FIP vs. LHB; 4.93 vs. RHB) which makes him look like a lefty specialist. Crockett’s best quality, from the standpoint of the owner of this blog, is not his fastball or slider, but the college for which he played baseball. Around Thanksgiving, when the Reds acquired Crockett, I wrote optimistic words about the signing. Crockett has pitched about as well for Louisville as he did for Cleveland’s AAA affiliate over several years. 

Oh, some kid hit a couple home runs in Louisville tonight.

*now deployed ironically

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 76 Comments

  1. That’s what a well-played game between two good teams looks like. Reds had good starting pitching, clutch hitting and clutch relief pitching. I’m not saying the Reds are a good team yet, but we saw some signs tonight of potentially brighter days.

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  2. I change my mind on Harvey every other inning:) He has good velocity but doesn’t seem to have much faith or command of his breaking stuff. The thing is….he can be pinpoint with the fastball so if the breaking stuff ever came back then he’s a 3.25 era type of pitcher! Is there any chance at all that the Reds might try to sign him? Does he think he’ll get $12 mil/year or something? I’d much rather see them put Garrett and Lorenzen in the rotation, but I’d gladly take Harvey over their normal Gallardo/Arroyo/Quakenblast dumpster diving signings.

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    • He is pitching for $$$ rest of the season.
      If the continues to pitch like he did tonight a 1 year, 12 mil might to it.
      If not, he might be at 1 mil or have to sign a minor league contract.

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  3. Those 3 BB’s in the 6th inning killed the Cubbies. The one to Suarez after Suarez was down in the count 1-2 for the first run was critical.
    Then the pitching change and then Winker crushed it. It was a beautiful sight. Thom said on Rosario that opponents were hitting 6-48, a .125 OBA. The Reds just hammered him. Garrett getting out of a 2 out bases loaded jam will do wonders for his progression. Hughes bailed him out nicely in turn.
    Absolutely wonderful news on Senzel. He is ready for The Show. The front office needs to get moving to create a couple of paths that are more clear. A good evening for Reds baseball.

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  4. I really REALLY hope that after Harvey is gone, Garrett gets another look in the rotation. The kid is just a tremendous pitcher, and it’s a shame to waste his talents in the bullpen.

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    • Doubt he gets it this year.
      Maybe if they start in spring training next year he will

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    • I love the intensity that he brings when he pitches. We need a Garrett Gif like the one of Cingrani a few years ago with his huff & puff snarl look.

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  5. Ain’t nothing like the real thing of beating up on the Cubbicles. Keep it coming Reds

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  6. The Garrett strikeout was one of this season’s best moments.

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  7. . “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we looked back five years from now and were able to pinpoint Jesse Winker’s dramatic home run as the moment that turned the Reds fortunes around?”

    I don’t normally get all mushy about the Reds but I agree to-nights game gave off a different vibe, one worth remembering.

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    • Agree! I think they are playing loose with confidence for the first time this season. The next stretch of opponents will tell us if they can make a run to get close to .500. If Joey can get hot at the same time…WATCH OUT!

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      • Joey Votto…

        .838 OPS in April (.272/.414/.424)… that’s a .152 ISO
        .859 OPS in May (.320/.409/.450)… that’s a .130 ISO
        .961 OPS in June (.295/.469/.492)… that’s a .197 ISO

        It’s already happenin’! Votto can be great, quieter than any other hitter.

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  8. Steve, as always, your writing and insight is peerless. Maybe we will look back in 5 years and remember how four key pieces of the 2023 Reds performed tonight (Winker, Garrett, Senzel and India).

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  9. And, Jonathan India 1-3, 2 BB, 2 R in CWS elimination game W.

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  10. High octane game with outstanding performances by Winker, Garrett and Hughes. The Rizzo SO by Garrett should put him in elite level. Clock is clicking for FO to make a decision regarding Senzel, but I’d hate to see Gennett gone.

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    • I remember a moment early last season when in a similar key moment in a game, Lorenzen gave up what turned out to be a game-winning homer to Rizzo in a key late-game situation at GABP. There had been a little momentum building for the Reds at that time, but the Rizzo homer in a key spot was deflating to me, all Reds fans, and certainly the team.

      I like Steve’s description of this as a possible turning-point game. It sure had that feeling.

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      • The bullpen is strong. The offense is getting some traction. Disco and Castillo are the keys to a new second half.

        I’ll be optimistic and say Mr. Castillo will be competing tonight against Quintana.

        #Redsurgence2018

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      • Tom – remember that game well. the end point to Lorenzen’s great 2017 start and the beginning of his slide last year. Precipitated the long slide to under 70 wins.

        Hopefully this win propels the Reds toward .500 ball by season’s end and better outcomes for the next few seasons. Will need Danny Darwin to keep Castillo’s mechanics proper and for the lost 4 to 5 mph to magically reappear.

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  11. The difference between the Reds rebuild and the Cubs five years ago is they had a plan. Most people knew the Cubs had young players who would be outstanding once they got some experience. I’m not taking anything away from the win or Winker but the sad truth is this franchise doesn’t have the FO or ownership like the Cubs or Cards or even the Pirates and Brewers.

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    • I think the Reds have a plan, it may not include much of the current MLB roster whatsoever. Dick Williams stated just the other day that they have identified their core, now they are working on pulling it together.

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      • Agree the “plan” may end up including very few current Reds. However the results over the last six weeks suggest this year (and possibly 2019 too) could have been successful bridge years of borderline playoff aspirations with a few astute moves which would not have derailed the main thrust. After the last three years a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down would have been nice.

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    • Schwarber has been slow to realize his potential, the Heyward signing was a bomb, Addison was good not great (when as a prospect he was expected to be HOF caliber); same with Baez. They had total failures too.

      The difference in their rebuild wasn’t so much that they were smarter or savvier than the reds it’s just they had so much more money they were able to have redundancy. The Hunter Greene pick is really interesting all the sudden right? It just didn’t really line up with the plan. Perhaps it’ll end up working out but High school pitchers are half of a decade away sometimes. If ever.

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      • I’m not sure what the Hunter Greene reference is about. He is 18 — the youngest guy in the league. In his last 5 starts, he’s pitched 23.2 innings, with 27 strikeouts and a 2.28 ERA. The Reds are thrilled with him, as would all other 29 teams with that performance.

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        • Hunter will be fine. It was in reference to the timing of the rebuild. He won’t be in the bigs until 2021.

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      • I thought the plan was to draft the best available player with the number two pick. You don’t draft for immediate needs.

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    • The Cubs have Theo Epstein, we have Dick Williams.

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      • Theo Epstein (44), still three years younger than Dick Williams (47). Milwaukee’s David Stearns is 33.

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        • That doesn’t even reference the actual experience of Epstein and Sterns compared to the inexperience of Williams.

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  12. Last nights game was a glimmer of hope that the Red’s rebuild is coming into focus. The next month is very important that the front office addresses centerfield and the leadoff position at minimum.

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  13. Jesse Winker is a fine player. But I can’t shake the notion that his natural spot is as an American League LF / 1B / DH type. Is his stay in Cincy merely in a holding pattern until Trammel, Siri, Friedl arrive?

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    • LF is currently open with Duvall as the only competition. 1B is obviously not open. DH is supposedly coming in 2021 if you believe the rumors. I don’t think there is a reason to worry about Winker’s position right now. The prospects you mention either just got promoted to AA or are in A. Hopefully they are all three MVP candidates in the future, but basing decisions on prospects in A ball is not a good idea

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    • He can play LF the next 2 years. Keep in mind the DH is likely coming to the NL in 2021 so he may be able to slide into a LF/1b/ DH role in 2021. Votto can DH 40+ games or more and India and Senzel and Trammell will hopefully be in the lineup in 2021 as all around cornerstone players

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  14. Its starts and ends with starting pitching and they will get better with some bumps in the road.Untill they do there are still too many holes in the offense to out score other teams when they don’t pitch well.The OBP of the 6 guys not named Peraza and Billy are great and if only we some how could make it 8 guys then you have something to build on.Everybody can see it and hopefully they can plug these two holes internally or through some trades this year or before 2019.There is always hope we will eventually get this rebuild moving along at a more rapid pace but for now its a slow go if all you are seeing is young guys pitching every 5th day when there are other moves that could be made to make us better right now.Can we say trade Iggy or bring up Senzel and Herrera or give Bob and others some starts.Need to find out about these things.Come on front office you can see it so do it.Great team win and yes I agree it looked like a game between two good major league teams.

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  15. What a great photo of Winker at the plate. I really like his swing and how he attacks the ball.

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  16. Actually the Reds pitching is getting better. They were a lousy 28th (out of 30) in April with a 5.15 ERA. They ranked 22nd in May with a 4.64 ERA. They are currently 20th in June with a 4.30 ERA so far. There’s room for optimism with the anticipation that Harvey & DeSclafani should get a little stronger, as well as the appearance that Mahle & Romano may have found some traction with their stuff. It seems like that if the Reds starters can keep the game close through 5-6 innings our offense can beat up many teams bullpen, while our bullpen has become effective, sometimes even dominant.

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  17. I guess even the great Joe Maddon occasionally doesn’t bring in his best RP at the highest leverage point of the game….

    I’ll take it though. And good to see Winker finding his power stroke. Without it keeping the pitching honest, his OBP skills could erode somewhat since he would be challenged in the zone more often.

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    • Managers are only “great” when they push the button (player) and he responds correctly more often than not. That makes they look like a genius.
      Joe Maddon is just like everyone else; he puts his pants on one leg at a time.
      Sparky Anderson had a saying: ” The cream always rises to the top. If you don’t rise to the top, maybe you don’t have no cream anymore.”

      The Cubs certainly don’t have an incredible record. They win and lose. Maybe they just aren’t quite the team they were in 2016 when they won the World Series. They certainly don’t have Jake Arrieta, who won the Cy Young award. Rizzo is certainly not having a great or even very good year.

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      • Just tweeking Maddon a little with the same line that is often seen around here. Sometimes its warranted, sometimes context matters give whos available at the moment.

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        • The move in question was probably a good decision, but it certainly didn’t work out that way. A LHP v. Winker sure looked like a no brainer. This time Winker won the battle. Was it Winker’s success or the pitcher’s failure? That is the age-old baseball question.

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          • The last line is always the question. Isn’t it. That’s why I don’t spend alot of time agonizing over the managerial moves made or not made. Sports is unpredictable and that’s what makes it fun to watch. Probably less fun to manage.

            Was watching the CWS last night. and at one point UoF brought in a frosh RP with the base loaded and up 3-4 runs. One of the announcing crew didn’t like the move, and just would not let it go. even after the commercial break, just kept going on and on about it. Its gets old quick, even when you may agree with the point being made.

        • Maddon made a great decision. Rosario hadn’t given up a HR this season with an ERA of 0.60. Winker’s batting (like Votto until this week) versus lefties below .200.

          There is fallacy being results oriented. The proper way of analyzing things is looking at the decisions ex-ante, not ex-post.

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  18. I watched every inning, every pitch of last night’s game (on TV) and think it was the best overall effort of the season for the Reds. Great baseball against the big boys.

    The only player of note who didn’t have a hand in the victory was Iglesias. I continue to believe he is our best and most expendable trade chip, and I hope we can get a MLB-ready CF and SP for him. And feel free to throw in Harvey, Billy, and/or Duvall to sweeten the deal.

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    • Schebler has looked pretty good lately….both offensively and defensively. He’s got a good jump on balls and made some nice running catches. I’d say he could pull off “average” as a CF’er.

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  19. In a season like this you have to take your joy where you can get it. Winker (who a lot of people are saying has no power) hits a 417 ft monster grand slam. And Garrett strikes out Rizzo on three pitches. In the words of Elvis “Oh What A Night.”

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  20. Great win. Go Reds.
    What the heck, might as well do it again today.

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  21. Scott Schebler in CF may not be as far fetched as many (the Old Cossack included) have feared. The problem may be perception more than reality, especially when a comparison with Billy Hamilton’s defense in CF comes into play.

    Schebler’s first attempted CF back in 2016. I can remamber his efforts in spring training during 2016 and he looked lost, the proverbial catfish out of the Ohio River. His efforts in CF during the 2016 season were good, but his results were bad, VERY bad…

    A .969 FPCT with a 1.72 RF; a -4 DRS and -22.7 DRZ/150 bad!

    Schebler looked more ‘comfortable’ in CF during spring training 2017, but the square peg in a round hole still seemed appropriate, then a funny thing happened on the way to the Forum. Scott Schebler may have actually become a CF. Make no mistake, he will never win a GG in CF and no one will ever mistake him for Billy Hamilton in CF, but the young man may be able to play CF.

    In 2017:
    1.000 FPCT with a 2.47 RF; +2 DRS and +8.7 UZR/150; 97.2% of routine plays in 117.2 innings played in CF
    In 2018:
    1.000 FPCY with a 3.09 RF; +1 DRS and +5.3 UZR/150; 100% of routine plays in 87.0 innings played in CF

    Scott Schebler sucked attempting to play CF in 2016 and early 2017, but things have changed. It’s amazing what a little experience and lots of effort can accomplish if the physical capability is available.

    Scott Schebler may be perfectly capable of playing an adequate, average defensive CF and his bat will play WAY up starting in CF. He has no platoon split as a hitter. Schebler will never make the miraculous defensive plays in CF, but he will make virtually all of the routine plays and a lot of the difficult plays, and he will get better with more experience and regular playing time in CF. He wants to play CF and he likes playing CF.

    Moving Schebler to CF fills one of the HUGE roster holes for the Reds and opens RF as a very possible landing spot for Nick Senzel, at least until Scooter is traded or leaves as a FA after the 2019 season. After the 2019 season, things start looking up for the OF configuration at the MLB level. Siri and Friedl may be MLB ready after significant playing time at the AAA level. Some kid named India has been designated as an OF by the organization. Senzel would move back to 2B with Scooter’s departure, whenever that occurs, opening RF opportunity or a CF opportunity with Schebler shifting to RF.

    The Reds can then focus on the starting pitching and SS as needs and allow Winker regular playing time in LF to reach his MLB potential, whatever that might be. GEEZ!!! There are enough intelligent people (probably too many) trying to run the Reds Baseball Ops to not recognize the opportunities that exist right in front of them.

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    • Could not agree with this more. Schebler, if given everyday playing time to get familiar with the position, can be an average defensive CF. Certainly way better than Shin-Soo Choo. The dynamic that has for the rest of the future roster is big.

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    • Williams gave an interview June 20 with C Trent at the Athletic.
      He said the strategy in 2018 was to give all 4 outfielders regular at bats.

      His comments re: Senzel were interesting. Paraphrasing, he said some players need every rep at one position because they aren’t good enough- not Senzel. Senzel can handle anything. He made it sound that SS and OF are not off the table. They are rewarding Senzel because he apparently takes balls at SS every day still. Other than Suarez at 3b, it doesn’t appear anything is set in stone- nor will it be anytime soon.

      “We’re open to figuring out ways to get Nick up to help us.”

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      • If he can handle anything then Williams might want to hire some new people to figure it out There is a opening in CF, or RF if Schebler plays CF, there is an opening at SS, and there is a potential opening at 2B if Gennett gets traded.

        Maybe Perazza improves, but they know exactly what they are getting with Hamilton. Those are the two below average bats on the team.

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      • So are the Reds playing the service time card and trying to manage 7 seasons of team control, beginning in 2019 rather than 2018? Senzel is not on the 40-man roster and would need to be added even for a promotion after the rosters expand in September.

        I’m not sure I could support such a tactic at this point, but since the 2018 season is toast, I could understand the business logic behind the tactic.

        The next CBA will fall in the middle of Senzel’s team control and how that very very well impact his sevice time and team control. Those changes are completely unknown at this point.

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    • I agree, but feel Senzel could also play center until a spot in the dirt opens

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  22. Let’s hope someone in the FO reads this and trys it. Did anyone else read where Marty said someone at the CWS said the Reds and Red Sox were talking of a trade of centerfielders?

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  23. Maybe it’s nothing more than sheer coincidence, but Disco’s return has provided a solidifying factor for the Reds starting rotation. The kids are beginning to pitch like a lot of people hoped (expected?). Even Harvey is getting into the act.

    It’s amazing what a single stablizing factor can do for a young pitching staff. The sorting certainly isn’t completed and the recent results are very short term against lesser competition, but the results have been positive.

    I’m all about the what ifs, so what if…

    The Reds are unable to find an equitable return in trade for Scooter Gennett. I think this a very real possibility and you simply don’t give away 5+ WAR players. So the Reds keep Scooter and let him play 2B for the Reds and hit in the middle of the lineup.

    Disco rebounds from his injuries to his 2016 form atop the Reds starting rotation. I know the Reds have an abyssmal track record of pitchers coming back from injuries, but my money is on Disco to buck that trend.

    Two, three or even four young starters emerge from the sorting to fill most of the starting pitching needs for the Reds. This could come from the current group of Mahle, Castillo and Romano or from starting opportunities afforded Stephenson and Lorenzen. Two successful sorts would be very good. Three successful sorts would be fabulous. Four successful sorts would be…well let’s not get too carried away.

    Harvey sports his newly exhibited velocity and control through the all star game and suitors come aknockin’ with open arms and prospects.

    Hamilton continues his .328 OBP from June into the beginning of July and a contender recognizes the opportunity and comes calling with a viable offer before the all star break, before another contender beats them to the punch, maybe a really solid prospect for Hamilton and a reliever not name Iggy or Lorenzen.

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    • The pitching upsurge also corresponds with Homer Bailey’s medical leave or pseudo-DFA, or whatever it is.

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    • Love the way the Ole Cossack thinks. If Disco is healthy, I think the Reds need three of Mahle, Castillo, Romano, Lorenzen, Garrett, or Stephenson to become legitimate MLB starters. Garrett’s post-game comments further solidified the idea that he loves the bullpen, so I’m not sure he will ever start a game again.

      The Reds could then get a solid veteran through trade or free agency, probably trade. They should do everything they can to get a good look at the guys internally.

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      • I agree with both of you and believe it can happen if they just let these young guys pitch and pitch and pitch.Just think how good this team could be with just a middle of the pack rotation along with filling those two holes we have on offense.

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  24. Even without contributions from sources outside the organization, the roster reforms to something like:

    CF Schebler
    3B Suarez
    1B Votto
    2B Scooter
    RF Senzel
    LF Winker
    C Barnhart
    P
    SS Peraza

    The holes are disappearing right before our eyes! Now about those external aquisitions…

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    • Or without contributions from sources outside the organization, the roster reforms to something like:

      CF Schebler
      3B Suarez
      1B Votto
      2B Scooter
      SS Senzel
      LF Winker
      RF Duvall
      C Barnhart
      P

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      • That lineup gives up a good bit on defense with all three defenders up the middle being weak at their position, but that offense would be an absolute monster, especially if Duvall heats up or they are able to replace him.

        (AVG/OBP/SLG/wRC+, Sorted by wRC+):
        .296/.384/.568/153 – Suarez
        .310/.378/.509/150 – Senzel (Disclaimer: AAA numbers)
        .335/.370/.537/143 – Gennett
        .295/.424/.444/140 – Votto
        .281/.347/.473/122 – Schebler
        .256/.367/.365/104 – Winker
        .266/.349/.381/100 – Barnhart
        .244/.318/.401/100 – League Avg
        .200/.282/.413/83 – Duvall

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        • The only concession to defense would be in CF, with Schebler replacing Hamilton’s superior defense with average defense. Peraza is no better than an average defensive SS and replacing him with Senzel is probably a wash defensively.

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          • major downgrade in center and left, with a slight uptick in right, Winker is a liability wherever you put him, he doesn’t look like he should be as slow as he is.
            I agree peraza looks stiff at short, and average at best defensively

          • Defensive metrics still don’t like Winker, but they have been improving recently. I am not sure he is the long term answer in LF but there is some potential there. He will never provide GG caliber play like Duvall, but it looks like he found his missing power. I personally would love for the Reds to acquire a CF and keep Schebler in RF. However if Schebler mans CF for the next couple of years and a guy like Senzel or Herrera slot into RF I could live with that production.

  25. Steve:

    Do you think the Reds would ever entertain packaging Iglesias and Gennett to the same team to magnify the return? I know that the Dodgers, Indians and Diamondbacks could probably all use a boost in the bullpen and 2B. The Indians probably fit the best as a trade partner.

    I have also thought that the Diamondbacks could address the Reds SS need by trading for Ketel Marte. I know during the offseason he was considered untouchable in trade talks and then signed a pretty team friendly deal for 5 yrs + 2 option years. It’s interesting that they are playing Marte at 2B this year since in 507 2⁄3 innings, he was credited for +4 defensive runs saved and a UZR/150 of +3.4 at SS last year. Ahmed must be a much better defensive SS. Do you think an Iglesias and Gennett deal for Marte, Taylor Widener and maybe Varsho or Matt Tabor would be reasonable.

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    • Last September, I proposed Scooter Gennett for Ketel Marte. (https://redlegnation.com/2017/09/20/the-next-three-trades/) I wrote then that Marte was a good target because the DBacks had three SS and were playing a so-so guy at 2B. Now one of the other guys (Nick Ahmed) is at short and Marte slid over to 2B.

      Marte would be a big ask. The D-Backs signed him to a cheap contract that runs through 2022 with good team options in 2023 and 2024. Marte is an above average glove and a solid hitting shortstop. He got off to a slow start at the plate this year, but is hitting much better now. Given that contract, it’ll take more than 1.5 years of Scooter Gennett to pull him away. The DBacks might see Gennett as somewhat duplicative with Daniel Descalso.

      I’m not sure Iglesias is a great fit for the D-Backs. But he’s a good one. They have Brad Boxberger this year and next. They also have Archie Bradley, their “closer of the future” through 2021. If they got Iglesias, they could move Bradley to the starting rotation. Boxberger would become a good set-up guy.

      The prospects you listed are good ones. Widener may be having a breakthrough year in AA as a 23 year old pitcher. Varsho is a solid catcher, although having speed as a top attribute for a catcher sounds pretty short lived. Tabor is a kid with a long way to go.

      All that said, your deal strikes me as reasonable overall. Think of it roughly as Iglesias for Marte and Gennett for the prospects. Marte is exactly the kind of player the Reds should be looking for in an Iglesias deal. The Reds would get a major league-proven, infield piece to replace Peraza (or at least move him into the 2B mix). Gennett would take Marte’s place for the DBacks so the trade wouldn’t slow their postseason plans. The three prospects are a typical spread of potential.

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      • I just feel like team chemistry can’t be measured exactly and Scooter is a big part of that. Not to mention no Red has won the NL batting title in 45 years. Are they going to trade a popular hometown guy in the middle of a batting title chase? I can’t see it. Not from a marketing standpoint and its dicey that the substitutes would replace his bat anyway. Call me crazy but I think India (22 in Dec) could be the shortstop next year after the 2 week waiting period. Everyone else is living & dying with young guys!

        Reply
        • It’s nice to see Scooter doing well, succeeding, even his defense is improving after he took time off to allow the shoulder to heal.

          However, Scooter won’t win the batting title. He swings at too many pitches far outside the strike zone. The homer he hit to tie the game the other day was at ankle level. There is rarely an at bat where he isn’t swinging at a pitch well off the plate, about to hit the dirt, or above his shoulders. Pitchers will eventually push the limits and take advantage of the free swinger that Scooter is.

          Winker on the other hand has great pitch recognition. Once he settles down (perhaps that is happening now) he will be a solid >.400 OBP guy and provide enough power and more importantly clutch hitting to propel the Reds to more victories than reflected by the current variables used to compute WAR or wRC.

          Reply
  26. I’ve been pushing for OF-Clint Frazier with the Yankees and I actually ran across another guy that would be cheaper and maybe someone the Yankees might part with for Harvey/Hamilton?

    I’m convinced Brandon Drury will be the next Scooter. He’s still only 25 and has a .932 ops in the same league w/Louisville. They had him penciled in at 3B, but he got dinged up out spring training and got Wally Pipp’d. He’s blocked everywhere with their AS squad. He’s played Infield/Outfield….not sure about SS? 32 HRs in 985 major league atbats. They need great RH bats to balance out all the lefties.

    Reply
    • I like Drury too and mentioned him a couple of weeks ago. I thought he could play CF but he hasn’t before. Very very limited time as a SS. So I jumped on your Frazier bandwagon. But I agree that the Reds need to get a RH bat not named Adam Duvall.
      I am not sure where Drury would fit on the Reds unless it is as a 4th OF and back up 2B and 3B.
      Lets keep banging the Frazier drum. A swap of former 1st round picks, Frazier for RStephenson. Frazier would be a heck of an addition to the OF mix, especially if Hamilton and Duvall are exiting.
      Funny thing, Drury was involved in the trade that sent Widener (mentioned above) to Arizona from NYY.

      Reply
    • I also have been pushing for CF Kyle Tucker from Houston. He is at AAA. He is on fire though and it might be too late to get him now for Iglesias. He has 6 3-hit games out of his last 10 games an has raised his BA .025 points in that span to .306. Could be too late.

      Reply
  27. Wow, Riggleman is seriously throwing down the challenge to Castillo tonight…

    1. Jose Peraza (R) SS
    2. Alex Blandino (R) 2B
    3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
    4. Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
    5. Adam Duvall (R) LF
    6. Jesse Winker (L) RF
    7. Curt Casali (R) C
    8. Luis Castillo (R) P
    9. Billy Hamilton (S) CF

    Reply

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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2018 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap

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