Milton says we should just forget that this weekend even happened.

Milton was unhappy with Cincinnati’s performance today.

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! 76 Comments

  1. I second that emotion

    • Pittsburgh can bring a lot of hate to the forefront when you add in the Steelers.

  2. Expansion can’t come soon enough

  3. Dumpster fire is way too kind.

  4. Let’s just say this was a timely reminder to the front office that we’re not there yet, so keep your eye on the prize at the deadline.

  5. Gotta showcase Milton before the deadline

  6. Guess Matt Harvey really wants to stay in Cincinnati

  7. Time to look for another Manager

    • You’re right. Riggleman didn’t pitch well at all–Pirates averaged 9 runs a game. Time to look for a new first-baseman and a new third-baseman, too? Neither hit well during the three game series.

  8. At least Duvall and Bailey’s feelings weren’t hurt today. 4 man OF rotations, 6 man SP rotations. I like what the Reds are doing. Takes me back to little league when it’s not about winning. It’s about feelings and participation and making everyone happy. Let’s throw in possibly not trading Hamilton to make Bob happy. Maybe not trading Scooter to keep a portion of the fan base happy. I know the last point is pure speculation whereas the other points have at least some merit.

    I love it. The Reds may be a loser on the field but they are a “feelings” winner. So much happiness and feelings.

  9. BLARGH!!!!!

  10. I’m actually starting to trust Peraza will have a good ab more often than not.

  11. If I’m looking for something positive, it would be Phillip Ervin with 3 hits in the last 2 games. Until Schebler is back just drop Ervin into the “rotation” as if he were Schebler. This gets him playing time for evaluation and doesn’t break the positive rhythm the other three guys had going.

    • Herrera had a nice diving play on a liner to rob Moran of a hit. He showed off his leather on that play.
      Pittsburgh is just the better team and organization. Watch what they do at this trade deadline. They won’t “stand pat”.

    • Way to go Jim. Ervin doesnt have a chance at playing now. Stop bringing common sense into this!

  12. This debacle was a defeat for everyone involved with the MLB level baseball operations, not just the players, coaches, and managers. The Pirates were better prepared than the Reds on both sides of the ball.

    Their hitters seemed to be inside the thinking of the Reds pitching schemes.

    The Reds offense which had beaten up on some pretty good pitching in recent weeks couldn’t get anything going versus the Pirates pitching.

    It was as if the Reds org came back from the break with the mindset they would play their way back up to speed while the Pirates came in loaded and ready to hit the ground running.

  13. I really dislike that picture of that llama.

  14. What is the Reds record on Hall of Fame Weekend? I also remember an embarrassing series when they retired Rose’s number as well.

  15. Can’t a brother get a game recap around here? Will have to go somewhere else for that. It wasn’t a worthy enough assignment for somebody. HOF weekend. Two rookies had some highlights today. Riggleman showed this weekend he is not the man for the managers job. The Reds hit the wall like a NASCAR car, but there is nothing to see here. Move on.

  16. Any chance Milton could bring back a prospect or two?

  17. The Reds have lost 4 straight. They are 13 under .500 and 2 games away from last place SD in the NL with a winning % of .434. Tomorrow is their 100th game. They need to go 29-34 to avoid 90 losses the rest of the way. That’s a coin flip.

    The SP has lost all momentum and is headed backwards. Homer Bailey is back in the rotation. Castillo has gone backwards, Mahle is treading water and Romano has taken 1 step back. Disco is healthy but not looking like a #2/3 starter.

    And the solution to this is sign Scooter to a 50 million contract covering his age 30/31/ and 32 seasons when he cant throw a ball 80 mph from 2b to home without bouncing it? Three times in 2 weeks he’s bounced a ball at home with the game on the line from 100 feet or less. Still love Scooter but I like playoffs in 2020/21/22 more.

    The Reds need to get younger and free up payroll and 25/40 man roster spots for the next good Reds team. Trade Scooter Gennett and his 10 million obligation next year. Trust the rebuild and put Senzel at 2b. Herrera can be a back up and play this year. Trade Billy Hamilton and let Ervin be the next 4th outfielder. WInker and Schebler are every day players. Scour the off season for a backup SS and opportunistic opption in CF. Taylor Trammell will be ready in 2020.

    Homer Bailey is 1-7 with a 6.68 ERA. Pitch him Tuesday and every 5th day until he loses 12 games and then put him in the bullpen for the rest of the year and then DFA him at the end of the year. The rosters expand to 40 September 1. ITs not that far off.

    Bring Robert Stephenson up August 1 and pitch him every 5th day.
    The rebuild is not over. Much like Wandy Peralta had a good 6 week stretch, the Reds good 6 week stretch may be a mirage. Unless Disco and Castillo find their former selves and Stephenson gets promoted and goes on a run to establish himself as a starter from day in ST in 2019, how does this team win 88+ games next year? Let the bad contracts expire. No new money to anyone over 26 years old.

    • That’s the dilemma the Reds find themselves in. What to do with Scooter is a huge question mark for the front office and one that I don’t envy them for having to handle. Adding to the problem is the fact that there is currently no major market for Scooter, especially not one that would send the Reds major league starting pitching. If anything, contenders in July are looking to improve their rotations and bullpens, not take away from them. As valuable as Scooter has been offensively for the Reds the past season and a half, I don’t see another team giving the Reds what the Reds front office feels he is worth.

      If the Reds don’t get an offer to their liking for Scooter before the deadline, what do they do with him this winter? On a similar note, what do they do with Hamilton this winter? And Bailey? All three are entering their final year of Reds’ control in 2019. Bailey, unless he shows significant improvement the rest of this season, is hard to see in any role other than the bullpen in 2019. Hamilton could be non-tendered or traded to a team like the Rockies or Giants for a single-A prospect.

      Gennett is the huge question mark though. It would have helped if the Reds had used Senzel in the outfield at some point in AAA this season. If he can play left field, the Reds could use Gennett at second and have an outfield of Senzel/Schebler/Winker. Certainly not the best scenario defensively though…

    • Everything you say may be true, Old-School, but watch how the tone of the comments changes if the Reds run off three or four wins in a row. They had an excellent and fairly extended stretch of playing good ball and beating good teams leading up to the ASG. One bad 3-game series, and we are collectively ready to give up– almost gleefully ready, since we take this SSS as confirmation of our predictions and general dislike of the organization.

      • The Reds have a .1% chance of making the playoffs. Three or four wins in a row isn’t going to be enough. They would need a couple of 20 game winning streaks to get in

    • A good 6 week stretch would be a hard mirage to pull off, involving, as it does, 25 players. At the very least, it proves that they are capable of playing good baseball for a fairly extended period of time. This was a 3-game series that featured poor hitting by a team that has been hitting very well, and that happens from time to time. More to the point, the series featured poor starting pitching. Good pitchers have bad days, but there is little doubt that strengthening the–particularly–starting pitching is the main task ahead. We frequently remind ourselves to not base judgments on SSS, but our heads still blow up on a regular basis about one loss, two losses, three losses. Small sample
      size. But I know what!!: Fire Riggleman, release BH or trade him for low-minors filler, and all will be well. Until the Reds lose two in a row again.

    • I mean, you’re not wrong.

      Maybe some silver lining, I don’t think Castillo has been as bad as his numbers suggest. His xFIP is at 4.00 and his BB/9 are down slightly from last season. HR/9 and more flyballs in general seem to be the culprit effecting Castillo the most. With Disco, I just keep telling myself he’s missed almost a year and a half and is coming in with no spring training really. I’m hoping it’s just a matter of getting his feet back under him. Mahle and Romano have each shown glimpses of taking steps forward and Stephenson is pitching well in AAA. If the Reds can muster up the cajones to cut Bailey the rotation should be interesting in the 2nd half.

      I completely agree with you on Gennett. I think they need to move him for help in another area of need and open up playing time in the short term for Herrera. Gennett just doesn’t fit well on future Reds teams that also include Winker and Senzel, so unless one of them is moved for a top of the rotation SP I have a hard time envisioning Gennett in future lineups.

  18. One takeaway from today’s game for the Old Cossack. After Winker shredded Pittsburgh’s defensive shift against him, they immediately abandoned the shift against him and played him straight up.

    How many years did the Reds continue to shift against Matt Adams only to watch him shred their defensive shift as efficiently as Winker. The Reds organization just doesn’t get it.

    • To be fair, the only shift the Reds could play to help them with Matt Adams would be to shift the right fielder into about the 30th row.

    • Jesse Winker is a professional hitter. Someone who can follow Pete Rose’s advice to ‘hit the ball where they ain’t’.

  19. Dickerson did his best Eric Thames impression this weekend. He did a very good job of it.

    • Lol I was just going to post that the Reds have found another player for the shreds the Reds wagon.

  20. When it comes to the Reds looking for SP this coming winter, you have to wonder if they’d consider lefty Joey Lucchesi of the Padres. He made his major league debut this year and in 14 starts and 67.1 innings pitched, has a 3.34 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. His FIP is worse, at 4.28. Before this season, he ranked 121 on the MLB prospects list and eighth overall for the Padres (shows you how strong their farm system has gotten).

    If the Reds traded for him this winter, I believe Lucchesi would have 5 years of control remaining. I just wonder if the Padres would want more than the Reds are willing to give up. You’d have to think that a guy like Trammell would be the starting point of discussions, plus additional pieces.

    • I think starting with Trammell would be a huge overpay. Trammell is ranked in the top 30 or so prospects in all of baseball (#28 2080, #21 BA in recent midseason updates) I don’t think the Reds should look at flipping him for someone ranked lower than him that’s putting up numbers this season that aren’t that far off from what Castillo’s putting up (4.00 xFIP vs 3.74 xFIP for Lucchesi). Trammell is a pretty good fit to replace Hamilton in 2020 in CF that fits the Reds timeline of competing.

      If the Reds trade Trammell, it needs to be for a frontline starter/ace type with 3+ years of control. And honestly, if I were the Reds, I’d trade Senzel before I’d trade Trammell due to positional depth and value (CF>2B).

  21. The Athletic had an article/survey of MLB Players on all things confidential.
    Very entertaining read. Joey Votto was voted by his peers as best conversation at 1b and was # 2 behind Mike Trout on who you would want up in the 9th inning in a crucial situation.
    Billy Hamilton was nowhere for best defensive players- all of whom were SS and CF.

    What struck me was Kiermaier TB was #5 by his peers in best defense behind Andrelton Simmons and Arenado and Crawford and Lindor. Perhaps the Reds need to send some under 25 guys for this guy in CF. Shed Long and Gutierrez

    • These players evidently don’t know that Votto never hits when it counts. I don’t know why Hamilton doesn’t get more credit for his defense. It is insane that he doesn’t have a gold glove.

  22. JVEITH1991, I agree that the market for Scooter seems to be dwindling just a bit and the Reds probably wouldn’t get what they want in return. The same could probably be said for Matt Harvey after his meltdown today.
    The Reds continue to take too long to pull the trigger on trades. They wait until teams look elsewhere to fill their needs or our player looses value due to injury or poor performance.
    Also like your suggestion about going after Joey Lucchesi. I probably wouldn’t give up Trammell, but maybe Siri could headline a package.

    OLD-SCHOOL, I like Kiermaier also. I think your suggestion of Long and Gutierrez would get their attention. I would rather have Verdugo from LA, but that’s probably not going to happen.

    I think the only way the Reds get a quality major league pitcher at the deadline is by packaging some players. Iglesias and Duvall? Gennett and Hughes? Harvey and Hamilton?

    It will be interesting to see what happens. Maybe nothing.

  23. This series should serve as a reminder to everyone who thinks the Reds have a chance to compete this year and should make no trades, that the team is not yet ready to compete and needs to be exploring every opportunity to improve the team beyond 2019. The hitting is good, even with the eventual decline of Votto. Maybe with some free agent signings they make the playoffs next year, but the last two years have done nothing to answer the starting pitching questions.

    • yah Bill lets just make some trades cause were supposed too.What you think theyre turning down great offers?

      • At no point did I say make trades just to trade. I clearly stated explore every opportunity to improve the team. If that means trade someone then yes they should trade someone.
        It is possible the Reds are turning down great offers, they are known to over value guys like Hamilton and hold on to fan favorites like Frazier too long. Obvious you are one of those who thought the Reds were going to get a wild card spot this year and extend Harvey for below market value. They aren’t making the playoffs and returning the same team next year and hoping for a different outcome doesn’t sound like a good plan to me

        • You have to understand that most here love the idea of trading everybody for more prospects. The reason the Reds are where they are is because they traded everybody for prospects.

          • I would disagree. What got the Reds to their current losing record is the failure to develop and acquire starting pitching. Trades brought them their All Star 3B plus the RF, SS, and two SP all of which were prospects. There also appears to be a very capable player at 2B blocked by Gennett and Senzel who was acquired by trade. If you look at the players traded for prosects. Cueto is the only one who really turned out bad at this point. Frazier returned Peraza and Schebler, and Frazier hasn’t been very good. Phillips was well into his decline and wouldn’t help the current team. Bruce, who I never wanted to leave, is not doing well and despite how horrible that trade looked, Herrera is looking like a good player. Simon and Latos were both horrible and returned key pieces of the current team. Two months of Leake returned Duvall. The Chapman trade was a complete disaster, but that is thanks to him turning his garage into a shooting range and the Reds trading at his lowest value. Straily for Castillo might turn out well. Out of all those traded only Cueto, Chapman, Straily, and Leake would help this current team. The Reds weren’t going to win a bidding war for Cueto or Chapman. A very good argument could have been made for keeping Leake and instead trading Bailey

          • As Bill mentioned, the trades the Reds have made have brought back a lot of value to the Reds. Suarez, Disco, Peraza, Schebler, Herrera, Castillo, Brice and Duvall are all results of trades that were made to cash in on players who were all aging/decling, getting more expensive, and weren’t going to be around with the Reds much longer. Would anyone seriously still rather have Simon, Latos, Frazier, and Bruce over the guys we brought back? Sure, we’d probably like to have Chapman, Leake and Cueto, but where would the Reds payroll be if we tried to hang onto all those guys? The answer would be historically high for the Reds.

            Did the Reds extend the wrong starting pitcher in Bailey? In hindsight, yes, but Cueto’s injuries issues were apparent at the time and he’s struggled with injuries off/on since he’s left. I’d have rather we kept Leake, but I’m not going to get too bent out of shape that the Reds didn’t keep their #4 starter over their #2/3 starter knowing what we knew at the time.

            The Reds are in the position they are largely because they did not capitalize on these players when their value was at it’s peak. In the end they did well with Frazier but completely messed up the Chapman situation. They missed the boat with trading Cozart and let him walk for nothing. They should have traded Phillips before he had 10/5 rights and tanked all of his value. They probably traded Bruce a year too late as well. They certainly traded Chapman too late, and then too early after missing their opportunity the first time around. Let’s not make the same mistake with Gennett.

        • Known by whom? Us. We don’t know what offers they’ve gotten, but I do know how pissed we’d all be if they made trades and the perceived return wasn’t as good as we thought it should be.

          • Would you disagree with the statement that the Reds over value Hamilton and others? Who would really be mad if Harvey or Hamilton were traded. If Gennett returned a starting pitcher and save the Reds $9 million a year would that be bad? If the return for Iglesias or Gennett is a 30 year old who has never played above A ball then you don’t trade. I personally don’t care of a fan is mad that his favorite is traded away if it improves the team. If the perceived return isn’t good enough maybe fans shouldn’t over value guys.

          • Bill: I really have no idea whether the Reds over- value BH or Harvey. They may well, but we don’t know until we find out what has been offered for them. Looked at from one angle, The Reds need startiong pitchers and Harvey is their most effective starter, yesterday notwithstanding (and if we really believe that one bad game destroyed his trade value, I’ve got some prime bridges for sale at fair prices to RLN readers). Most RLN readers seem to attach no value to BH’s defense, but it has value (ask the pitchers), and his heirs-apparent are not ready for MLB yet. Also, Schebler is hurt and is often so, so the outfield glut could quickly become a shortage. If they could get a good centerfielder–one who can hit and play good defense–by packaging BH, of course they should, but it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to clean out the farm system to replace him when the offense is good as is and the pitching is the issue. Windy, I know, but it’s raining and I can’t work.

          • I don’t think Harvey has lost all trade value, but he certainly didn’t increase it.

            Over the winter there was interest in Hamilton and if you believe the reports the Reds asked the Giants for their #1 prospect in return, Ramos. If that is true they over value Hamilton. I agree there is no one outside of Ervin at the moment to play CF, but that isn’t really a concern to me for the year. I would miss seeing Hamilton’s seemingly super human feats on the base paths and in CF, as would the pitching staff. My opinion is that Hamilton is great as a pinch runner and defensive replacement, but the Reds could use his upcoming arbitration raise in a better way if he was traded. Pitching is the number one concern to me, followed by getting a CF. Maybe Schebler is the guy that fills that role until a 2021, maybe Ervin gets it, or maybe the replacement is acquired in a trade or FA. Then we can complain about OF depth instead of 2B depth in a few years

          • A reasonable position to take. Billy has been hitting much better lately, but I agree that it seems unlikely to be his new norm. He’ll have the rest of the season to show whether or not it is, but as a sub-300 OBP guy, he is, as you say, a pinch-runner and defensive replacement, unless Winker and Gennett are the corner outfielders and the need for someone to catch fly balls is desperate.

        • At no point did I think that they were making the playoffs this year
          That is laughable.
          I still think we can get Harvey for FAIR value,not undervalue.Remember we are dealing with
          Boras.
          I am of the school that free agency would be better than trades.The only way I trade players in this day and age is if I can get ridiculous value for my players.So far this trade deadline I see very undervalued returns for the players moved.Prospects for the REDS right now are not what is needed.We have an abundance of them.We need mlb ready starting pitchers.You know guys like Harvey.

          • So trade Harvey for a prospect and resign him when the season is over or sign another SP. Why hold onto Harvey to win a few more games in a losing season and still have to compete against everyone else to sign him? Has he ever expressed a desire to stay in Cincinnati? Gennett and Iglesias have both said they want to be Reds, I have never heard that from Harvey

  24. If I were GM, Winker would be available as well. Throwing him in, along with Iglesias, Duval, and Hamilton might get a decent starter.

  25. I like Scooter but after watching the games this weekend I think we have to move on. I look at the NL central and it reminds me of the AFC north. big, strong, athletic teams. Senzel is overall a better athlete and I think we go with him

    • The problem at this deadline is the shoulder injury. It may diminish any return he would get, but if the return is right I would trade him and use the money saved to address other areas of weakness. I don’t expect Senzel to repeat Gennett’s offensive performance next year, but Senzel + the return for Gennett + money saved could improve the team. Pitching and defense are the two areas of concern, defense at 2B would immediately improve. Getting a SP as a return is the only question mark

      • and we may only get prospects for him. but we have to upgrade where we can athletically. outfield too needs upgraded obviously. I still have a slight sliver of hope for Phillip Ervin.

    • Ben Zobrist and Aguilar? I just see guys that can play baseball. Pitchers that don’t get whiplash from giving up multiple HRs in a game. Billy is an athlete but he just can’t hit.

  26. I might be off slightly but I think the Reds were 30th, 30th, and 29th in team era in the last 3 seasons. They’re 27th this year. That’s it in a nutshell. Find some pitchers that can pitch? At this point I’d be working with Alex Blandino and his knuckler as an option:) Its that bad!

    Deal Iggy and whoever else it takes to get someone for the rotation next year. Someone with a live arm and can keep the ball on the ground!

    I saw something that kind of amazed me on Saturday with the Cards/Cubs. Cubs catcher Wilson Contreras tagged up from 1st to 2nd on a medium flyball to right-center! You just don’t see that? He got back and tagged up and must’ve came off aggressively and when Pham cut over in front of (and almost hit) Bader then Contreras went for it and made 2nd easily. Pham was out of position to throw and must have a Schebler type arm that the Cubs targeted! The Cubs also lead the league in 1st to 3rd on singles and I don’t see much speed there? No complete slugs like Votto, Winker, and Barnhart but guys like Rizzo, Contreras, and Zobrist aren’t fast by any means? The Reds need to go back to school on baserunning! Its great to have a great obp and team batting average but its negated by their lack of instincts and fundamentals!

  27. Didn’t Votto say the other day Riggleman stressed fundamentals. When you watch them most games seem like fundamental are missing. On the pitching, I would like to see more emphasis put on control. When watching the Cubs – Cards game the announcers mentioned it was the anniversary of Gregg Madox’s 78 pitch complete game against the Cubs, said the game was 2 hours 5 minutes long.

  28. It seemed to me yesterday, and this is just watching it on TV and seeing the replays. but the Pirates hit some pretty good pitches off of Harvey, that were spotted pretty good. So it seems like somehow they knew Harvey’s pattern for throwing certain pieces in certain situations, or they knew what Barnhart was calling. Is that good scouting, luck, or stealing signs? Don’t know but it had too be frustrating for Harvey and Barnhart.

  29. I reminded myself today what this year was really about to me and it was to see how many young pitchers got a chance and how they performed.Well we could say they have been inconsistent which should not be a shocker at all.We had a stretch where we pitched really well and hit even better and we got to 9 under but we are what our record says we are.We still need to stay the course with the pitching staff,trade for or sign guys to make us better because we are right now today so far away from being able to compete in our own division it should not even be in the discussion.The more players the front office falls in love with the longer it will take to field a consistent winner.The Bucs made us look like little leaguers in all aspects of the game and they aren’t any good at all but they are better then us.

    • It pains me to say it, but the Buccos have much better starting pitching. They play with good fundamentals, good base running, and hustle.
      I saw over the weekend an episode of Jayson Stark’s Baseball Stories where he interviews Cubs manager Joe Maddon. It was a fabulous interview about building a winning culture. Maddon applauded Stark afterwards, said it was not his typical type of interview and he was thankful for that. He said it was the best interview questions he every had. With Maddon you know the topics will get deep and it does. They dig down into baseball philosophy. It was really good.
      I hope the Reds new manager has some of this in him. Riggleman has shown he does not.
      Episode #14.

  30. Fundamentals are definitely all about culture. They do not improve in the 45 days after an interim manager says “we’re gonna care about fundamentals.”

    It’s complex right? There’s accountability (think Scott Rolen) in season and off season. There’s individual skill, whether honed by the player with practice and preparation, or natural ability.

    There’s also the issue of self preservation, especially related to “hustling.” I’ve seen two HOF players (Griffey Jr and Votto) both severely impact prime years of their time in Cincy by “hustling.” I’m all for hustling. I’m a hustler in my day to day life, but it isn’t so black and white that all the sudden “we’re gonna start hustling ‘round here.” I love Ryan Freel and BHam, but their knees and quadriceps are less valuable to the organization than Vottos and Juniors, respectively (and respectfully). If hustle = plays hard, pays attention, then yes for all players. But if hustle = reckless disregard for your body or career, I’m against it.

    A winning culture takes time, but not to enforce the fundamentals. It takes time because it takes good baseball players, some of which hustle.

    • I agree 100% about the hustle thing… if we are paying a guy 20M to be a slugger, he doesn’t need to go full speed on an obvious groundout just to impress the fans. It is all about the risk/reward ratio.

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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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