The subheading of today’s column doesn’t refer to the state of the Reds so much as it refers to the progress of this well-meaning series. I’ve taken a few weeks off, as you may or may not be aware, depending on your devotion to my particular kind of ramblings. Not much has happened. The pitching is still a mess, of course. So much so, that I don’t really know what to say about it except that I hope the Reds have some kind of actual rotation next year (I do think they’ll go get someone).

Further, once everyone is healthy, the lineup is, more or less, set.

The only place where there is still at least some debate is at second base. I can’t pretend to be aware of what the Reds will do there. I have my own opinions, which are documented, but lest I be ruthlessly attacked in the comments (<—I am kidding, mostly), I’ll state them here:

  1. Nick Senzel is going to be an all-star
  2. Scooter Gennett is a good hitter who is likely to decline
  3. Dilson Herrera is good enough to start for most teams and could also make an all-star game or two.

So there. Take me to task for those if you want.

But my opinions aren’t entirely what this column is about. I like to run polls and so, let’s see what the polls told us.

I was at least a little surprised by these results. I won’t say that people have turned on Gennett, but I don’t think the results would have been very like this a couple of months ago. I suppose some marginal arguments could be made that we have more information now or something, but, really, the predictable thing happened. He regressed. He had the best month of his life and a bunch of other months that you’d more or less have predicted at the beginning of season.

Anyway, it’s not a rout, but it seems like, if there’s only room for two of these guys, it’s Senzel starting and Dilson on the bench with Scooter shipped elsewhere. I do really think that’s a best plan. If we assume that the Reds have limited resources, then where they spend those resources matters a lot. They need to improve the most in the starting rotation. They have a player ready who should provide (more than) comparable value, for a much lower salary to the all-star second baseman who is about to get expensive AND is in his peak season right now.

I’ve got at least a few more of these left in me before the season is over, if there’s anything you’d like to see polled on the RN account, let me know and I might use it.

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! 8 Comments

  1. Since the column has returned and the polling continues, I think an interesting question would be something like, “Assuming Senzel becomes an All-Star, at which position will it occur?”

    2B
    SS
    3B
    OF

    I think Twitter allows 4 choices, right?

    I visit people’s accounts sometimes, but I stay off social media.

  2. Great article. The situation with Gennett is really not that complicated. Teams like the Reds that lose 90 games each year make it complicated.

    Teams similar to the Reds in payroll and market would rarely consider signing a player like Gennett if they have two cost controlled younger players that play the same position.

    • Great post.Simple to all but those that matter.Cards are rolling without their starting outfield from a year ago.

  3. Think you hit the nail on the head Jason.

  4. Here’s my solution to everything:

    1. Play Suarez at SS the rest of this season and see how he does.

    2. Trade Billy on the waiver claim, and let Peraza take a stab at CF for the rest of the season.

    3. Assuming #1 and #2 work out, put Senzel at 3B, platoon Herrera/Scooter at 2B.

    4. This is your lineup:

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

    Bench:
    C Caselli
    IF Herrera
    IF Blandino/Dixon
    OF Ervin
    OF FA RH Power Bat

    That offense would be able to hang with anyone. Defense… Depending on how Peraza handles CF, could be not so bad. Peraza certainly has the speed to cover a lot of ground quickly, just don’t know if he has the instincts/arm to go with it. But Billy moved from SS to CF and did ok, so I’m inclined to think Peraza could as well. Peraza has been adequate at SS. Not great, not horrible, just adequate. I also believe he’d be, at worst, adequate in CF, with the potential to be pretty good, given his speed.

    Anyway, that’s my thinking. 0% chance the Reds would try anything like this.

  5. The Oakland A’s success (again) this season, has struck my interest.

    The Oakland A’s starting rotation:
    FIP
    1. 4.29
    2. 4.79
    3. 3.10 Trevor Cahill 1 year 1.5 million dollar contract
    4. 4.66
    5. 4.23 Brett Anderson 1 year 1.8 million dollar contract
    6. 3.80

    The A’s are winning with a starting pitching staff that is more than 40% older sp’s that not many other teams wanted.

    I’m of the opinion that the way the free agent market has evolved, that signing free agent’s to fill #3, #4 and a #5 pitcher is a really smart move for any organization.

    Here is a list of many of the free agent SP’s available this offseason:
    1. hyun-jin ryu
    2. Clay Bucholz
    3. Trevor Cahill
    4. Jeremy Hellickson
    5. Nathan Eovaldi
    6. Brett Anderson
    7. Matt Harvey
    8. Garrett Richards
    9. Gio Gonzalez

    Possible #2 starters
    1. Patrick Corbin
    2. JA Happ
    3. Dallas Keuchal
    4. Charlie Morton

    Fast track to playoff contention is doable it seems to me.

  6. This seems so obvious – play Senzel, keep Herrera, trade Gennett – that I’m sure it will never happen. The “I like Scooter” argument, or the “he’s an all star” argument, or the “he hit four home runs in one game” argument, or the “he’s a Cincinnati guy” argument are all silly. I like Scooter, but I also like Bronson Arroyo. Want him back? Scooter was an all star this year. Duvall was last year. Want him back? Senzel is a professional hitter and will thrive at the major league level. And he’s a very good defensive player, unlike Scooter. And he’s younger, cheaper, and team controlled for at least 6 years. No. Brainer. Trade Scooter. Play Nick.

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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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