Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams joined Lance McAlister on 700 WLW on Monday night. One topic that was discussed was center field. McAlister asked specifically about Jose Peraza potentially playing some center field.

McAlister: Have you considered Jose Peraza getting a look-see in center fielder to answer that opening?

Williams: Yeah, we have considered it. To be honest, right now he’s probably our best shortstop on the team. And you don’t always want to weaken yourself at multiple positions. If we weren’t able to get anything done between now and and opening day to address the outfield, I think we do feel comfortable that we’ve got guys like Puig, who is very athletic who has played center, Schebler – athletic, has played center. Senzel, very athletic – we’re interested to see what he can do out there. And of course Phillip Ervin is a guy who can play center.

And we have a guy on the roster in Jose Siri, who is easily the best defender out of all of that group – I just don’t know if he’s the offensive player yet we need at the big league level. But you do have options there that are probably ahead of taking ahead of Peraza, not to say he wouldn’t rank in that group somewhere, but none of those guys could go take his place at shortstop.

You can listen to all 22 minutes of the interview at the bottom of this post. But let’s get back to the Cincinnati Reds and center field. The team has said, repeatedly, that they would be comfortable with a guy like Schebler or Puig in center field. But the actions don’t exactly back that up, either. They’ve been rumored to be interested in A.J. Pollock, who plays center field. They’ve stated that they will continue looking for a center fielder. And while Jose Siri, indeed, is a very good defender, it probably tells you all that you need to know that he was mentioned and noted for how much better his defense was than anyone else on the list.

The Reds seem to have five outfielders on the roster as it stands now. Jesse Winker, Scott Schebler, and Phillip Ervin all return from 2018. Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp came over in the trade with the Dodgers. Yet the Reds are still out looking to add an outfielder. While it’s not impossible that they do go with someone from the previously mentioned group, it seems like it’s not what they are hoping for. The Reds played very well with Shin-Soo Choo in center and he was, how do we put this nicely…. not good at all in center. That’s not really on him, though – he wasn’t a center fielder. But on a team that didn’t really have many weaknesses anywhere, his bad defense didn’t cost the Reds much.

Who the Reds center fielder will be on opening day seems up in the air. What doesn’t is who it won’t be. It seems very unlikely that Jose Peraza is going to be the answer. Center field is fairly deep within the Cincinnati Reds farm system, and shortstop simply isn’t. And as noted by Dick Williams, there aren’t exactly options at shortstop beyond Peraza, either.

98 Responses

  1. Hanawi

    Peraza’s role should really be as a utility guy IMO. I don’t think he’s the starting shortstop for the next good Reds team. He would have lots of value as someone who could fill in at all three positions up the middle, though, while providing late inning pinch-running options as well.

  2. Daytonian

    A firm decision not to play Peraza in CF… GOOD! He’s no centerfielder by any stretch of the imagination.

    • ToBeDetermined

      Yep, I was surprised that that was even a question.

      Maybe Lance McAlister should have asked, “Since Joey Votto is such an excellent baseball player, have you ever considered have him in the Starting Rotation.”

      • ToBeDetermined


        Exactly, that’s my point. Peraza played some centerfield back in 2017 (?). It was not a pretty sight.

      • greenmtred

        TBD: I was talking about Joey’s throws to 2nd, but Peraza made his share of clunkers. It could certainly be the case that he’d throw well as an outfielder (see Billy H), but it’s a moot point, since I’m too old now to play shortstop.

  3. Jreis

    I say if Siri is even close to being ready then he needs to be the everyday center fielder this year. I have been so impressed with him in the field. He plays with a ton of confidence out there which is good to see.
    I say give Peraza another year at short. It just worries me because he just doesn’t seem to have the instincts to play there but the guy can hit so he deserves another chance. I still say if he does not improve this year defensively then we have to at least look at Hunter Greene at short. This guy has the athleticism to be a great one, like Barry Larkin great in my opinion

    • A.B.

      Very slim chance in my opinion. Siri really needs more refinement with the bat in the minors. Got to love the tools though, hope he can put it together.

    • Klem

      Agree on Siri. Think he will be given every opportunity in ST to win the job. His bat has to be better than Billy’s already.

      • Bill

        His OBP last year at A and AA look very similar to Hamilton’s MLB numbers. I’m not so sure he is going to be the answer in CF. Let’s see if he can hit at AAA before we hand him the starter CF job with the Reds

  4. Matt Hendley

    “Jose Peraza our best guy at short” thats scary too. That guy is one batting regression away from being dead weight.
    Siri is the CF of the future. The far future. Needs to progress with the bat. Any effort to bring him up this early would be premature.
    Probably going to be CF by committee this year. Already the cheap options at CF are coming of the board. Still not adverse to Senzel getting a shot.

    • doofus

      With all the hate on Peraza, he had 182 hits in 157 games last season.

      • matt hendley

        Most errors in baseball last year. Looked like he invented the Birdbox challenge. Maybe the person who wrote the movie watched his defense for examples.

      • Doug Gray

        Error totals should not be used to determine good or bad defense. You can’t make errors on baseballs you don’t reach.

      • Old-school

        I’m all for giving Peraza 2019 to build on a promising 2018 season. He did have numerous head -scratching mental errors at SS too in addition the physical ones…. He and Scooter struggled at times communicating on plays Cozart and Phillips made routinely … But..he’s young and if he improves at the same pace in 2019 that he did in 2018, the Reds have a nice young SS.

      • Matt Hendley

        You dont get errors on balls you dont reach. In almost all cases physical contact with the ball is required for an error to be charged. Plus a good portion of his were throwing errors

      • Doug Gray

        You missed the point: It’s usually the best defenders that have the most errors because they tend to have to make far more difficult plays because they get to baseballs lesser defenders don’t.

        How many of his errors were throwing versus fielding?

      • Matt Hendley

        Hard to get to balls are taken into consideration for scoring. However, that is not peraza at all. He is just a horrible defender at short. Without looking it up, i remember 3 TE off hand, i am sure there is an analytic for it.

      • Doug Gray

        Bottom line: Error totals are not a way to evaluate defense. At all.

      • Matt Hendley

        No bottom line, errors are an excellent way to judge defensive ability. It is extremely hard to get an error where one is not warrented. And jose led the league. But if you want to talk analytics, he sucks there as well. Attempting to sell anything but JP as a defensively poor SS, is an attempt at self delusion. He fails every test, the anylitics test, the errors test…the eyeball test, the radio test. Try peddling that crap to someone who didnt watch 140+ games last season.

      • Eddie

        Have there ever been young players with lots of errors that got better as their career went on?

      • greenmtred

        Errors, by themselves, don’t seem to tell much of the story of a player’s defense, but Peraza did seem to make a lot of errors on balls hit at him or nearly at him, and on poor throws. It does seem too early to give up on him, though.

      • doofus

        In 2018: 15 fielding errors; 7 throwing errors.

  5. Klugo

    I think some of it may depend on Winker, too. Winker is not going to play CF, but if Puig isnt in CF, then he is someplace else.

    • vegastypo

      Winker is emerging as the big wild card. They’re paying Kemp a lot of money, so I expect him to play, and Puig is obviously going to play, so what about Winker? Here’s an idea: maybe we could have a four-man outfield rotation !!!

      Er, well, it makes me wonder if another deal isn’t on the horizon to clarify the situation.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Eh, with the $7m sent with Kemp, the Reds are only on the hook for $14.5m of his salary. It may be less depending on whether or not the money from the Padres is included in that sum. The Reds paid Brandon Phillips $13m to go away. I think they could swing the extra $1.5m for a very solid bench bat who could spell Winker in LF against tough lefties.

        Kemp is a stopgap at best. Winker actually hit better than Kemp last season according to OPS+ and wRC+. Winker is hopefully part of the next good Reds team. Kemp won’t be around. Play Winker in left and Puig in RF and just sort out who plays CF.

  6. Jim T

    Glad to see they are leaving Peraza at SS. Really had a nice season at the plate last year and has spent the winter trying to improve his defense. Getting Senzel some time in CF is how I would go. Kemp and Puig are both FA’s after this season so getting him some time in the outfield this year may help for next. Also its obvious that this will be Scooter’s last year in Cincy. If so it opens up 2B for him or potentially Long or India. If Siri continues to improve his plate discipline he could factor in next year as well.

    • JB WV

      Agree. Another scenario I’d like to see is move Scooter and Kemp for any decent pitching with Senzel at second and Puig in center. If Choo can man it decently Puig is an upgrade. Siri is not more than two years away, and Trammel may be closer.

  7. greenmtred

    I’m interested to see if Senzel can play a good centerfield. The other options currently on the roster, except for Siri, would probably be liabilities there. The situation when Choo played there was, as Doug notes, different, since the Reds were good defensively pretty much everywhere else. I seem to recall Doug writing awhile ago that Siri had a long way to go offensively, so it doesn’t seem to make much sense to put him there until he can hit MLB pitching.

    • ToBeDetermined

      count me in with this metoo movement. I want to see what Nick Senzel can do in CF.

  8. scottya

    Could a trade of Jesse Winker bring back a top end starting pitcher? I would think with 5 years of control left, that he would bring back a really good starting pitcher with some yrs of control. Especially if they have other trades that they could pull the trigger on to fill CF, (Ender Inciarte, Odubel herrera, Jackie Bradley Jr. or Kike Hernadez or Chris Taylor)?

    Winker and D. Hernandez for T Bauer?

    Tucker Barnhart+ for Kike Hernandez or Chris Taylor

    Yasmani grandal signing.

    next year we call ourselves the Reds/Dodgers and make the playoffs by scoring over 800 runs.

    The other dilemma (than you google) is if we go out and trade for or sign a CF, where does Senzel play and what about 2b? And what about the price of eggs in china?

    • greenmtred

      Winker and maybe another major leaguer and a top prospect might bring back a top end starting pitcher. I’d keep Winker. He can hit and he won’t be gone next year like Puig and Kemp.

  9. rounding third and headed for home

    “phil ervin can play center”.

    i can play center. just not very well. and neither can phil ervin.

    • LWBlogger2

      I disagree with that assessment on Ervin. The guy can handle CF if given the chance. I’m guessing you only saw his defense in MLB last year and you haven’t seen much of him in the minors? Have you seen any reports on him from Doug, Baseball Prospectus, Baseball America or MLB Pipeline? As far as guys on the roster right now, he’s the best defensive option in CF, with the wildcard being Senzel because I have no idea how he’d be out there.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I agree. Ervin is the only guy on the 25 man roster who came up playing CF in the minors consistently. He’s the best option if they want a true CF out there and not a corner guy masquerading.

      • greenmtred

        I agree, too. He had a few rough days in center, as I recall, but–again, as I recall–settled down and looked okay. Nobody on the Reds was going to look great in center with Billy fresh in our minds.

  10. Stephen

    If Siri is as top notch for CF as assumed then why not let the new batting coach, who is supposed to be one of the best hitting coaches, bring him around.

    • LWBlogger2

      Ward would have a long way to bring Siri around in my opinion. Siri has all sorts of great natural tools but his approach and plate-discipline need a lot of work. MLB pitchers would eat him for lunch.

      Now sure he could “learn at the MLB level” and maybe Ward can get him sorted but it begs these questions:

      1) Do we want to burn a year of Siri’s service time so he can learn on the job in a year that he’s likely be be pretty brutal at the plate for the majority of the year?

      2) Do we want to rush Siri to MLB and risk him taking a pretty big confidence hit by failing? The guy seems to show confidence in his ability but MLB pitchers and MLB advance scouting can throw that confidence right in the gutter.

      • greenmtred

        And I’d add that, since 2019 looks to be a year of improvement but not, probably, a year of legitmate contention, it wouldn’t make sense to jeopardize Siri’s future with Reds prematurely.

  11. CFD3000

    If Scooter is in Cincinnati in 2019, and it sure looks like he will be, then Senzel needs to play in the outfield. Whether that’s in center or not depends on whether he’s a better defender than Puig and Schebler. I’d so – center. If not – corner outfield. When Scooter leaves Senzel can slide to second base, Kemp and Puig will likely be gone as well, and Siri or Trammell can take over center with Winker and one of Schebler, Puig (if he’s extended) and Siri or Trammell at he other corner. That’s potentially a very strong outfield and an upgraded infield for 2020. And in all those scenarios Peraza mans shortstop until someone better arrives by trade or promotion or free agency. But until then shortstop is the only place on the field where there isn’t already a better option than Peraza.

    • CFD3000

      That should say “if so – center” of course.

  12. Bill

    Did anyone really view that as an option? He goes to CF and then you have no SS.

    Assuming they cannot sign a CF, the Reds still have Schebler, Ervin, and Puig all with some experience in CF. Add Senzel into the mix and there are four people who can probably play it as well or better than Choo did. Then when Gennett is gone Senzel can transition back to 2B if someone like Siri or Trammell are ready to go.

    • Doug Gray

      Yes. This was a far more popular idea than you seem to believe, at least among the internet.

      • Bill

        I guess if it made it to Facebook it is a good idea

      • ToBeDetermined

        I guess I need to spend more time outside my Cave and RedLegNation website.

        But, then again if that crazy thinking is what’s going on in the world outside. I’ll just curl up with my red blanket and stay inside .

      • Doug Gray

        At least it’s a red blanket, AMIRITE?!

  13. RedleggsAndHam

    Jose Canseco also unlikely to play center for the Reds.

  14. Klugo

    No one has mentioned Lorenzen in a while. Far-fetched I know, especially with all the OFs we have now; but, Lorenzen to CF, anyone??

  15. Eric Wormus

    The answer to CF is staring the Reds right in the face and it all boils down to whether they are willing to spend the money Bob promised they’d spend. Sign Pollock and trade Scooter. For the life of me I don’t understand why the 2019 Reds would keep Scooter for 1 more year and then let him walk at the end of the season. I mean, it seems pretty obvious that they plan to do this, but it is just so illogical. Scooter isn’t going to be the difference between 78 wins and the playoffs. Nick Senzel might outperform him this very year. This isn’t rocket science. You need a CF. There is a very good CF on the free agent market. You have a top 5 prospect in all of a baseball. He is ready. He plays 2B. Your 2B is a free agent after this year. We aren’t reinventing the wheel here people.

    • Matt Hendley

      Nick Senzel will not outperform scooter gennett this year. Pollack is a gigantic injury risk that is asking for too much money considering he is having problems staying on the field. 2nd base market being flooded is why we are not just dumping scooter for peanuts.

      • LWBlogger2

        Actually, I’d say “Nick Senzel isn’t likely to outperform Scooter Gennett this year”

        The guy is a rookie who’s had his own injury issues the past couple years and Scooter has, quite frankly, been very, very good the past couple years. That said, if it clicks for Senzel and Gennett regresses as much as some think he might, I wouldn’t rule out Senzel being better this year.

    • Doug Gray

      Because no one is willing to give the Reds anything remotely close to value for Scooter Gennett.

      • ToBeDetermined

        Doug – Exactly.
        Since the Reds can’t get At Least Fair Value for him.
        The Scooter needs to ride in Cincinnati in 2019.

      • JB WV

        What did they give up to get Scooter? Nothing. And since they didn’t give him an extension he’s definitely on the block. Fair value is relative. There’s a glut of 2b out there and not a seller’s market. Senzel would be a large upgrade defensively and who knows, maybe a slight improvement offensively.

      • ToBeDetermined


        If you think in 2019 Senzel will be more valuable to the Reds than Gennett. OK, then getting rid of Gennett for significantly less than his potential value to the Reds could make sense.

        However, my argument is that the Reds are significantly better of with BOTH Senzel and Gennett on the 2019 roster.

        If you think that by the Reds having both on the team at least through the 1st half of 2019 that Senzel won’t getting enough playing time then I’d agree. But, I just don’t see that happening. But, I could be totally wrong. Wouldn’t be the 1st time, nor the Last.

      • JB WV

        There’s a glut of outfielders right now and Senzel needs to play but not out there. Allegedly he’s a terrific infielder and as I stated would be an upgrade over Scooter, who’s probably more of an AL player with the DH. Might get some value trading him there.

    • Old-school

      There are very few free agent position players getting big contracts into their 30’s. The reds seem very determined to maintain long term payroll flexibility while preserving prospect capital. I like their direction. Injuries will happen. It seems the only player who could get multiple years at this point would be a top SP.

  16. roger garrett

    I like that at least the thought process has changed regarding who plays center field.Billy could never hit yet was out that for 5 years and DW said Siri is easily the best defender yet his bat isn’t ready.Sounds to me like somebody learned something but nobody could be worse then Billy at the plate.

    • Doug Gray

      I would be worse than Billy Hamilton at the plate.

      • LWBlogger2


        You and me both Doug! I can still crush the fast pitching machines but I’m doubtful about even being able to foul off pitches against an MLB pitcher.

  17. WVRedlegs

    CF is going to be a problem. Keep Senzel in the dirt. Schebler and Puig in CF full time is a very bad plan. Free agent CF Jon Jay looked like he would be an affordable short term option/solution for the Reds, but he just signed with the White Sox yesterday at 1 year and $4MM. Other than AJ Pollock now, the free agent CF market is barren. The Reds are left with the likes of Craig Gentry (35), Carlos Gomez (33), Austin Jackson (32), Adam Jones (33), Cameron Maybin (32) and Denard Span (35) to fill a need. Slim pickins. All past their prime and looking for some type of rebound, or even just a ML job.
    The Dodgers converted SS/2B/3B Chris Taylor from the infield to a pretty decent CF/OF. The Mariners didn’t think of putting Taylor in the OF, but the Dodgers did soon after trading for him. There is a 27 year old free agent infielder that has played all 4 INF spots. If he is athletic enough to play all 4 INF spots, might he be athletic enough to play CF for the Reds 50% of the time or more? He also could spend time backing up any of the 4 INF spots. It is former Mets INF Wilmer Flores, a RH hitter, 27 years old, 6’3″ and 205, and hits around .267/.320/.440 with 15-20 HR kind of pop. Not too bad for CF. Flores made about $3.4MM this past season. So he would cost about 1/3 the price of Pollock (~$5.0MM) and would require 1/2 to 1/4 of the contract commitment in years (1 or 2) than Pollock. I don’t know if Flores can play CF or not, but it could be an option to look at. After Pollock, it is a paltry mixed bag of past their prime aging vets.
    Otherwise, the Reds will need to go the trade route to fix a very obvious weakness. If that is the case, I still think Oakland’s OF/CF Ramon Laureano is the one to go after. Oakland is in need of starting pitching to repeat any chance of winning more than 90 games again this season. The Reds could parlay the acquisition of Tanner Roark here into a CF with 6 years of team control. Roark and one of Stephenson, Reed, Romano, or Sims could get that elusive CF. Two starting pitchers for a CF. The Reds could still easily replace Roark with a free agent signing.

    • Big Ed

      The Reds’ strongest MiLB position is CF, although none will be ready this summer. Siri, Friedl, Trammell, Sugilio, Bautista, and Siani. They don’t need to trade for a CF, except for maybe this year, for somebody like Jackson.

      I would just wing it with who the have now.

      • WVRedlegs

        Back in 2016-2017 , the mantra was to just wait for the starting pitching to arrive. The Reds were going to be set with starting pitchers and 2018 was going to be the turnaround year. And 2019 was going to be the year they were back in the playoff hunt and contending for a League pennant.
        And where is that starting pitching today in 2019? Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Trammell is no CF at the ML level. Friedl may be no better than a 4th or 5th OF. Siri hit a major roadblock in 2018 to his development. Siani is 5 years away. If Siri doesn’t hit, the CF position will look like the “young” starting pitching does today. Almost arbitration eligible and only 1 of 5 rotation spots claimed by the “young” starters, that being Castillo.
        Yeah, let’s just sit around and suck for a couple of more years when they could definitely be good in 2019. Maybe we can be playing for a World Series in 2021 instead of waiting on “prospects” to maybe arrive and maybe be good in 2022.
        Lets shore up today’s weaknesses and we can worry about the 2021 CF position in 2021.

      • LWBlogger2


        I don’t think anyone has said Trammell isn’t a CF in MLB. There are questions about rather he has the arm for CF but I’ve now heard some rumblings that folks think his arm has improved enough to play out there.

        His arm raises questions about his ability to play CF in MLB but I don’t think anyone here can determine that he can’t cut it out there yet.

  18. Steve Schoenbaechler

    If the season was to start today, I’d be satisfied with who we have there. I mean, with Hamilton lacked in offense, who we have lack that in defense. I use the term “serviceable”. Who we have for CF I believe is serviceable.

    I still think starting pitching is a priority. I’d rather still bring in a starting pitcher than go after a CF.

  19. wkuchad

    I would neither sign another outfielder nor get rid of Scooter. We’re trying to contend. Contending teams have depth. Start Scooter at 2nd and make Senzel a super sub for one year, ready to take over 2nd next year. We will get a significant injury at some point (or multiple). It will be very nice to have a player like Senzel ready to step in. And you can easily start him 4 times a week as a super sub until that injury happens.

    We don’t need another outfielder. We currently have 4 outfielders that can potentially start. One of those very good (Puig) and one potentially very good (Winker). Schebler won’t embarrass us and Kemp is an unknown. Just go with Puig in center. As has been stated, he’ll be better than Choo. Then Winker in left with Kemp in right unless he falters, then plug in Schebler. On top of that, we’re hopefully using Senzel as a super sub, which would include the outfield.

    I’d put all current effort in landing a stud pitcher (or as close as we can get).

  20. RedsFaninPitt

    Trade Kemp to Indians for Oscar Mercado or Gennett to Nationals for Michael A. Taylor. Then you have CF solved until one of Friedl/Siri/Trammell show that they are ready.

    • RedsFaninPitt

      Senzel should start in AAA playing primarily CF and 2B and if he is ready to play MLB CF , bring him up in May or June.

  21. scottya

    On this discussion: CF, 2B, etc. The payroll flexibility seems to be somewhere maybe in the 130+ range. The markets for Keuchal(15,?,?,?), Grandal (12,14,16,18) and Pollock(12,17,19) seem to be shrinking quickly. If we were to add all three and weight the av to the end. We could be around 154 million, that would cause us to need to move some contracts. If we traded Scooter (11million) + D. Hernandez (2 million) for a prearbitration bullpen pitcher. 154-13 = 141 million payroll.

    This is doable at this moment, with some payroll shifting trades and this team becomes a serious contender in 19′ and were setup for 20 and beyond with the 8, except puig. Prospects still intact (senzel, greene, trammell, india, santillan)

    1. Keuchal
    2. Wood
    3. Castillo
    4. Roark
    5. Desclafani

    1. Winker LF – 120 WRC+
    2. Puig RF – 126 WRC+
    3. Votto 1B – 136
    4. Suarez 3B – 117
    5. Grandal/Barnhart C – 115/89
    6. Senzel 2B – 110 WRC+
    7. Pollock CF – 108
    8. Peraza SS – 92

    Looking at it from this perspective, should the Reds trade Scooter Gennett 1 year (11million) to free up the payroll for 3 years of Yasmani Grandal? and AJ Pollock? My answer is, please do this Reds FO! Sign Keuchal and Grandal. Sign Pollock if he falls to 3 years under 50 million.

    • Matthew

      Keuchel won’t likely take 15 per year, unless your example is a back-loaded contract. He rejected a QO from Houston worth $17MM.

  22. Bill J

    Would anyone consider Marwin Gonzalez for centerfield if the price is right?

    • ToBeDetermined

      Bill J

      Excuse my ignorance but who is Marwin Gonzalez ?

      • WVRedlegs

        Free agent from the Astros. He was the Astros equivalent to the Cubs Ben Zobrist. He plays all 4 INF positions and all 3 OF positions. Mostly LF, but has filled in at 2B and SS when Astros had injuries to Altuve and Carrera. He is decent defensively at 2B and LF, but just passable at the other spots.
        CF is probably not the spot for Marwin. And the Reds are flush with 2B and LF types. Probably not a fit for the price, and with Scooter still on the roster.

    • BK

      I would, but he’s down my list after Keuchel, Grandal, Miley and Holland. Ultimately, I think Marwin Gonzalez would have the most value to the Reds as a super utility player. I’d strengthen the rotation, catching position and bullpen first via the free agent market. I don’t like the likely cost of Pollack nor his injury history given the # of legit CF prospects in the Reds farm system. But, Marwin Gonzalez is someone to keep an eye on as the free agent market progresses.

      • LWBlogger2

        There are only 2 catching options I’d take over Barnhart. One is JT Realmuto, and I think he’d cost too much in prospects. The other is Yasmadi Grandal and I think he’d cost too many $$. Now, if the price drops lower than MLBTraderumors’ 4yrs/$64-million, to something maybe like 4yrs/$50-million or 3yrs/$45-million, I could maybe see it. I think the Reds still need pitching help. Maybe not DK but maybe another back-end bullpen piece.

  23. Beard

    Doug if you had to guess is Senzel on the Opening Day roster? And if so, what position(s) do you see him playing the most?

    • Matt Hendley

      No, at the very minimum he is spending roughly 2 weeks “working on his defense” so the reds can get that extra year of service time.

  24. WVRedlegs

    Doug, I hope you have an article in the oven on your tweet yesterday with Kyle Boddy of Driveline bases regarding being drafted as a pitcher by the Reds.
    Boddy tweeted a response about whether Reds new pitching coach would have much influence on the minor leagues. “Not really, no. The major league staff has little to no impact on the minor league side the vast majority of the time and this is true today with the Reds, who are one of the worst teams to be drafted by if you are a pitcher.”
    Ouch. I knew the pitching development was lacking in the organization, but is the word behind the scenes as dire as Boddy alludes to? He also implies that he would rank the Reds last (tied) in MLB in this. Are amateur pitchers hoping to not get drafted by the Reds? Were things this bad until the player development department re-assignments earlier this fall? No wonder heads rolled at the end of this past season in the player development department. The re-assignments of Buckley and Graupe had nothing to do with a job well done.
    On the player development side, this isn’t earth-shattering news. But on the draft side, to say that if you are a pitcher, you don’t want to be drafted by the Reds because it would be highly detrimental to your career, is a bit stunning. And that seems to be the word he is putting out there to amateur pitchers. I hope you might be able to dive into this a bit more and can peel back some layers.

    • Big Ed

      WV, there was some suggestion that Johnson got a broader assignment than just Major League pitching coach, as (for example) the Brewers said that he got a “unique opportunity” with the Reds that they couldn’t match. I could see where he could coordinate pitching throughout the system, primarily by hiring his guys as coaches/coordinators in the system. Johnson was the Cubs minor-league pitching coordinator before his time with the Brewers.

      It remains to be seen what actually happens, but he has already brought in Caleb Cotham, one of his Vandy guys with a analytical bent.

  25. redfan4life

    If they sign Pollock it will be a bad signing. Guy can’t stay on the field.
    I would trade Schebler for a CFer of Schebler’s caliber. Who would match in a trade with Schebler that is a CFer???
    Puig in RF New guy in CF Winker in LF. With Kemp starting some in lf against tough lefties. Also see is Kemp can fill in 10 games at 1B to give Votto a rest. IMO it would be a major major mistake to trade Winker.
    I see Winker is listed as being on the caravan. I hope this is means he won’t be traded.


    So. Here we are once again with identified needs, yet a lot of guys going off the boards that could have filled those needs. Each one who is either traded, or plucked from the ranks of free agency, makes it that much more unlikely we will fill our needs, and/or reach the promised uptick in salaries.

    All the while, after a very good start, the momentum has once again receded to the level of… pretty much nada! Soooooooo frustrating!

    One would have hoped after last year’s wooing of Ohtani, with DW strongly asserting to all listeners, something to the effect that, ‘We were in it to the end’!, that they would have been absolutely, positively, with NO exceptions determined to land Kikuchi, or at least one of the other elite SP for this season. That has failed to materialize, and once again, the options are quickly fading with our greatest need still unfulfilled.

    Quite likely, Puig can plug the CF hole adequately enough for one season, and the SS position is not quite as dire a need as others. But, with apologies to DW, our coaches, scouts and assorted bigwigs, I cannot agree with Dick’s assessment. Having watched Peraza play both positions, he looks to me to be better suited to CF. He looked very comfortable out there in fact, something I could not always say about his play at SS. In fact there were occasions in which he seemingly got lost and blundered badly.

    However, that is not the biggest concern. We still need an ACE, a HOSS, an SP1, a bonafide ELITE starter, as some others have noted. Are we likely to get one? Hopes are fading as quickly as yesterday’s news concerning the ‘shutdown’. I think too, are our hopes of once again becoming truly competitive…at least for the near future.

    And finally, yet one more nail in our coffin of basement dwelling, 90 loss and utterly frustrating, irritating and maddening seasons, as pointed out as above by WVRedlegs, concerning the state of our minor league pitchers. I am going to force my self to check out that tweet, as well as DW’s interview, if I can stand it! An ace, an ace, my kingdom for an ACE!

    • matt hendley

      Kutchel is still in play. Reds are going after him. Kikuchi was a big miss, yes, but Seattle and the rest of the west coast teams seems to have the inside track for all incoming great players from the Far East Asian Market. (KBO and Taiwan included). The Market is being held up by 2 people right now, neither of the individuals that the reds should be going after, MM and BH. Still believe the reds are in play for the southpaw

      • Matthew

        I just thought you were referencing Chad’s story about how somebody mispronounced Keuchel’s name at a parade in Cincinnati and Keuchel overheard it.

        “Who’s Dallas Kutchel???”

  27. doofus

    My most esteemed colleagues, I believe the Reds will cobble some sort of CF rotation of Ervin, Schebler and Senzel going into opening day until they either find another centerfielder or fast-track Trammell to the GABP.

    I’ve said before that they should see if Blandino can handle CF on an interim basis, if his knee is able.

  28. Mason Red

    I’m a lot more concerned about starting pitching than who will be playing CF.

  29. Kevin

    That’s good because he’s not an outfielder!

  30. scottya

    Just listened to Sam Grossman interview from mlb network (i believe it was last night). It seems the FO is looking for deals and or signings that will present + value at any position. Also, I keep hearing from the FO “run prevention” and it strikes my curiosity as to who they may be looking at. Starting pitchers of course, but they seem to always say something about defense. 1. Trading for a CF’r with solid defense? Ender Inciarte fits this best. 2. Trading away our sub par defensive players for pitching or defensive upgrades (Winker, Kemp fit this best, as does Scooter and Schebler a bit)??

    It looks like there are going to be some really cheap, very solid bullpen pieces available as we approach spring training. But we don’t neccesarily need that as we are on the verge of losing the likes of Bob Steve, Wisler, Finnegan etc. I’m thinking someone like tony barnette on a jared hughes type deal will happen.

    Will Keuchal fall into the Reds hands as the FO “lay in the weeds.”? It seems possible, especially if the Phillies sign Machado to a really large av contract.

    For Funzies: A trade of Matt Kemp for Mike Leake seems to make sense, except that this will fill out our rotation. 19 ish million (reds part) for Leake (11million (mariners part)+11+buyout). This would lower 19′ payroll by about 8 million to approximately (108 million). No idea if the mariners would be open to this, but seems to work for both.

  31. Frogem

    We’re always hearing about Senzel at 2B, but seeing his athleticism (and arm!) I’m more interested in how he would slot in at SS. May be a learning curve, but surely he could climb higher than Peraza, and sooner. This of course means shifting Peraza to 2B, which likely is a much more forgiving place for his skills. This also takes a little pressure off Peraza, which could benefit him even more with his offense and baserunning, all improving nicely while he still remains a young 24.

    • greenmtred

      Senzel at short has been bandied about here and, evidently, by the Reds for awhile. The Reds (including Barry Larkin) concluded, for reasons I don’t know, that he wouldn’t do well there. In the absence of other information, I’d tend to believe Barry Larkin, who knows a bit about playing shortstop.

      • LWBlogger2

        Thanks for responding to that. I pretty much always say the same thing when I see that question posed and lots of people put the question out there.

        I mean, it makes sense for people to ask. The thing is though, the Reds braintrust (staff, coaches, front-office, coordinators, special assistants) including Barry Larkin seem to feel that Senzel isn’t really cutout to be a MLB starting SS. They seem to believe that Peraza is the best option among current players at the MLB level or MiLB ready to step in to MLB. I tend to trust them on this evaluation. I question them a lot but they have seen these guys play WAY more than I have. I actually trust them on things like this.

      • Frogem

        Good point. I suppose my curiosity is slightly disguised as looking for a reason to slide Peraza over to 2nd. I’m high on Peraza, and I believe his skill set and mindset are very well suited there. That leaves a spot at SS for a big acquisition (apparently needed due to Senzel not being the one) a year or two down the road…perhaps a Lindor one day?!