When the Cincinnati Reds picked up Freddy Galvis it was a move that I thought made plenty of sense. But I also wrote plenty of words about what I didn’t want to see happen once he arrived and put on a Reds jersey. Immediately, when asked about it, David Bell proclaimed that my fears were about to come true.

I anticipate he’s going to get a lot of playing time, I told him I wanted to stop short of saying every day. I think with a bit of a rotation of four or five guys — one of them not playing each day — they can all basically be everyday players and we can still get some guys rest here and there and find their best days to play.

“He’s going to play a lot at second base. He’s played more short and he’ll probably focus his work more at second because he hasn’t played there as much.

There’s a whole heck of a lot to unfold here, but let’s start with Freddy Galvis himself. Why is he moving to another position in favor of Jose Iglesias? If Iglesias were locked up long term, maybe this makes sense on a basis of just considering the two of them. But Jose Iglesias is not under contract for the Cincinnati Reds in 2020. Freddy Galvis, if the Reds want to keep him around rather than release him, is. For as nice as a .292 average is, Jose Iglesias has an OPS+ of 89, which means he’s 11% worse than the league average hitter. Galvis is also below-average, but his OPS+ is 95. Less average, less on-base, way more power. Both have some warts and strengths. Given that Galvis is a Red next year, though, it might make more sense to have him getting more time at shortstop.

But while that situation can be debated, the rest of the situation simply can’t. Freddy Galvis playing second base means that Josh VanMeter isn’t playing second base. And while David Bell said it won’t be every day, he said “get a lot of playing time”. Even if that’s 4 days a week, that means that Josh VanMeter isn’t playing there 4 days a week. Here’s a reminder of what Josh VanMeter has been doing for the last 13 months, in case you missed it:

He has obliterated Triple-A. He’s been well above-average in the Major Leagues all season (.849 OPS, 117 OPS+). But that includes his time when he was used sparingly as a pinch hitter earlier this year. Since his last call up where he’s played most days, his OPS is over 1.000. He’s killed left-handed pitching this year. He’s beat up on right-handed pitching pretty well, too. In short: Josh VanMeter has killed the baseball for 13 months in a row between Triple-A and the Major Leagues.

With that background information out of the way, let’s try to make sense here. Josh VanMeter, a 24-year-old who has killed the ball, is losing playing time so Jose Iglesias and Freddy Galvis can get more playing time? Guys in their late 20’s with career OPS’s under .700 are taking away at-bats from a 24-year-old who’s crushed the baseball.

But it gets worse. If Galvis is getting time at second, and VanMeter is going to get some time in the outfield, that means that Jesse Winker, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, or Phillip Ervin are also going to lose at-bats because of Freddy Galvis and Jose Iglesias needing to play.

Jesse Winker has a 109 OPS+ this season. But after the first 9 games of the year he’s hitting .283/.368/.505. So, for the last four months, Winker’s been raking. I don’t think I need to tell you what Aristides Aquino’s been doing, right? How about Phillip Ervin? All he’s done this season is hit .355/.415/.589 in 118 trips to the plate. And then there’s Nick Senzel, who is realistically the teams only actual center fielder on the roster. He’s hitting .273/.328/.448 on the year. When he’s sitting it means you’ve got someone in center field who should not be out there. If he needs a day of rest, that makes sense. If you’re doing it so Freddy Galvis, Jose Iglesias, or Jose Peraza need to play, well, you’re confused.

I thought about typing all of this article with the caps lock key on because I’m #madonline. It’s just tough to wrap my head around the idea that the Reds are going to take away at-bats from young guys in favor of journeymen middle infielders. That’s not to say I don’t want Freddy Galvis on the team. He makes Cincinnati better. But his role should be limited, almost entirely, to playing shortstop. His role should not be taking away at-bats directly or indirectly from Josh VanMeter, Jesse Winker, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, or Phillip Ervin. There simply isn’t much rationale to make that one work.

115 Responses

  1. WhoHearsHorton

    Really couldn’t agree more here. I also can’t make sense of keeping Peraza around. A 65 wRC+ hitter should not be staying on the 40 man in favor of O’ Grady, a 127 wRC+ hitter with 27 homers in AAA this year. Even with all of Peraza’s hits last year he was still 3% below average as a hitter… get rid of him

    Reply
  2. Michael Smith

    I have been happy with many moves the reds have made in the last year but this and the comments from Bell are curious to say the least.

    Reply
    • greenmtred

      I assume this is being done out of a misbegotten, misguided hope that the Reds can make the playoffs. It’s not even clear that the older guys will be better–or even as good–as the younger guys.

      Reply
  3. MFG

    Doug, you are spot on! VanMeter has EARNED the right to play every day. He looks like he is going to be a very good hitter with patience at the plate and makes the pitcher work. Galvis and Iglasias should split time at SS. Peraza and Dietrick should only pinch hit or pinch run. Ervin, Winker, Senzel and Aquino in the outfield.

    Reply
    • W.Lackey

      I can’t see any point of keeping Peraza, Dietrick has fallen down on his hitting. Farmer hasn’t done a lot. Just play WINKER, SENZEL & AQUINO in the outfield and find a place where Ervin can play every day. Lot of talent in the outfield and the team has to waste away his playing time. But again there are injuries where one can step in. With all the Reds talent they still can’t win. Something is really odd going on with this team.

      Reply
  4. jbonireland

    Good old David Bell, gonna keep his players happy no matter what it does to the development of the young players!

    Reply
    • Doc

      Can’t imagine this keeps the young players happy. When I saw the lineup I figured three hours of piano practice would be of more interest, and I am only a piano beginner! I’m tuned out of the game today. The Reds are dreaming if they think they will be the wild card in 2020, and they are diminishing their chances of making it in 2020.

      Reply
    • greenmtred

      Are we certain that this policy is David Bell’s idea? I can easily see the
      fingerprints of ownership and the FO all over it.

      Reply
  5. Pete

    My Advice to David Bell: rent don’t buy.

    Doug, I think you will find 99% agreement with your position. Picking up Galvis was a shrewd move, the way Bell intends to use him is well, dumb. To retain my sanity, I can’t believe this is FO’s plan for Freddie. It goes against every principle, as far as makeup of the team, as they’ve expressed it: ” we are going to play JVM daily” – I paraphrase our Assistant GM.

    Can’t wait to see who goes down if DD is put back on the roster and also can’t wait to see today’s line up. Fascinating stuff indeed.

    Reply
  6. TR

    Doug, I could not agree more. Not playing the young guys regularly is a mistake and will only lead to more so-so seasons for the Reds if they ride the pine in favor of the veterans. The Reds are at a point to move forward, but only if young players who are ready are in the starting lineup

    Reply
  7. Eric Wormus

    According to Fangraphs, there have been 174 players with at least 1,500 plate appearances since 2016. The Reds currently have 3 of the 17 worst hitters in that time on their roster: Iglesias, 81 wRC+ (5th worst) Peraza, 82 wRC+ (8th worst), Barnhart, 85wRC+ (17th worst). Second worst on that list, by the way, is Billy Hamilton so I guess it could always be worse.
    What I can’t figure out is, what does Alex Blandino have to do to get a roster spot on this team? Granted he struggled with limited playing time last year, but his 70wRC+ is still better than Peraza hit this year and in 2017. He’s 26. He’s hit everywhere he has been. He’s a rich man’s version of Jose Peraza for crying out loud.

    Reply
    • RedsMonk65

      Agree. I, too, would like to see Blandino over Peraza. At the very least, he’s got a better glove. Probably more. Maybe much more.

      Reply
      • John Ross

        I guarantee Blandino wouldnt have slid on the outfield side of 3rd last night so Rendon could easily tag him out, like Peraza did. He always looks dumbfounded…like how did that happen. I’m sure Blandino would have slid as far towards home plate side of 3rd and should have easily slid into 3rd and not killed a little rally. Little things like this have added up big time on Peraza this year and made him look alot worse……kinda like the bare handed attempt he let roll right past him against the Scrubs last weekend. That looked like a T-baller hit it… very PATHETIC.

  8. Chris

    Vs. RHP

    1. Winker LF
    2. VanMeter 2B
    3. Suarez 3B
    4. Aquino RF
    5. Votto 1B
    6. Senzel CF
    7. Galvis SS
    8. Barnhart C

    Vs. LHP

    1. Ervin LF
    2. VanMeter 2B
    3. Suarez 3B
    4. Aquino RF
    5. Votto 1B
    6. Senzel CF
    7. Galvis SS
    8. Farmer C

    This should be every day (within reason). Iglesias makes an excellent backup SS (that’s why he was signed in the first place).

    There is no coherent argument – for this season or for future seasons – that Jose Iglesias (or Freddy Galvis) should take at-bats away from Josh VanMeter. .361 wOBA and 120 wRC+ this season as a Major Leaguer. I’m not sure Galvis or Iglesias have ever had a 54 game stretch like that in their entire careers…

    Reply
    • Tv

      Vanmeeter is not a star. He is a scrub with a few good at bats.

      Reply
      • DB

        You are an idiot. JVM is a very smart, fundamentally sound player that is just now getting his chance.

  9. RedsMonk65

    First of all — Thank you, Doug, for not typing in all caps. It would have made it very difficult to read your fine prose.

    Second, and most importantly, I feel your pain (bewilderment might be a better term). I like the Galvis pickup, but don’t understanding playing him at 2B in particular, and not playing the young guys (Van Meter, Ervin, etc.) more often in general. Those guys need to play nearly every day, especially as this 2019 season seems to be slipping through our collective fingers in terms of playoff hopes.

    I am trying to understand the argument from Bell’s standpoint. Here is the only thing I can come up with (not advocating for it, mind you): If Bell is bent on platooning the 2B position, then maybe (to his way of thinking), Galvis represents a better option than Peraza in that slot. Galvis is a switch hitter and has some power. Peraza bats as a righty (opposite the lefty Van Meter) but with much less power and questionable batting skills overall.

    Van Meter, I agree, should get the majority of playing time at 2B. He has had great success in the minors against both RHP and LHP. But thus far in the Majors, he has only hit .154 against LHP — albeit it in the exceedingly minuscule sample size of 17 PAs. I agree that he needs to be given more of a chance than that to prove that he can or cannot hit LHP. But in the opportunities he’s had in the Show thus far, he hasn’t done it.

    So maybe that is what Bell is thinking. Again, not advocating for him. Just trying to understand the thinking from his point of view. Personally, I would rather see Van Meter get extended playing time at 2B (against both RHP and LHP), Galvis at SS to spell JIggy once in a while until 2020, and more playing time for Ervin. (And while we’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt to sit Senzel and Votto every once in a while to rest them and get some others playing time.)

    Reply
    • RedsMonk65

      Another possibility: Maybe Bell is only publicly buying some time (?!) until DD is activated, and he has to break the news to Peraza that he is going to AAA …. That would be my hope.

      Reply
  10. matthew hendley

    3 items

    This comment, and I am sure Dougs post assume that this statement was a smaller part of some larger FO/Jose Iglesias talk where a deal is trying to be worked out and they are not trying to sound like they are taking his spot. I like Jose but If I was him I am gone at the end of the season and trying to score on the FA market.
    1. Galvis should be at SS. Even the starting shortstop and should be it in 2020 assuming Iglesias is gone. should not be blocking Vanmeter, or force Vanmeter to block the platoon. (I don’t think Senzel is at risk of losing a spot except when he wants a day off.) I don’t think that he should block Aquino, at least until Aquino demonstrates he cannot adjust to the adjustments that pitchers make to him, and that is at least a few months off. Galvis isn’t a bum though, so he should get playing time.
    2. Speaking of people that should be blocked, Deitrich is back in a day. Eligible at least. This absolutely should spell the end for Jose Peraza. He needs to be taken off the 25 man roster, sent to LOU, and if he does well in LOU shipped to a new team in the offseason for parts we need. If not, non tender him. Dietrich knows his role on the team. If it does turn out that his slump was injury related and he goes back to MR. Mash and Gaze. Then that is a potent weapon off the bench for this year and the next. (arbitration remember?) No matter where Peraza is on the field he is hurting the reds chances on it. That is a fact. David Bell talking about getting him playing time is borderline managerial incompetence at this point.
    3. The Trade for a extremely solid, dare I day good pitcher who is only under control through 2020, indicates one thing and one thing only. NO more development. No more bringing up unprepared players who are not ready so they ‘can see MLB at bats’. That is not to knock good players getting better, (JVMR), but a starting position player is expected to hold their position, or platooned position. If they get beaten out, they get the bench. Assuming no injuries JW is not getting starts against lefties, and if Phillip can truly beat him then so be it. Aquino, (he is a monster and I was wrong about needing to keep puig) needs to keep abreast of the changes in the way pitchers throw to him. I am on a ramble and I am sorry. Bottom Line Up Front: no more at bats wasted for development. If the FO is bringing someone up from AAA its because they deserve to be there or an injury necessitated it.

    Anyway, Dougs post is absolutely right. Maybe things will shake themselves out better

    Reply
    • Klugo

      Sorry, but I do think that Peraza is better than Deitrich. vs LHP and RHP. Dont know if the stats say so, but my eyes have told me so. I love DD, but he’s been awful since his torrid start.

      Reply
  11. Tom Mitsoff

    Senzel sitting today against Strasburg, with VanMeter in left, Winker in center, J. Iglesias at SS, and Galvis at 2B.

    Reply
  12. Pete

    Peraza is the worst hitter on the Reds and he is also the worst hitter in MLB of those who play with any regularity, He has a wRC+ of 65. It’s the bottom of the barrel, not near the bottom, it is the bottom. Every man on this team who is a position player is a better hitter. He is a terribly weak and bad hitter, he does not belong in the Major Leagues. If there are people here that can’t see this, it’s fine, but I expect a MLB manger and a competent front office to know the numbers and act accordingly.

    Jose Peraza is a detriment to the team success and it’s not his fault they refuse to permanently bench him or ship off to one of the farm teams. So I hold no ill will towards him. If the FO is not behind this they need to tell David Bell, “no, no more”.

    Reply
    • doofus

      Peraza had 182 hits last year. Did he not belong in MLB last season?

      Why do some on this board not address why he has regressed from last season instead of progressing this year? Instead we just eviscerate the kid.

      Have any of us made mistakes at work, or we all perfect?

      Reply
      • Pete

        He should go back top AAA and get his stroke back. He’s hurting the team.

      • doofus

        I have yet to read where anyone addresses why Peraza, who had 182 hits last season, has regressed this year?

        Perhaps he is the type of player that does not do well in a platoon situation? I have seen players like this, I have coached them.

        So he goes back to AAA, get’s his “stroke” back only to be platooned again when he comes back?

      • greenmtred

        You have a good point, Doofus, but the question you raise–why has he regressed?–may be hard to answer. Last year could be seen as an outlier, making this year more explainable, but who knows? His approach has often been confounding: He’ll occasionaly really sting the ball, then go back to the arms-only swing. He’s fast, but seems to get little out of it. Is he over-thinking? Is it a failure of coaching?

      • Pete

        Doofus, I get your point but I think Jose is bucking the system. Reading and listening to what the instructors are doing with the hitters, I think JP is a poor fit for the organization moving forward. They covet hitters who hit the ball hard and have power potential. In the short term, they will play a Jose Iglesias but in the longer term you will see less of hitters like Peraza and Iglesias.

        They traded away Taylor Trammell and traded for Freddie Galvis for clear reasons: Taylor didn’t fit the mold and Freddie looks like he might. The offense of the team is going through a metamorphosis if you ask me, study the FO’s words and actions. What I’m curious about: is David Bell on the same page?

        Players like Siri and India will either fit or be traded is my prediction. Same with Nick Senzel., believe it or not. Votto doesn’t fit, especially as a weak hitting corner infielder. Might be exciting from here to opening day 2020 to see the moves they make, I think they have a real plan.

  13. matthew hendley

    I am also sorry. Its not even close w/ RHP. Derek is far away the better player. He was injured prior to his IL stint, a factor that may have played into his late slump. Lefties give peraza the edge over DD but no one is asking DD to come into a game and take JVMR at bats away against LHP. They want him to be the LHB v RHP off the bench. As far as other UT/RHB off the bench options go, all of them have Peraza beat.
    DD- 1.6 WAR, which is what you expect of an off the bench guy,
    JP- (-).4 WAR that’s negative just incase I messed it up, which is what you expect by a guy who gets replaced *cough by blandino cough*.

    Reply
    • JB

      I like Peraza but I dont think he is going to turn that corner. Some people never do. I know he walked last night(I nearly fainted) but he shouldn’t be the first pinch hitter off the bench. This team is trying to win and they dont have time to wait. JVM is way better than him. Most teams send these guys to the minors to find it. They sent Schebler down. Teams are cutting guys now like Galvis because they aren’t in their future plans and there is no trade value. DFA him and if nobody takes him then send to AAA. But he shouldn’t be taking starts from JVM.

      Reply
      • doofus

        Peraza had 182 hits last year. You do not even question why he has regressed?

        If you manage a team at work. You have an employee that excels at something one year, only to regress the next year at the same skill. Do you not research why and tried to help him or her improve?

      • matthew hendley

        repeatedly this has been addressed.
        Jose Peraza got handed a job on three separate occasions. He got a job with no competition and barely played to a level that was considered starter worthy. 2.3 WAR. His bloop hits (line drives in the score box) piled up on one another, and did not mask his horrific defense. He was placed in a safe position which he promptly lost in 2 weeks after the season started?

        You ask “If you manage a team at work. You have an employee that excels at something one year, only to regress the next year at the same skill. Do you not research why and tried to help him or her improve?”

        That is LITERALLY what triple A is for, you are literally describing development. Litterally where he needs to be. Every other reds option is better then him.
        Kyle Farmer- better
        Jose Iglesias – better
        Freddy Galvis -better
        Derick Deitrich- Much Better
        Scooter Gennett (careful, he is starting a tear in SFG, .3 WAR in the 2 weeks he has been playing) Better.
        VMR- Much better and best option on current roster.

        I will ask you this,
        You have an employee you manage. He is not that good but you want to make him your project. He keeps getting outperformed by other employees. You try moving some employees, you fire a favorite of your store that the little old ladies loved cause he was around forever so he could have a chance. finally you make sure he is in a Job that he wouldn’t get moved from and you let him work. He barely makes the standard. but he does, and you think your work is done. You give him a longer leash and a greater opertunity, and what does he do….. becomes a poor employee again.

        At some point enough is enough. You gotta know when to fire the guy.
        In baseball the trick is still getting somethin for him,

        Galvis 3-4 with a HR. If they even try playing Peraza over him I may flip.

        Peraza is a poor player, that had a good stretch for half a season.

  14. RojoBenjy

    Doug-

    Thank you for crystallizing all of my #madonline views of this situation as well.

    If this is truly the strategy of the Reds’ leadership, they do not deserve to operate an MLB franchise.

    Reply
  15. JB

    I didnt read the whole article because I know what it says. VNM is your everyday 2nd baseman. Period. Why Bell continuously plays guys with terrible OBPs is ludicrous. Look at the Cubs lineup. Maddon constantly puts in guys with high OBPs. Getting on base!! Keep the line moving!!! Its not difficult.

    Reply
  16. george

    Doug;
    If you are trying to say that FO leadership isn’t leading, just say it.
    The Reds have been collecting infielders this year like cheese draws mice.
    It is hard to see this 25-man roster playing .500 ball or winning the Central division. I would think that future moves this team makes is toward the goal of winning 95/99 games in 2020.
    I would think you would agree that the Reds need to pick up 2 quality “FA” position ball players that can become field leaders for the “Baby Reds” that are here and coming up and 1 quality starting pitcher like Houston did by acquiring Verlander. The money is in the Castellini Bank waiting to be used.
    Yeah, I know it may be an unrealistic expectation for The Family owned Cincinnati Reds doing this type of upgrade. History of the Family owned Bengals is the model for comparison. Both are cash machines no matter what the team record is.

    Reply
    • JB

      TRADE FOR LINDOR! Either Send them Suarez or Senzel and a prospect. Then pay the man and shortstop is fixed for the next 5 years. You have to trade somebody to get somebody. Cleveland wants to trade him. Make a legitimate offer. I would like to see an article on what it would take to get him. Doug, Wes, Steve?

      Reply
      • doofus

        With respect, I would like to see an article that proves that Frankie Lindor is just waiting to sign a 5 year contract with the Reds after being traded to Cincinnati. I did not realize it is that easy.

      • Mike

        How quickly we forget. When Peraza played as a regular last year, he led the team in hits with 182 (and I believe he either tied or surpassed Larkin for the most hits in a single season by a REDS SS), batted .288, and hit 14 HR with 58 RBI. He made 22 errors in 564 chances compared to 19 by Suarez at 3B in 344 chances. He does not walk which is obviously not good. Not saying he should jump right back into a starting role but he is obviously much better with more playing time. And, he is about 4 years younger than Iglesias. Not saying he is great, but he is too young to give up on. Not as bad as everyone thinks he is based on what he did last year.

  17. Roger Garrett

    To be honest I kind of felt what Bell has said was going to happen and we will see I guess.One would think this is not all him but the front office has some input as well.Reds just never seem to settle on anything regarding some players and now it seems its that way again with Iggy and Peraza.I tend to make it simple but it really is because we know about both of them in the field and at the plate.Peraza,Iggy and Galvis can rotate every day every inning or every at bat for the rest of the season while playing short stop but should never ever take at bats away from the guys Doug mentioned.The reason simply is that the young guys are better and the data says they are better and they are the future.Its a step back for me because the Reds have done some good things this year but this is not very smart at all and maybe it will work out.The big question is what are the Reds hoping to accomplish?
    Keeping everybody fresh?With 40+ games to play?How about giving Joey and Eugenio some rest?This team is not going anywhere this year and we are concerned with giving young guys rest while playing a 36 year old man at first every game and another vet at third who has appeared in every game.Come on it just silly

    Reply
  18. VaRedsFan

    Today’s lineup:

    Jesse Winker (L) CF
    Joey Votto (L) 1B
    Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
    Josh VanMeter (L) LF
    Aristides Aquino (R) RF
    Freddy Galvis (S) 2B
    Jose Iglesias (R) SS
    Tucker Barnhart (S) C
    Trevor Bauer (R) P

    Reply
  19. RojoBenjy

    Don’t know where else to posit this question at the moment, so here goes.

    In reflecting on the up and down Reds offense, it occurred to me to ask how much of a role the constant juggling of the starters from game to game has played in it.

    I understand the platooning and lefty righty matchups thing, however, is there a certain mix of players that have clicked better offensively, and we never get to see that mix more than once a week or so, therefore never get to see if they can get on a roll?

    If someone knows how to analyze such a theory, I think it would be worth it. Even Brian Price’s teams put together 5 wins in a row from time to time. This team never more than what, 3 in a row, 4 max?

    Reply
    • Chris

      I think it has more to do with approach. I’m tool lazy to dive deep into SwStr% or whiffs outside the strike zone or whatever… But I can tell you that 5 MLB teams this year have taken fewer walks than the Reds and it’s, uh… not a good list (BAL, PIT, DET, CWS, MIA).

      Maybe you’re on to something. Maybe inconsistent playing time messes with timing or pitch recognition for some of these guys. They seem to be playing into the opponents hand: swinging at their best pitches and hitting mistakes right into the defensive shift. It’s weird. I dunno… when in doubt – make fewer outs. Take some walks.

      Reply
      • RojoBenjy

        Chris- the caveat to what you say about approach, meaning they don’t wrk the count and take a walk consistently, could be explained by the different mix of players. But I don’t have the wherewithal to research it myself.

        The little details in baserunning, lack of situation awareness, etc have been taxing to the W column as well.

    • Don

      I agree 100%, lack of constancy of fielding position and batting order makes for a players that is thinking. A thinking athlete will always be a split second slower and will be inconsistent.

      There are three types of coaches/managers
      1) Those that adjust their style to the players on the roster
      2) Those that change the rosters to find players of their style
      3) Those that force the players to to their style

      Bell is either 2 or 3, I have seen nothing to make me think he has any tendency for #1 to date.

      Type #1 coaches/managers/leaders will be consistently successful and win championships.
      Type #2 will have a good team every 4 or 5 years and may win a championship.
      Type #3 will never win consistently and never sniff anything close to a championship.

      Reply
      • Pete

        Don, good observations. Also, Bell is a rookie,and not only that, but a first time manger, period. Looks like he’s a tinkerer. I wouldn’t doubt the best part of his day is making out the line up card. Chris wrote reasonable line ups which would work very well but Bell wants to have a personal; impact. When you hire a first timer, you really don’t know what you’re going to get – now we know.

        Today, Bell once again has JVM batting 4th and Aquino hitting 5th. I would bet there is not another manager in MLB who would do this, under any circumstances. I’ll be surprised if David Bell is around for long, some time in the minors honing his craft could be a good thing.

        He pretty grab onto the learning curve quick. He has a roster where he can be conservative as there really isn’t many moving parts – you have your starters and you have your bench. We can argue with some of the finer points of Chris’ line ups but for the most part I think we can all agree it’s fine. Run ’em out there and let’s play ball.

      • RojoBenjy

        @Pete

        Bell did have time in the minors as a manager. And he honed his craft there very well. For he was notorious for being double switch happy.

      • Pete

        Thanks Rojo, good to know.

        I think he would be effective with a weak roster where you had to move guys around to get max value. If you look at the Reds, outside of the LF platoon, the team is set with the catcher only catching 5 of 7 games as normal. Not really a lot to do and he’s probably bored. Bell would be much happier and effective managing the Marlins. I’d fire on October 1st and not have a second thought. Square peg, round hole….

      • RojoBenjy

        Pete- the guy they didn’t hire has the Twins in division contention.

      • Pete

        Were they seriously looking at Rocco?

        I’m starting to have faith in the Reds FO, I hope I can keep it. Bell may have been a mistake, correct it and move on. Baseball is a business at its core.

      • RojoBenjy

        I believed they interviewed Rocco.

      • Curt

        @Don, Pete and Rojo: I’m scratching my head along with you guys on Bell’s tinkering to tinker. His statement(s) are contradictions. He seems to be saying that by playing musical chairs (rotating guys), that in the end they somehow all end up being “everyday” guys. That giving everyone playing time doesn’t take away playing time. Huh? Confusing. It does seem like he’s forcing a style on to the players rather than adjusting his style.
        in my mind, how can this NOT be disruptive?

      • greenmtred

        The guy they didn’t hire has the Twins roster to work with. I remember that the Reds interviewed Baldelli, but I don’t remember whether he or the Reds decided not to pursue the deal.

  20. Sherman T Potter

    I can not agree with you more Doug. If upper management believes they still have a chance fore the playoffs this year Ervin and Van Meter have shown they give the Reds the BEST chance. If upper management believes they need to evaluate what they have for next year Ervin and Van Meter still have to play. If Glavis is your option for SS starting next year, play him at SS now throw Peraza gets his at-bats by playing some SS, some CF and some 2B!! Iglesias has been great in the field and in the clutch but if he isn’t in the plans for next year he needs to sit, or waive him so he has a chance to play on a real contender.

    Reply
    • JB

      Same thing with Wood. If he isnt going to sign or the Reds aren’t going to sign him, then put him in the bullpen. Let Sims or Gausman start to see what you have. I’m not sure why they are so afraid to hurt somebody’s feelings. This is a business to win. Not lose. Take the time now to figure out who is who. Rediculous that they do this every year.

      Reply
      • Doug Gray

        Alex Wood should not move to the bullpen to see what Sims or Gausman have. Alex Wood is a legitimate All-Star caliber pitcher. Gausman and Sims are absolutely not. Sims wasn’t even really more than an average starter this season in Triple-A at age 25. You aren’t bumping a guy like Alex Wood from the rotation for that. Nor should you. DeSclafani? Maybe if he were a free agent after this season. But he’s not.

      • Pete

        Doug, you’re bringing it today. If Wood gets it together the chances of Sims,or Gausman matching his production are very, very slim. Keep running Wood out there and make a decision after the season.

      • JB

        But if you’re not going to sign him then why not? All they are doing is taking starts away from guys that should be getting them for next year. So you only want the young guys to play that meet your criteria? You are no better than the FO.

      • Doug Gray

        Because he gives you a much, much better chance to win baseball games.

        When there are two players who don’t swing the odds much one way or the other, play the guy that’s coming back. When one guy is way, way better – you play that guy. Alex Wood is way, way better.

      • Chris

        @JB
        Wood getting right over the next several weeks may mean we can give him a QO and receive a compensatory draft pick when he signs a new deal elsewhere. It also gives him a chance to work with Derek Johnson for awhile so we can evaluate whether it’s worth making him a legitimate extension offer. We are not completely dead yet, and AW is the 4th best SP on the 40 man.

        We know what we have in Sims and Gausman. Replacement – level, low-end SPs or okay RPs.

      • matthew hendley

        If the reds offer Alex Wood the QO, either now or at the end of the season, we will have him next year. Period. Because he would sign that in a heartbeat. 18 Mil Guaranteed money, You wouldn’t even have the press release finished and he is already over at the stadium pen in hand. I am not against paying him 18 million, if he earns it. But that type of contract comes through incentives, something the QO cant do.
        He is the #4 pitcher on this team and should take every start. Guaseman needs a 3rd Pitch, and Sims would work as an opener, its possible, little more work though for regular starts.

  21. Redgoggles

    Before signing Galvis, I could see the reasoning of keeping Peraza on the roster to have the backup SS position covered but now not so much. He needs to learn to play CF and be the backup at both positions going forward. There is no way Winker should be a better CF backup option! I suspect that Jose will end up the way that Billy did…..becomes too expensive through arbitration to keep for the potential future value that he may develop into (he’s still pretty young.) But, playing J Iggy full time certainly isn’t really helping the team next year, and probably not even this year. (Although he’s been a productive 2 out RBI man all year.)

    Reply
  22. Shchi Cossack

    Today’s lineup…

    1. Jesse Winker (L) CF
    2. Joey Votto (L) 1B
    3. Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
    4. Josh VanMeter (L) LF
    5. Aristides Aquino (R) RF
    6. Freddy Galvis (S) 2B
    7. Jose Iglesias (R) SS
    8. Tucker Barnhart (S) C
    9. Trevor Bauer (R) P

    Reply
  23. Jon

    I don’t know how I feel about this Reds team at this point. Take away the eight-game losing streak from the start of the season, and they would be two over .500 right now. Essentially a .500 ball club this year, which is a huge improvement over the previous four seasons. What’s frustrating is that the Reds could be better than this, especially given that no NL Central team is running away with the division this year. The Reds got the (starting) pitching. Yet they still have at least two major holes in the lineup that were clearly evident last winter (catcher and shortstop). And the bullpen (apart from Garrett) has fallen apart.

    The Reds are clearly in win-now mode after making the acquisition of Bauer. They traded away seven major league seasons of their top prospect for one and a third of Bauer. Yet they did nothing else to improve the team at the deadline for 2019. Notably, no improvements to the bullpen. It’s as if the Reds front office will be content if the 2019 team finishes with a winning record. I expect the team to make significant moves this winter in preparation for 2020. However, 2019 seems completely misguided and a missed opportunity to truly go “all-in”.

    Reply
    • Ed

      Hey, this is almost exactly what I came here to type.

      Meanwhile, the Indians have managed to go all-in, dealing Bauer and strengthening their offense to rally and put up some incredible numbers the last few weeks. Francona is an excellent manager with baseball smarts- Bauer wasn’t key to the success they’re having, and I suspect for a reason they dealt him and have picked up speed without him. Puig is on fire over there, and maybe some of that is the product of being on a team that could theoretically contend… But they’ve gone and defied expectations and made it a reality

      Meanwhile, we added Bauer. We have had a weak bullpen for months- far longer than the stats reflect. The crumble wasn’t a post All Star Game phenomenon— I was at the Rangers game back in early June where Garrett, Wandy, Hernandez, were all knocked around. I think Wandy went on the IL the next day… this has been an obvious, nerve-wracking component of Reds baseball. We have somehow blown multiple 7 run leads. This week, we lost games because of our bullpen. I guess adding Bauer was a big move on paper, but it basically shows they pulled the plug on this year. The Indians have turned it around and are 6 games behind the Yankees.

      I like seeing the young guys play- but VanMeter and Senzel have both sorta gone quiet the last week. Big, MLB bats and relief were what we needed. Aquino and VanMeter both came in heavy, and who knows how long Aquino will keep mashing.

      All this to say- Francona put together a winning, contending team at the break. The Reds basically just added Bauer and called up rookies. The bullpen often makes it difficult to watch or enjoy the end of these games, frankly. Maybe it will be good for 2020, but it’s potentially made 2019 into a missed opportunity. The Cubs, Nats, and Brewers should be easily beatable teams. The fact they aren’t means we sorta blew it st the deadline.

      Reply
      • doofus

        The Indians were a much better team than the Reds to begin with.

        Francona is the Indian’s manager, not their GM.

        Is the Indian bullpen better than ours?

    • VaRedsFan

      SS was a hole this year?? Iggy has done everything and more at the position. I’d rather have Iggy over Votto at the plate in a big situation.

      Reply
      • BigBill

        Have been astonished that it has taken this long on the thread for someone to mention that the biggest hole we have is at first base. Votto and Iglesias stats look awfully similar. You can’t win consistently with a 1st baseman who has hitting stats that compare similarly to a glove first ss. You just can’t no matter how great the player used to be

    • doofus

      When you improve the starting rotation, you improve the bullpen. Bauer 6.54 innings per start at time of trade.

      What catcher or shortstop were available before the deadline that would have helped? Remember, they are not looking for expiring contracts.

      Reply
      • Jon

        Last winter, Realmuto was available via trade. Grandal via free agency. Not much last winter in the shortstop department, but that’s what trades are for. (This coming winter, free agent options include Gregorious, Grandal, Donaldson, and Castellanos. If they’re really aiming big, sign Rendon to play second.)

      • doofus

        Yo bro, we were addressing what catchers and shortstops were available at the TRADE deadline, not last offseason.

      • greenmtred

        Gregorious is 29. I’ve never felt that 29 is old (at least not since I was 7 or 8), but people who know more about baseball than I do assure me that 29-year- old shortstops are on their precipitous way down hill.

  24. Jeff

    Make up any new stats you want. Only ones that matter are avg and RBI. Iglesias is top two in both. What else needs said?

    Reply
    • Scott in Texas

      I’m pretty sure this was said tongue-in-cheek. At least I hope it was.

      Reply
  25. Don

    Doug, great writing as always are very much understand the frustration and the reaction to the Bell quote. That does seem displaced, JVM is hitting very well and he seems to play a very good 2nd base.

    This quote seems to be what has been wrong with the Reds for some time. Picking up a wavier wire that another team let go in favor of their young player to take away playing time from the Reds young player.

    This action is what has caused the Reds to not rebuild and not be able to win. Each year there seem to be 2 or 3 players which came for free as a wavier claim or veteran free agent in the off-season that seems to become the starter.

    If Glavis does play a lot of 2nd base and JVM sites or replaces Winker in LF and takes time from Ervin as well the Reds management will enter the off season with lots of question marks and hoping for 2020 and not have solid answers.

    Glavis should be taking time from Iglesias at SS. If they want to give JVM a day off every 2 weeks then have Glavis play 2B once every two weeks.

    I firmware believe that the constant changing of positions and position in the order has a large part to do with the inconstancy with the Reds offense.

    As much as everyone talks about the Cubs moving everyone around, they only did that to cover for not having 3 good outfielders. Now that they have Castellanos as a solid corner outfield, Bryant only plays 3rd base.

    I interpret the constantly moving the players positions and batter order as that the manager does not have confidence in the players or they are not the players that the manager wants.

    The General Manager and Manager do not seem to be on the same page when it comes to whom should play and where.

    Makes me think of the situation in Billy Ball movie where manager would not play whom GM wanted, so the GM traded the managers preferred player.

    Reply
  26. Chris

    Fun fact: Matt Adams has 20 or his 114 career HRs against the Reds. That’s (obviously) the most for him off of any opponent. He’s hit 11 off of the Nationals – that’s his 2nd most.

    He has 135 total bases against the Reds. 2nd place? 94 against the Pirates.

    Let’s sign him to a 7 yr $35MM deal and ship him indefinitely to Louisville. Now THERE’S a smart move for the FO to make

    Reply
  27. ToBeDetermined

    Doug

    I read through your article. I didn’t know who wrote it till I got to the end. I was shocked to see your picture there.
    This is not normally your style.
    You are really fired up on this.
    And just like so many others in RedLegNation I’ll give you a “like” on this article.

    Reply
  28. Ed

    I dunno- JVM is batting .233 in his last 15 games. No homers. Why would you not try someone else here and there to see if you can stop losing like we have been losing?

    Reply
    • Pete

      Since 8/9: 316/316/526, wRC+ = 111
      Since 7/6: 319/390/594, wRC+ = 150

      Reply
    • Doug Gray

      And in the last 5 he’s hitting .316 with a .526 slugging percentage. Neither sample size is big enough to make any decision on.

      Here’s the deal: He’s absolutely killed the baseball for 13 months running. He needs to play every day. Not having him play every day so a 29-year-old with a career .675 OPS can get more playing time is insanity.

      Reply
    • Chris

      JVM OBP during worst 15-games: .327
      J Iggy OBP in 2019: .322
      Galvis: .300 in 2019/.291 career

      Reply
      • Rob

        Not a big OB P fan. I defer to runs scored, rbis, and/or OPS. OB P may have some value if we are not talking Votto’s slow speed. A walk doesn’t provide you much value if it takes you 3 more singles to get a run. Galvis has driven in 56 runs this year. That is production. Yeah, I think Van Meter and Galvis would be more effective at the top of the order than Votto and Winker. Slow speed kills.

      • Doug Gray

        Not getting on base kills a whole heck of a lot more than anything else.

  29. Hotto4Votto

    Some silliness going on right now from the Reds leadership. Completely agree with Doug’s take.

    Reply
      • RojoBenjy

        Look in the owner’s luxury suite—Walt has never left.

  30. Hanawi

    My thought is that Peraza is the last vestige of the major trades that were supposed to jump start the rebuild. The Reds liked him so much that they tried two different times to trade for him. Giving up on him would show the utter failure of the original rebuild under Walt, and don’t forget he is still around in the shadows and good friends with Bob C.

    Reply
    • vegastypo

      I’ve wondered about that in the past. Then talked myself out of it. But maybe … And if Peraza goes back to AAA and plays everyday well into next season, who knows? He’d need to change his approach, but a demotion might be a good incentive to do so.

      Reply
  31. SultanofSwaff

    Totally agree Doug. What scares me is that Bell thinks the veterans give them a better chance to win.

    Reply
    • RojoBenjy

      That IS scary. It’s like we’re in The Twilight Zone, or Through the Looking Glass.

      Reply
  32. Jon

    To further my point from earlier, this acquisition of Galvis is another example of the front office’s lack of any sort of plan. Galvis is taking time away from VanMeter. Picking up players off the waiver wire and plugging them into your starting lineup or bullpen are moves rebuilding teams do. Not teams that are trying to get to the playoffs. Galvis is the type of pickup you’d have expected the previous four seasons. Even if he becomes a league-average hitter these last seven weeks, so what? Small sample size. He is not a long-term solution for the Reds going forward, so why waste their time? The same could be said of Dietrich when he returns, and even perhaps José Iglesias to some extent. The Reds have answered some question marks this season. I think it’s safe to say Schebler won’t be a part of the 2020 Reds. Peraza looks to be on his way out also. Catcher still needs an upgrade offensively. Gennett and Puig won’t likely return in 2020, except in the visitors’ dugout. There are still too many unanswered questions going into this winter, namely VanMeter, O’Grady, Aquino, and Blandino.

    Reply
    • greenmtred

      I was under the impression that adding veterans mid-season was the sort of move that teams in shaky contention make. Rebuilding teams play the guys who will be there when they become competitive. By my reasoning, the Reds believe that they can contend this year, or feel invested in acting as though can.

      Reply
  33. doofus

    Why is it that this front office starts to garner support with the fans only to do something so nonsensical that obliterates any good will? They are Lucy and we are Charlie Brown.

    Reply
  34. Chris Mo

    Looking at this from a different perspective. What if the Reds believe they know what they have in the younger guys? What if they feel like next year’s team will include Winker, Ervin, Aquino, VanMeter, and Senzel as regulars? They already have Suarez and Votto on the corners. What if they are playing Iglesias and Galvis, and Farmer at catcher, in order to see what they can contribute? Iglesias is having one of his best years at the plate. Is that just luck (his babip is 20 points higher than his career numbers), or did the coaching staff help him improve? Maybe they see something in Galvis offensively that they think they can fix to improve his numbers? Is Farmer the super sub that every team will wished they had?
    What if the plan is to keep putting the kids in situations to help them succeed while at the same time see what the veteran pickups can do to fill the holes next year? We need a SS. We need a catcher. How awesome would it be if our favorite team went into the offseason needing only to find backup players and relief help, instead of years past when we needed multiple front line players? I am starting to have faith in this front office. They keep making good move after good move. Slowly and methodically improving what appears to be a team with a future.

    Reply
  35. Keith

    Fire Bell !! He constantly miss manages the starting pitchers!! and his love for David Hernandez was unbelievable!! Peraza needs to go!! Votto needs to go!! can we get a catcher that can actually hit and call a game??? We been looking for JB’s replacement for way too long. Freddie!! Freddie!! new manager pleaz

    Reply
    • BigBill

      I have said this since he was hired. His last name is the only justification in hiring him.

      Reply
  36. Rob

    I can’t argue with much of this stuff. It is passionate and pretty much right on. Great!

    I think Iggy and Galvis should be part of next year’s 25 unless we go after Lindor or Story. I don’t think Peraza has earned a spot for 2020 and probably can be released tonite. I am not sold on Aqino, Ervin, Van Meter, or Stephenson and they should be given max time to show their capabilities. Romano can travel with Peraza.

    I said at the time and I will say it again. We should have traded Trammel or Senzel for Realmuto. I don’t think either is going to be much better than an above average player and not superstars.

    I am definitely in the resign Alex Wood camp. If not Lindor or Story, I would like to pursue Grandal. I think Lindor is a difference maker. I would trade any 2 position players or a top prospect to obtain him. Something like Winker, Ervin, and Stephenson. I don’t know what to do with Votto other than at bat him 6th or lower and give him lots of days off.

    Reply
  37. Michael E

    Well, you can’t expect the Reds to not act stupid all the time.

    I fully agree, this is STUPID.

    Play all the young, multi-year controlled guys, especially those that have earned it to some degree (most of them have).

    I think at this point, Peraza and Iglesias should just be utility players starting once a week and pinch-running, hitting or fielding late in games.

    Sigh, the Reds coach, GM and others just can’t help themselves. I guess they’re all stoked on what waiver Gennett became and want to get that swooning by fans, so they’re gonna try every retread that comes available, forgetting they have actual talent already that just needs ALOT more experience against those nasty curves, sliders, sinkers and change ups. Won’t get it wearing blisters on their keisters.

    Reply
  38. Davis

    Maybe Bell believes that these young guys playing 4 or 5 days a week is better than 6 or 7. We all know that MLB is a grind and maybe just maybe the theory is that young players will develop better with a few more rest days. Maybe on VanMeter’s (and others) days off he actually PRACTICES more and anyone who has played a sport knows that you often (not always) get better practicing vs playing the game.

    Do I believe this? I’m not sure. But it’s really easy for us couch managers to act like we know what’s best for these guys’ development moreso than their professional manager. As Reds fans it’s hard to trust any manager, but maybe Bell knows what he’s doing. I hope so.

    Reply
    • Tv

      Lol yeah doing the opposite of everything every other manager is done is working so darn well for the Reds. David Bell isn’t qualified to run a high school team

      Reply
      • Davis

        I’m merely stating what I believe could be Bell’s line of thinking. Obviously he’s doing it for a reason and I highly doubt he’s doing it because he doesn’t want to develop his players. Honestly it would be a great question for a reporter to ask him instead of everyone going up in arms speculating why he’s doing it.

  39. Gaffer

    This kind of thinking has been the hallmark of this team the entire time under Why would we expect any different? It is funny that in 2013, they couldn’t afford to claim marlon Byrd on a minimum salary for a playoff team with no LFer but this year we can afford to claim a superfluous SS making 10 times.

    Reply
  40. matthew hendley

    Off topic, but what is it with the A’s and former Reds Pitchers, Bailey, Roark and now Matt Harvey has signed with the A’s. A certainly weird and perhaps coincidental turn of events. Perhaps a trade to OAK of Disco over the offseason should be explored.

    Reply
  41. Tv

    Praza had almost 200 hits as a 24 year old shortstop. Jessie hit 300 as a rookie. All because of one bad month they decided to do platoons. Reds fans don’t seem to understand playoff teams don’t have platoon players all over the field. Great Jesse Winker hit 250 instead of 300 the platoon player hit less than his average against opposite sides. They would have been better off to leave Winker as an everyday player as they should be. Paraz is the same age or younger than guys you want to give a chance. Geez. David Bell is literally the worst manager we’ve ever had. He still worried about matchups early in the game he never has any pinch-hitters left for big situations late in the game or if he does it’s the worst guy on the team. Just for example he took wood out after 78 pitches and three runs but left Trevor Bauer in to give up something like nine. we don’t use the talent we have and we don’t develop young players and until we get rid of David Bell this team is hopeless. the three things we need are an impact bat, bullpen, and by far the most important a manager that can handle the bullpen and offense.

    Reply
  42. Rick

    Looking at the quote which is even shown here in the post, the complaints are much ado about nothing.

    “I think with a bit of a rotation of four or five guys — one of them not playing each day — they can all basically be everyday players and we can still get some guys rest here and there and find their best days to play.”

    This means everyone is gonna play most of the time the rest of the way, and when they’re not starting, they may crack the lineup later anyway. Let’s focus on real problems.

    Reply
    • Davis

      Exactly what I was trying to play. Giving guys a day or two off each week is often a GOOD thing. Baseball is a grind and people act like these guys aren’t doing anything (cage work, fielding practice, BP, tape, etc.) when they have a day off.

      Davis, we don’t curse here. Keep it clean.

      Reply

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