As much as it pains me to say it, the Reds are almost assuredly not making the playoffs in 2019. Fangraphs has their playoff odds at just 1.1%. So if you want to insert your “So you’re telling me there’s a chance” meme here, go for it. But there are some real pieces on the current team that leave me feeling like the 2020 Cincinnati Reds have a chance to do some real damage with a few moves to round things out in the offseason.

For me, we got a chance to see that in the most recent series against the San Diego Padres. The Reds lost 3-2, won 3-2, and won 4-2 in the 3-game series. Three games played and just seven runs allowed. And the Reds ran out their top three starting pitchers – the three guys that they will be relying on to anchor the rotation next year.

Trevor Bauer started the first game against the Padres. An error led to an unearned run, and ultimately that would be the winning run for San Diego. The right-hander gave up two earned in 7.0 innings, walked just one batter, and he struck out 11 batters while giving up just five hits.

Sonny Gray started the middle game of the series. He allowed just one run over 6.0 innings and allowed just four hits. Gray did walk three batters in the game, but he countered that with 10 strikeouts.

Yesterday afternoon the Cincinnati Reds picked up the win and the series behind Luis Castillo. He didn’t rack up the same strikeout totals that Gray and Bauer did, only fanning four batters in the game. But he gave up just one run in 6.0 innings, walked no one, and allowed five hits.

The starting pitching in the series was dominant. They combined for 19.0 innings, four earned runs, 14 hits, four walks, and they had 25 strikeouts. Those three guys showed what they are capable of. They showed what kind of dominance they could have. And it left me dreaming about what kind of damage those three guys could potentially do in a playoff series.

But it wasn’t just the rotation that was outstanding over the three games against San Diego. The bullpen allowed one run in the series. The bullpen allowed one hit in the series – a solo home run given up by Lucas Sims. All told the relievers threw 8.0 innings of 1-hit baseball, walked just two hitters, and they struck out 10.

This team isn’t perfect. And surely there has been some less-than-stellar performances, even of late from some of these guys (Bauer and Castillo’s previous starts were both subpar). The bullpen seems to go through times of struggle and successes, and there’s even been changes of late.

There may be a little bit more dreaming on the bullpen than on the rotation – at least at the top. Sonny Gray is on a run right now that in most years would put him right into the thick of the Cy Young Award talk, but with what Hyun-Jin Ryu is doing right now, it’s just not going to get as much traction. In August, Gray has allowed one run in 24.0 innings with 34 strikeouts. That’s an ERA of 0.38 for those keeping track at home. It’s dropped his ERA to 2.92 on the year. He’s pitching like a top of the rotation pitcher in today’s game.

Luis Castillo’s start prior to the one against San Diego ballooned his ERA. After today he’s just behind Sonny Gray with a 3.04 ERA. For most of the year he was considered the Reds best pitcher, and for good reason – he was. But Gray has now at least caught up to him, if not passed him.

And then there’s Trevor Bauer. In 2018 he had far and away the best season of his career, posting a 2.21 ERA in 175.1 innings for Cleveland. Prior to his injury late in the season he was arguably the Cy Young Award favorite, but losing out on a handful of starts probably cost him. But other than that season he’s never had a year in which his ERA was under 4.18 at the end of the season. This year his ERA sits at 4.06. It would be his second best season of his career. He’s got a very Homer Bailey like feel, but outside of his 2018, he hasn’t quite been as good as Bailey was before he got injured. There are times in which he can be absolutely dominant. But there are also times when he is a bit mediocre and can’t put it together. It results in an above-average, but inconsistent performance.

Still, just as we saw from Homer Bailey in the playoffs, when he’s on, he is absolutely on and dominant. That’s what Trevor Bauer can be. It’s what he has been at times. And when you can couple that guy with Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray, it’s real easy to dream of the damage that trio can do in the playoffs. There’s work to be done to get there. But don’t stop dreaming just yet.

68 Responses

  1. David

    Admittedly. the 2019 Padres are not the 1927 Yankees. They are not an offensive powerhouse. So take the last three games with that in mind. And it does seem that the Reds get “blown up” at least once every two weeks.
    The game against the Nationals, where they gave up 17 runs, and the game against the weak hitting Cardinals where they gave up 13 runs.
    But the Reds do need one more good starter, at least.

    Alex Wood gets a long look as the 2019 season winds down. If he does well, do they offer him a contract? If he does poorly, then he gets cut loose and that’s an obvious hole to fill.

    Who else is available? And rest assured, the Cubs know that their starting pitching is weak, and they will be shopping for at least two better starters. Everybody wants better starting pitching. You can never have quite enough.

  2. Klugo

    I’d feel a lot better if we could get another Roarke-type signing to fill in at the 4 spot. Or maybe just a big step forward from someone within. But running Disco and Mahle out there as they are, leaves very little room for error out of the Big3. That’s a lot of pressure on those guys. Unfair pressure, really.
    And the bullpen? Oomph. I guess it all depends on how the starting rotation shakes out, but the bullpen needs help if we are serious about contending and really competing for the grand prize.
    That’s what I think, anyways.

    • Centerfield

      I believe Roark will be a free agent.

      • David

        Roark is a good guy, but a little old to be leaning on for a good start every fifth day.

        Bringing him back as a free agent and 3 year contract would be kind of a mistake.

    • Chris

      Disco is as good as Roark, if not better, and he’s younger and less expensive.

      • earmbrister

        Exactly Chris. Disco is a quality #4 – #5 starter, who used to be considered at the top of our rotation. Disco hasn’t gotten worse, it’s more that our rotation has gotten much better.

  3. Broseph

    The enquirer had a Jim Bowdenn article out yesterday that Bauer could be a good trade candidate in the offseason for the Reds.

    If I’m the Reds, I’m listening to offers. After the high profile FA pitchers are either passed on due to contract length/cost expectations, or picked up by Yanks, Sox or Dodgers, you have a name like Bauer who has performed in playoffs.

    Cleveland felt comfortable trading him and has done just fine without. I’d have the same outlook if I’m Reds FO. They were smart about not getting attached to a house name like Puig, they need to be proactive with Bauer too.

    • Colorado Red

      We gave up a lot for him, would need to get just as much (or close to it) back.

      • RojoBenjy

        Agreed. If the return is equivalent or better that what was given up, then it makes sense. Otherwise, pass.

      • Broseph

        Half a season of Puig and an underwhelming center fielder (this past season) is t necessarily a lot for a year of control on a higher profile pitcher.

        The thing is Bauer is a gamble with a ERA consistently higher than 4 outside his outlier CY young campaign. As Bowden mentioned, very Bailee-esque.

        If a team gives you a Top 100 pitching prospect in High-A or a highly touted SS and some throw in arms. I think you make the deal.

      • earmbrister

        Bro, why would we want a “high A” pitcher in return for Bauer? At a certain point you need to be all in. Or be mediocre or worse for another decade.

    • TR

      Bauer as a prime Reds trade candidate in the offseason makes sense to me. What positions to upgrade is up to the Reds current proactive front office.

    • Aaron B.

      I sort of agree with this. Bauer is really terrible at the plate. Sonny Gray is an excellent bunter and it makes a huge difference in the NL. Bauer is hopeless up there and it is an inning killer everytime he is AB. I don’t expect our pitchers to hit over .200 per se, but at least bunt and have some ability to put the ball in play. If we can get a decent return for Bauer I am def. listening if I am the Reds FO. They know he will walk at the end of 2020 to listen to offers, so get something of value before then.

      • Kevin

        You’re basing whether or not to trade a pitcher by how he performs at the plate?

      • matthew hendley

        Agreed it would be dumb, however both Bauer and Castillo could use significant work on Sacrifice bunting at the plate. SOnny Gray managed to look like a pro despite being an AL pitcher for the majority of his time. They can improve. But I would never trad them just cause they cant hit.

    • Doc

      Cleveland also knew they had Kluber and Carrasco coming back. Reds have no such quality in reserve.

      FO should always listen, but not be stupid. You can’t build a dominant pitching staff by acquiring dominant pitchers, and unloading them shortly thereafter for prospects or less dominant pitchers.

      • Steven Ross

        Thank you. Somebody gets it. We finally, after years of being flat out awful, have some quality starters and now you want to unload a key piece? Keep Bauer into the trading deadline of next year. Let’s see what plays out. I’m more interested in the direction we go with Alex Wood and Disco.

      • doofus

        Yeah, I do not know why we traded for Bauer he has only hit .054 in 8 national league games. I also do not know why we traded for Tom Seaver, he only averaged .164 while he was with the Reds.

      • Broseph

        The thing is, is Bauer really that dominant? We seen both sides of this coin already in his short time with the Reds. His stats Are eeeily similar to Bailee. Dominant at times.

        I’m not saying dump the guy just to dump him. He may be very effective next season. But at 29 and definitely walking post 2020, he is a prime trade candidate.

      • Pete

        Great question, K-rate rank among AL qualifiers:
        2019: 10.63%, 8th
        2018: 11.34, 3rd
        2017: 10.00%, 6th

        That’s pretty dominant. I’d keep him unless some team makes a crazy offer.

      • Pete

        Correction: make that K/9, carry on..

      • earmbrister

        Doc and Steven Ross —

        Amen. We’ve “gotten the pitching” after DECADES (with brief interludes) of terrible pitching. Why in the world would we be trading it away? Add a quality arm to the BP, find another bat if possible, and trust that the down year for the offense was a fluke not a trend. If it’s a trend, be active at the trade deadline to add offense.

        Now that you have some pitching, you may want to have a quality D up the middle. Re-sign Iggy or Galvis, and play JVM and Senzel every day at 2B and CF respectively.

        The glass is three quarters full.

  4. CFD3000

    The bullpen will need help next year. Lorenzen and Garrett are solid, and good Iggy is… really good. But bad Iggy not so much, and the rest of the pen is iffy. Sims and Gausman show promise, but I’d be a lot happier with at least two more effective arms, especially if one is a lefty. Calling Cody Reed? Work to do in the offseason.

    On the other hand I’m very optimistic about the rotation. Bauer has been inconsistent. But so was Sonny Gray before arriving in Cincinnati and on Derek Johnson’s watch. Between Bauer’s intensity, his interest in analytics and his desire to improve and Johnson’s proven track record I’m expecting more of the dominant Trevor Bauer and less of the unreliable one. If Gray, Castillo and Bauer are solid that’s enough to make the 2020 Reds a formidable playoff contender. If some combination of DeSclafani, Mahle, Wood, Reed and Sims are even average in the 4 and 5 slots they’ll be very good next year. Given that, I’d focus resources on the bullpen and upgrades at SS (which may just be keeping Iglesias and Galvis and moving Peraza) and catcher. Can’t wait to see how it plays out.

    • Centerfield

      I noticed Mark Sheldon had an article on the Reds’ site yesterday promoting the paring of Iglesias and Galvis in the middle infield. Van Meter needs to play somewhere. His hitting approach is advanced and the team NEEDS more hitting. 2B makes the most sense with Galvis going to a Zobrist role (excluding the IL). However I don’t think Bell will play it that way. I think the starting pitching will stand up, but they need to add one or two relievers (aka Hernandez/Hughes) — Brad Hand (FHP) will be a free agent I think…..HOWEVER, the most important off season move might be to trade Peraza for a bag of baseballs. He is an ok backup player, but the FO needs to remove him from Bell’s inventory (or maybe Bell needs to go).

      • Tommy loves Joey

        I like how the 2020 team is shaking out, especially the platooning options

        1B – Votto, Farmer, Van Meyer, Casali, Barnhart
        2B – Galvis, Van Meter, Pereza, Farmer
        SS – (Maybe Iggy), Galvis, Pereza
        3B – Suarez, Van Meter, Farmer, Galvis
        RF – Aquino, Van Meter, Galvis, Lorenzen, Farmer
        CF – Senzel, Lorenzen, Pereza
        LF – Irving, Winker, Galvis, Van Meter, Farmer, Lorenzen
        C – Barnhart, Casali, Farmer

        This team has a lot of options to put mostly young players in their best position to succeed. It’s worked well for Irving this year. Some of the young players will need to spend some time in AAA.

  5. SultanofSwaff

    I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say the Reds will have the best starting pitching in the division next year. That, along with some unexpectedly good young position players, is a good foundation to build on.

  6. AirborneJayJay

    Good article. You have to like those 3 at the top of the rotation. They match up well for a 5 game and 7 game series. But filling the #4 and #5 spots for next year are critical tasks for this winter. A LH #4 that is almost equal to Bauer would be the ideal fit. Those hopes absolutely cannot be pinned on Alex Wood for 2020. Aim higher. Also finding 2 better relievers for the bullpen will top the to-do list this winter. Maybe 3 new bullpen arms will be required.
    Therefore, I don’t see Alex Wood returning for 2020, so the Reds will be searching for a LH starter this winter. Lodolo will rise quickly next year through the minors, but won’t be ready until at least 2021.
    I’d also be surprised if Anthony DeSclafani is on the Reds in 2020. I see him as a prime trade candidate this winter. Mahle, Bob Steve, Sims probably battle it out for the #5 spot in spring training, with a Tejay Antone (AAA) possibly in the mix for a rotation or bullpen spot. I just see the Reds dealing from some pitching depth this winter to fill holes at the ML level. Guys like DeSclafani, Sims, Romano and Raisel Iglesias could be on the move this winter. What Kuhnel does in the last 6 weeks will have a lot of influence on what the Reds do with Iglesias. Remember, Iglesias’s salary goes to $9MM in 2020 and $9MM in 2021. DeSclafani will be in his last year of arbitration and looks to be in the $6MM to $7MM neighborhood for next year.
    Another place the Reds could pare a little salary will be with the foursome of Jose Iglesias, Jose Peraza, Freddy Galvis, and Derrick Dietrich. The Reds should only keep 2 of these 4 for 2020. All 4 are looking to make more than $5MM each next year, with Galvis near $8MM.
    Some astute roster management is going to be needed this winter.

    • matthew hendley

      Freddy Galvis has a 5.5 Million option year. That’s not going to change or linked to Arbitration. If the reds for some reason don’t take him, he get’s a 1 million buyout. That’s all the money he is getting, not 8 Million.
      Jose Iglesias is a Free agent next year. His return is certainly not guaranteed.

      Jose Peraza needs to go. Whether to Louisville or another team, he needs to be off the 25 man opening day. therefore out of the conversation.

      As for Dietrich, I want to be clear. Not advocating him to be the starter anywhere. But he can supersub v RHP. He is controllable through arbitration. I think that he and the Reds settle in the 4-5 million range. I certainly don’t see him filing higher then that and run the risk that he loses arbitration. That is an acceptable price for a plus bat off the bench. (and yes, Off the bench he is a plus bat).

      Onto the rotation. Yes its a good foundation, and yes there are options. People have talked about trading Bauer, and short of a blow away offer for Castillo I can see it with the following caveats.
      1. Its done during the off season, retaining the ability for the QO for the team that picks him up. If he is on opening day with the 2020 reds, his value immediately diminishes.
      2. His return is equal to comparable players to Puig and Trammel, that is to say, a top 3 prospect and Starting power bat. ( or something similar, you can move the position as needed etc). I know the reds sent out another prospect in the trade, but a half year depreciation does cost.

      Of course if the reds hold on to him I certainly wouldn’t mind either,

  7. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Well, I would be confident to say if we had a bullpen since the break, we would be in a lot better place.

    It’s still going to be a team effort, though. Everyone knows, we had the pitching before the break, one of the best staffs in the entire league, and we were still 5 games under 500. We’ve had one of the best offenses since the break, but our bullpen has blown chunks since, sending us one more game under 500.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I was thinking about the possibility of the offense the other night. Rendon is a FA. If we can get him over here (we do have some money we can use), then move Suarez to SS (where he came up), I believe that would add considerably to our offense.

      • Aaron B.

        That ship has sailed, Suarez will never return to SS aside from an emergency situation. I like thinking outside the box, but his range is getting worse not better as he ages, and there is a reason they moved him to 3B.

      • VaRedsFan

        Yes to getting Rondon…no to Geno at SS. Too slow, and no range. Long windup to make a throw. Like Aaron just said, that ship has sailed.
        I’d like to trade Geno for Lindor or Turner, in some multiplayer blockbuster.

      • earmbrister

        Steve — You keep trying to fit square pegs in round holes. Suarez is NOT a SS. Senzel is NOT a SS.

        How many games did Senzel play in AAA at SS? Two?

        Neither of them are SS’s.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        @earmbrister

        And, Senzel wasn’t a CF a year ago. Look at him now. He played 3rd in college and the minors. If he made this kind of change to CF in one off season, I would think it’s certainly possible he could make the change to SS.

      • Doug Gray

        The difference is: They looked at him at shortstop and he didn’t keep playing there. There’s a reason for it. Unlike center where they looked at him there and did keep playing him there.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I agree with Suarez’s range getting more limited. But, Ripken didn’t have that good of range, either. Also, if get Rendon and trading Suarez didn’t work, we have to look at him going to SS.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        @Doug

        Right. They took him out of SS because they felt he was going to be more needed in CF, since we weren’t able to get one of those during the offseason.

      • Doug Gray

        No, that’s not how or why that happened. He moved off of shortstop (in spring training) because they didn’t think he could play there at all and moved him to second base, where he played for an entire year before the outfield was ever even discussed.

  8. Dave

    Frankly top3 should be untouched! Bauer is doing well in his last outing however not seeing him getting a return to like of what we have given up for him! Wood should be gone, and trading Iglesias in the off-season should net a few good prospects or at least a top 5 prospect from within an organization! Romano should be considered a Garrett type reliever going forward as he has shown time and time again he is dominating for an inning or two but has a tendency to become unraveled in later innings. Between Galvis, Peraza, and Dietrich the answer is simple in my mind Keep Galvis as shortstop and use Van Meter as everyday 2nd baseman. Iglesias is a great defensive shortstop however not trusting his numbers past this year! Dietrich is fun to watch but he is at best 2nd 3rd man off bench! Push young talent and boost bullpen imagine Aquino, Van Meter, Senzel with a full season to work with with great veteran support of Suarez and Galvis…Votto if he turns it around! I like the projected possibilities for 2020 Reds!

    • VaRedsFan

      In a bullpen with so many holes, I don’t think you trade the best one out of the bunch. If they were rebuilding yes, but since they are going for it, I keep R Iggy.

  9. Mason Red

    LC and SG are legit quality starters but after that it’s shaky at best. TB has either been really good or bad but he’s a serviceable 4-5 starter. If they could add another quality starter they would really have something as far as SP. But then there’s the BP and the need for a masher offensively. I’m not sure the FO will go after all that’s needed.

  10. Pete

    “He’s got a very Homer Bailey like feel, but outside of his 2018, he hasn’t quite been as good as Bailey was before he got injured.”

    How was this calculated? xFIP among qualifiers in the appropriate league. Note I had to make adjustments because Bailey didn’t have enough innings in a couple of seasons:

    Trevor Bauer, American League:
    2019: 4.30, ranked 10th
    2018: 3.14, 6th
    2017: 3.60, 8th

    Homer Bailey, National League
    2010: 3.75. 26th
    2011: 3.77, 32nd
    2012: 3.87, 24th
    2013: 3.34, 9th
    2014: 3.53, 21st

    Homer Bailey was underrated in my opinion and probably a high-end #3 starter. But never was he as good as TB except for one season. If anyone would like to use a different metric to refute this, please speak up. Just to clear the record so we can have an honest debate. Trevor Bauer is not a #4 or 5 starter, not in this world.

    • matthew hendley

      gotta agree with pete here, WAR comparisons, standard metrics all agree. TB is maybe #3 in this rotation, and Homer was #3 in his rotation. Ultimately though, TB is the much better pitcher. Much better.

      I will tell you someone Homer is better then… that’s right, Jose Peraza.

      • VaRedsFan

        Are you sure?? Peraza’s ERA is 0.00

      • matthew hendley

        Rephrase: Homer Bailey has been a superior pitcher then Jose Peraza has been a hitter.

    • earmbrister

      Trevor Bauer is not a #4 or 5 starter, not in this world.

      Re-Pete

  11. thcotty

    Will never happen if Bell continues to be allowed to screw up managing the pitching staff. Someone also needs to tell Bell NICK SENZEL DOES NOT BAT ANYWHERE ELSE BUT LEADOFF…….

  12. Aaron B.

    My top priority if Iam GM is another LF shutdown reliever like Garrett. You can’t have too much redundancy in that dept. I like the idea of flipping Bauer for profit if it can be done for a good value during off season. He has zero hitting or bunting skills and that is a big deal for me in the NL.

    • doofus

      I do not think the Reds will get much in return for Bauer because he cannot hit.

  13. FreeHouse

    There is no doubt that J.D Martinez is opting out of his contract. Why not make a push for him? He really makes sense for this team. Offer him a four or five year contract. 2020 is the year to make a push, Reds fans have been waiting long enough.

  14. matthew hendley

    Banking pretty hard on that DH coming to the NL, aren’t we. Martenez is a defensive liability on all positions. I am pretty sure he is a defensive liability at DH

    • FreeHouse

      He played decent in Arizona which is a pretty big ball park compared to Cincinnati. He’s a great hitter going the opposite way which he’ll thrive much more in cinci than anywhere he’s played in his career.

    • Pete

      JD is 32 years old, signing him to a long-term contract would be akin to just burning the money. You bet the Astros will not resign him for more than 1 year, anyone willing to pay big money for anything longer doesn’t know what they’re doing. Maybe Baltimore would be a good fit?

      • Pete

        Excuse me, Red Sox. Not as suave as the Atros but too sharp to offer greater than a 1-year contract. Let’s dodge this bullet.

  15. Don

    For 2020 success,
    1) Gray, Castillo, Bauer should must all be at least 15+ game winners, 10 no decisions and under 7 losses and each must pitch between 190 and 210 innings (just over 6 innings on average for 32 starts).
    2) find a 4th starter whom will win 12-15 games & lose 10, pitch 180-190 innings.
    3) put Mahle, Disco or Sims as a 5th starter and any of those three would be an above average #5, about 500 pitcher (8-8) with 12 to 15 no decisions covers 170 innings.

    The 8 BP arms have to to cover about 500 innings.
    This is a modern day pitching staff.

    Reds are mostly their, need to see how new BP holds up next 6 weeks. #4 starter that is rated as a #2 or #3 would be the icing on the cake for the starting pitching.

    What is needed for position players is still TBD until the new players have 225 to 250 ABs that is about 1/3 of a season to evaluate them.

  16. Mark

    In January we were thinking Alex Wood was going to be the #1 starter. Look what they have done. This starting pitching is going to be great next season, you cannot look at trading Bauer and also truly believe can be a 2020 playoff team.

    If the FO can resign Wood at a “Roark” price range (3/$30?) then he is an excellent #4 if healthy. Disco/Mahle can lock down the #5

    If cannot resign Wood? The answer is probably Disco at #4 and Mahle at #5, hoping/expecting they take another step. I do not see them going outside to find another starting pitcher.

    They need an another arm in bullpen for sure. But they need to address the offense before they look for an outside answer in the starting pitching.

  17. DocProc

    I’m convinced they didn’t sign Kevin Gausman just to leave him in the bullpen. I think he slots as our #4 next year, especially if DJ can coach him to add another pitch. He’s been a starter his whole career, and last year he won 5 games down the stretch for the Braves with a sub-3.00 ERA. And he’s only 28 years old. Let’s do the Sonny Gray trick with this guy and offer him a contract extension at a reasonable rate and let DJ work his magic.
    p.s. If you saw his immaculate inning recently, you know that Gausman has some filthy stuff when he’s on.

    • matthew hendley

      you just circled your own argument. If he shows up with a serviceable useable and effective third pitch, or forth pitch etc. then he is going into the rotation. If he cant or won’t, back to the bullpen with him.

  18. Rob

    Seems to me the Reds will regret the Realmuto opportunity this past winter. Barnhart and Trammel or Senze l for Realmuto. Instead we went the 2019 approach of Kemp, Puig, and Wood for 2 top 7 prospects including Josiah Gray, and held on to Scooter for resigning or possible high end future return. So where are we as we wrap up 2019? We have Bauer for one more year, lost 3 upper end prospects, have no offensive catcher, have minimal Scooter return and have no Division title. I get it. We gave it a good try but missed out on a key piece or two, and hit the farm pretty hard.

    OK 2020. We do not have the catching piece yet. We have an issue at 1B that is getting worse. The bullpen let us down and needs refurbished. We have had great success from unexpected places including Iglesias, Galvis, Dietrich, Van Meter, and Aquino. I don’t know that we need SS help at this point unless it is Lindor. So addressing catcher, bullpen, and speed, I think we could be in pretty good shape. And imo we have some Young and inexpensive talent for trade bait including Greene, Stephenson, Ervin/Winker, and Sims. 2-3 of these guys alone would seemingly get you a higher price stud. How about that Meija guy and one of those bullpen pieces from the Padres?

    • earmbrister

      Rob, if we had traded for Realmuto, we wouldn’t have made the playoffs this year.

      We’d have Realmuto for one more year, lost multiple high end prospects, have no CFr, have no third starter, and the Scooter situation would not have changed.

      Not much of a difference.

  19. Blake Shell

    When did redlegnation.com become Doug Gray and redsminorleagues.com?

    Miss what the site used to be.

    • Doug Gray

      Sorry Blake. We pretty much have the same lineup of writers we’ve had for a long time. I just tend to fill in the gaps now. What is it that you used to see that you don’t see now that you want more of?

      • Indy Red Man

        Hey Doug,

        You do good work! Don’t sweat the occasional hater. 2 question for you.

        I’m brought it up on RLN a few times and never read any feedback, but do you think the Reds could benefit from a Tampa style opener for the back end of their 2020 rotation? Disco for one, has been horrible in the 1st inning. Also if Bell is going to roll with 13 pitchers then that gives them a chance to give atleast 12 steady work.

        Also who do you like as their 4th-5th starters between Disco, Mahle, Gausman, Stephenson, Sims, and Lorenzen? Thats a tough one to me. They really need a lefty but Wood isn’t it. I think I can only subtract Sims from that group. I’d try to keep developing him into a Ryan Pressly style curveball/fastball setup man.

      • Doug Gray

        I’d have to take a dive into things a lot more than I’m prepared to right now to tackle the whole “opener” concept with this specific team/guys.

        For me, Sims is 100% a reliever. I’d probably keep it with Mahle or DeSclafani. Both have their issues they need to work on, but it’s not throwing strikes like Stephenson and Lorenzen have battles with. Gausman, like Sims – I’d rather just have him in the bullpen as a 2-pitch guy. Of course he may get non-tendered because of the money he will be due, and if he’s a reliever they may not want to pay the starter price he’ll get in arbitration.

      • earmbrister

        Responsible and civil answer Doug. Blake?

  20. doofus

    When are they going to trade Luis Castillo, he is only batting .083?!

  21. matthew hendley

    Deitrich reinstated, Will start at first tonight. Don’t fear, JVMR is leading off in left.

    A note, Senzel batting 8th, its a notice to get it together for him. It is the first time that he has had to do a full MLB season, and it seems that they think he is running out of gas.