I know everyone is frustrated by the extremely poor play of our beloved Reds the last couple of weeks, but let’s put on the (Pete) Rose-colored glasses for a moment. Here are two items that should make you feel better about the Redlegs:

1. The Reds are still only a game and a half out of first, in third place. That is almost impossible to believe. (What’s interesting is that everyone in the NL Central is within five games of first place.)

2. The Reds have been bad for almost a decade, but we can always be happy that we aren’t the Royals. Check out Joe Posnanski’s post here about the futility of tonight’s opponent. Wow.

Things could be much, much worse!

28 Responses

  1. GregD

    I’m not sure if this comment is positive or negative, but I’m attempting to convince myself of how close they are to the top of the division:

    Through all their mess, if this team could have avoided a sweep against the Brewers (i.e. 1-2 instead of 0-3), they’d be alone in 1st place in the Central division.

    Hopefully, we’re not still saying that after October 4th.

  2. preach

    I don’t get to see the Royals often, so I am looking forward to this series. Do we get Greinke?

  3. RiverCity Redleg

    No, I think Greinke pitched last night.

  4. Glenn

    Its true, somehow this team with all its offensive woes are still in it. The problem is there’s no margin for error. Losing games like the one last night will kill us in August and September stretch.

  5. GregD

    Do you trade any of the minor league pitching depth for upgrade(s) at the major league level?

    They have Bailey, Maloney, Ramirez, Lecure in AAA. (and Thompson on the DL.)
    They have Wood, Smith & Stewart pitching well in AA.
    2-3 good starters in each of their A-ball teams.
    Both their first round picks & 3rd round pick were pitchers.

  6. preach

    It sure looks like we could contend this year instead of waiting until next year. Pull the trigger. I hope someone is scouting the Royals while we are there this weekend. They have some players that could be a help and might not cost us a lot.

  7. Glenn

    Preach, I sure hope one of them is a right handed bat that knows what he’s doing when he’s standing at the plate.

  8. Jose

    I actually think we need another Lefty
    we only have Votto (when he gets back) and Bruce
    and Nix is decent but not a star
    we have alot of right handed bats
    those are easy to find
    good lefties are hard
    and Dickerson doesnt count

  9. daedalus

    You’re right. But we all know that we can’t continue to compete when no one can hit.

    I sure hope the rumor that Fay is spreading about Joey coming back on Tuesday is true.

  10. GregD

    KC Preview.
    w/probable starters and a possible lineup

    Probable starters
    Hochevar 7.85era, 1.64whip
    last two starts, 13ip, 6r, 11h, 4bb, 4k

    Davies 5.13era, 1.44whip
    last two starts, 13.2ip, 8r, 12h, 9bb, 10k

    Bannister 4.69era, 1.51whip
    last two starts, 8.2ip, 12r (9er), 13h, 6bb, 7k

    Likely hitters, position, hand, AVG, OPS
    Crisp, cf, S, 230, 722
    Dejesus, lf, L, 239, 676
    Butler, 1b, L, 281, 762
    Guillen, rf, R, 256, 759
    Jacobs, dh, L, 235, 758
    Teahen, 3b, L, 277, 776
    Callaspo, 2b, S, 308, 811
    Olivo, c, R, 246, 744
    Pena, ss, R, 115, 332
    Bloomquist, ss, R, 279, 728

  11. mike

    I think it would be a good idea to trade some of our minor league pitching for a big bat

    I just hope the Reds don’t get caught up in the DeRosa fascination.
    DeRosa is a fine player but he’s NOT a big enough bat to help the Reds. If the Reds played him at 2B and moved Phillips to SS is the only way DeRosa makes a big impact on the Reds. Play him in RF and the Reds don’t gain that much.

    DeRosa is a 33 year old 2B/3B with a career 98 OPS+ (109 OPS+ over the last 3 years) and 107 OPS+ this season. That’s very good if you’re playing 2B but a minor impact otherwise

    The Reds looking for a real LFer who can mash is the way to go
    that and releasing Taveras
    and getting EE and Votto healthy
    and maybe giving Heisey or Stubbs a shot at CF

  12. preach

    Tehan can play both corner infield spots and both corner outfield spots. I like that versatility, especially while we are waiting to get some people healthy.

  13. Chris

    Voice of reality here again:

    I don’t WANT this team to win anything. It’s awful, and eeking out an 83-81 division title would only encourage them to stay the course. I don’t need to get all amped up for the playoffs, only to see them come back from Philly down 0-2 in the first round, with Arroyo taking the hill for game 3.

  14. Chris

    As for Poz, I read that piece earlier. Awesome. I wish our futility had been half as entertaining.

  15. mike

    Chris I pretty much agree, I think the Reds should probably just wait this year out.
    Wait for Cueto, Votto, Bruce, Stubbs, Heisey, Alonzo, Maloney etc all to mature and shoot for next year.

    I’m still not convinced this team can be .500

  16. TB

    On the topic of scouting the Royals, it wasn’t long ago when Jose Guillen was launching home runs out of Great American. Now I don’t think he’s the answer we’re looking for (especially since he doesn’t appear to be a good clubhouse guy), but he’s the guy on the Royals who should be looked at the most.

  17. preach

    Sorry Chris, but I don’t feel that I am living in such a fantasy world that I need to be led back to the light by listening to a voice or reality. The voices in my head suit me quite well, thank you.

    My reality is that if we get enough firepower to make the post season our starting pitching and bullpen gives us a realistic shot at winning some short series’.

    My reality is that we have been out of the running so early for so long that I’m willing to grasp at anything that even looks like a straw of playing for a pennant.

    My reality is that if we make the post season this year it might affect the quality of free agents who might consider Cincinnati home next season.

    My reality is that I want to take the owner’s “Win Now” statment and turn it into, well, reality.

  18. Travis G.

    Someone pointed out in a thread yesterday that you can’t count on the pitching being this good next year, which is absolutely true. Assuming Votto comes back before the end of the month, that would give the Reds a couple of weeks to determine whether he’s “back” back.

    If he is, and they’re still in the hunt, it’s time to cash in some chips for whatever the team lacks at that point. A replacement for EdE? A better SS? A legitimate leadoff threat? Another bullpen arm? A lot of options, but the Reds have the talent to pull off something without straying too far from the long-term plan.

  19. preach

    Absolutely Travis. From 1-5 we have a good rotation. Our bullpen has been dominant (with a notable exception or two). Even if you only have a guy under control for a short time, you have to make a deal if it means a shot at a title. I’m not saying to leverage the farm, but opportunities do not come along very often even for solid ball clubs. If this race is this close for a continued period of time I can guarantee you St. Louis, Chicago, and Milwaukee will make some moves. You have to take your shot.

  20. AnnapolisRed

    #19 That was me and I agree with those that want to try and win it this year. There are no guarantees about the future. You can’t predict injuries and if you have a chance to win it you need to go for it. The sooner they do something the better. They are good enough to win the division this year (and not just at 83-81) with another bat or two and I would definitely give up some minor league pitching to do it (especially Bailey).

  21. Travis G.

    Let’s assume Votto will be back before the end of this month and will pick up more or less where he left off, and let’s also assume EdE will be back in a week or two and provide the same production rate he has the last two seasons.

    That would dramatically upgrade spots 3-6 in the lineup (Votto, EdE, Bruce, Phillips, ideally), and leave the Reds looking for an upgrade at leadoff or the second spot. We’ll assume Taveras will be the starting CF and, thus, lead off, so they’d need someone to bat second and play LF. If that’s the case, Matt Murton or Chone Figgins could provide a big upgrade for relatively little.

    Or they could get really crazy and trade Aaron Harang for a true impact bat and then replace him in the rotation with Brad Penny.

  22. Dan

    Re: trading, I think we need to be patient. I know, we’re all tired of that, but when I think of dealing Bailey (for example) for a half-a-year rental of a good hitter, I can’t help but think that that is short-sighted and also selling low. They guy is still young, still healthy, and still can bring it at 95 or 96 mph.

    Re: Phillips at SS, I agree that it’ll never happen w/ the Reds (at least not w/ the current guys in charge), but I don’t agree that that means it’s a bad idea. I think the Reds are just too conservative to try. I have no way of backing this up, but I believe that if the Reds were to trade Brandon to Boston, he’d be their starting SS tomorrow. And I really think he’d do fine. But, I know, pure speculation.

  23. BenL

    Agreed, Dan. I’d be interested in some kind of midseason trade, but Bailey for a half year of anyone is a terrible deal.

  24. GRF

    I tend to agree with Dan and Ben. We need to be patient and not overpay for half a season of someone to make a desperation run. We are not in the Mets position of needing to get over the top before our window closes.

    But once you are in the playoffs anything can happen. We are still in it despite being well below league average at LF, SS and 3B (if EE is not back and soon). If we can improve those spots to league average, which might not cost an arm and a leg, we still would be making a big incremental improvement.

    That is where a guy like Derosa comes in. Mike is dead right he is not a game changer, but if he is cheap, he still can be a big improvement over our options at 3B right now.

    Long story short (too late) I would not trade Bailey for a half season of Holliday, but I would trade a Ramirez for a DeRosa, or take a short but bad contract (Beltre?, Wilson?) to make an incremental improvement and a run this season.

  25. Travis G.

    That’s the beauty of the Reds’ needs: It’s not that hard to find a good hitter who plays a corner spot.

    It’s not like they’re a frontline starter or top-shelf closer away from being competitive; they just need a LF who can get on base 35 percent of the time or more, and preferably hit a few HR while he’s at it. If they’re willing to modestly boost payroll, they’d have a lot of options that would cost very little via trade.

  26. Jason

    Yes! A positive post about our Cincinnati ‘only 1.5 out w/ all these injuries-setbacks, etc.’ Nobodies! I realize the play has been uninspiring at best, but were hanging in there and though Dusty will always produce a fair share of head scratchers, I feel he has done a solid job keeping this team focused and in the race.

  27. AnnapolisRed

    Trading Bailey would be a bad idea if you believe he will be successful in the majors. I do not believe that, therefore I don’t think it would be a bad idea. Who is right? Who knows. I would not be unhappy if I’m the one that is wrong, but I just don’t see it.