Time for a recap of tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL – 11 innings
Colorado 6
Cincinnati 4
WP: Morales (3-0)
LP: Masset (4-1)
S: Street (28)
BOX SCORE

–Six losses in a row. Twelve losses in thirteen games. Since the All-Star break: 3-14. Last place in the National League Central. Things just keep getting worse.

“The snowball just keeps getting bigger, man,” starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo said. “The good teams find a way to stop these slides. We just keep finding ways to lose.”

This team is a disaster. At least our general manager is optimistic; he thinks this team is one aged third baseman away from being a contender in 2010.

(Some actual, non-sarcastic, good news: it appears that Scott Rolen is okay after getting hit in the head by a Colorado pitch. No blurred vision, etc. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that everything is alright for him tomorrow.)

32 Responses

  1. Y-City Jim

    It’s time to back up all that winning with defense talk. Gonzalez takes a seat in the dugout and Mr. Invisible aka Paul Janish takes over the starting SS job.

  2. Kyle

    I don’t really like Janish and don’t think he’ll ever be able to hit. I’d certainly play him over Alex Gonzales though. Its a shame they couldn’t have better options at SS than this. Can Sutton not play SS?

  3. Kyle

    Everyone says Janish is a significantly better fielder than Gonzales at this point. How bad would he have to hit to be worse than Gonzales overall? .150? .100? For the record, I think he could pull that off with ease.

  4. John

    The Alex Gonzalez experiment needs to end. There’s just no sense in running that guy out there anymore when he’s not in this team’s future plans.

    (Right?)

    Of course this assumes Walt Jocketty has a plan, when we all know that’s not the case.

    I thought 2003 was a dark time. These are the darkest times I can remember in 25 years of being a Reds fan.

  5. Y-City Jim

    The problem with Jocketty’s plan is it is based on biased, subjective decision-making. Gonzalez plays because he “thinks” he is the best SS on the roster. He overpays for Scott Rolen because he “thinks” he is the still the 3B he knew in St. Louis. Taveras plays because he “thinks” he is a great CF and leadoff hitter because he stole 60+ bases last year. He overlooks that he was only on base 156 times and only scored 64 runs.

  6. Mike

    Agreed with John – the Gonzo experiment should be over. I wish the Reds would let Janish play SS – and think he might have made that play to end the inning at 5-4…

    Im still pulling for Rolen though – not having to worry about every time someone drops a bunt down the 3rd base line is a great feeling. I’m sure the people in the seats behind 1B feel the same way…

    Why no Stubbs in CF? He’s got better range than Nix and would give us a pure leadoff hitter. You could slide Nix over the LF and play Gomes in RF. That gives us speed + “power” on the corners.

  7. Steve

    I agree with Mike and the other posters – time to bench Gonzo to let the other possible SS play. Of course, I’ve been saying this since May, too. No one could be worse than Gonzalez at the plate. Janish is better in the field. In fact, Janish (admittedly over a limited time) has the second highest UZR150 in MLB for SS.

    Also time to bring Stubbs up and see how he can do – also saying this for a long time. I’m also fine with trying Sutton at SS – he seems to have some potential for leading off.

  8. John

    Steve and Mike: Right there with you about Stubbs. He’s a defensive upgrade who can run and get on base — all three things that Taveras can’t do.

    This club is going nowhere this year. Time to figure out what these kids can do.

    But putting Stubbs out there and benching Taveras would be admitting a mistake.

  9. Y-City Jim

    We’ll see Darnell McDonald again before Stubbs or Heisey, and I have to side with management on that one. Both Stubbs and Heisey are finding AAA challenging enough offensively. Plus there is no reason to start their arbitration clocks ticking yet.

  10. John

    (Okay, Taveras CAN run, but you can’t steal first base.)

  11. Dan

    Totally agree on A-Gon. He’s toast and he’s not around next year. Thanks and see ya later. You were good in 2007…

    Anyway, I really think one thing to try — and not just for a game or two — is Phillips at SS and someone else at 2B. (I suggest Sutton at 2B — I have a feeling he can be a decent hitter w/ pop. And he’s played 2B a lot more than he’s played LF in his career!)

    I’m not saying that I’m SURE that Phillips would make a good SS — I don’t know b/c we’ve never tried. I’m saying I’d like to try.

    Here are the reasons I think it’s not crazy to think Phillips could be good at SS.

    –He’s got good range.
    –He’s got good hands.
    –He’s got a good arm.

    What else do you need to be a good SS? Probably just a little experience. Anyway, I’m just saying, I don’t think it’s crazy to think that he could be a good shortstop.

    Here’s why it would help the team if Brandon could work out at SS:

    –Brandon would instantly become far more valuable at SS, even w/ exactly the same hitting stats, b/c good SS’s are just harder to find than good 2B’s.
    –We would have a much easier time finding someone to fill the hole at 2B than we’re currently having filling SS. There are a lot of guys who there who can hack it at 2B and can’t really at SS.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts.

    We have 2 months more of games and we aren’t making the playoffs. Let’s do things that help the 2010 Reds and beyond. Let’s learn about some of these guys we have. Let’s try some stuff. Don’t wait til spring training. Try it in real games.

  12. GregD

    I’d be happy with Phillips or Sutton at SS. That’s without knowing exactly how Sutton’s D looks. I know he played some there in the minors. The best arrangement would probably be Sutton at 2b and Phillips at SS, but that is admittedly guessing. I listened to Baker’s pre-game, and that’s the impression I got anyways…that at this point he’s trying to guess his team’s way out of this funk. That’s why we’ve seen Sutton at leadoff and Hanigan in the #2 spot.

    Sutton has played fewer games in AAA than Stubbs (ironic because that was one of the excuses why Stubbs was still in AAA) yet he is in the lineup, batting leadoff, playing a position he’s never played before professionall.

    When’s Balentien going to be ready? Is he expected to get starts eventually or is he the 5th OFer?

  13. Kerm

    Maybe if Phillips is moved to SS he will be moved to 2nd in the batting order

  14. Kerm

    We all know how much Dusty likes to bat his SS second

  15. Steve

    Sutton has played fewer games in AAA than Stubbs (ironic because that was one of the excuses why Stubbs was still in AAA) yet he is in the lineup, batting leadoff, playing a position he’s never played before professionally.

    Wow. That right there is just an amazing fact.

    Arbitration clock, or not, it’s time to get Stubbs up. Last year we had Dickerson up and he played well for a month but we didn’t believe it so we signed Taveras instead. I’d rather have Stubbs and get a good look, especially against other teams primary rosters in August.

  16. pinson343

    Dan, You didn’t mention in (13) that Phillips came up in the Cleveland organization as a SS. When he was the “future of the Indians franchise” he was a SS.

  17. doktor

    Where is Dusty calling out A-Gon, not only for the error but the lazy slow flip to first base in the 11th that cost a run. He made is close enough the ump made the wrong call. Grande on TV talked as if he thinks A-Gon arm is still hurting, so Welsh made the obvious questions, “if he is hurting,then why is he playing?” We probably dont need to hold our breather waiting for Dusty to rip A-Gon “The Veteran SS”

  18. jason1972

    I wonder what the attendance will bottom out to now. Cincinnati fans are fair weather fans at the best of times. This run of poor quality product is going to get this franchise into an attendance revenue – payroll reduction spiral sooner or later.

  19. Travis G.

    We’ll see Darnell McDonald again before Stubbs or Heisey, and I have to side with management on that one. Both Stubbs and Heisey are finding AAA challenging enough offensively. Plus there is no reason to start their arbitration clocks ticking yet.

    I might have phrased that last sentence as “so there is no reason to start their arbitration clocks,” but I agree. Neither player seems ready for the big leagues, so there’s no since rushing them to help a team that’s going nowhere.

    Someone suggested this the other day, but I kind of like the idea of Clint Barmes as our SS next year. He’s heading into his second year of arbitration, which could price him out of Colorado’s plans.

  20. Dan

    How about J.J. Hardy? Talk about “buy low” — he’s hitting .230/.296/.372 and he’s lost his starting job. Plus, they have Alcides Escobar coming up. (I’d rather have Escobar but he’s apparently reached untouchable status.)

    Anyway, Hardy is still young — turns 27 this month — so I would tend to think that if he’s given a chance he’ll bounce back. His career numbers are .263/.323/.433. Nothing great, but a huge step up for us.

    If Arroyo has a couple good starts, I wonder if we could pull off Arroyo for Hardy? (Arroyo will clear waivers. I’m not sure about Hardy — he’s making $4.65 million.

  21. Dan

    Interesting, by the way, that Hardy has far better numbers than Taveras or Gonzalez, and he makes about the same $$$ as Gonzalez does, but the Brewers have benched him in favor of someone who’s playing better. Novel…

  22. Glenn

    Imagine that, benching a player for non-preformance? What would happen if the Reds would try that? They’d probably have to come up with about 15-18 new faces on the roster. Come to think of it..that sounds like a plan.

  23. Glenn

    I agree with Travis. If the Reds were going to bring up Stubbs or Heisey this year, the time to do it has long since passed. This season is beyond salvaging. Let them marinate in AAA with the arbitration clock unplugged from the wall.

  24. Glenn

    Janish should be playing SS right now. Gonzo is gonzo next season, we might as well see if Janish is going to cut the mustard when there’s nothing left to lose this year. IMO he doesn’t have the stick to get the job done, but you never know. He’s not getting any better just sitting around.

  25. RiverCity Redleg

    George and Chris were actually saying the same thing yesterday. They publicly questioned why Janish wasn’t getting a chance to play, since he is the only ML ready SS in the system, yet he is just “marinating” on the bench.

  26. Dan

    Really?? Grande and Welsh questioned Dusty? I thought Grande was basically Mr. Happy-Happy, Mr. Party Line?

  27. Chris

    It would be ironic to postpone a Stubbs/Heisey promotion based on some sort of concern about the future (arb clocks or development), when the team just traded a young position player, a young reliever, and a hot prospect for an old, if good player.

    Are we playing for ’09 or not? Do we care about the future, or not?

  28. RiverCity Redleg

    Dan, it was more Chris than George. But, George did agree with him. I was surprised too, the two biggest homers could even see the writing on the wall about AGon. They said they asked Walt if AGon was their SS next year or if they are going to look internally or look externally in the off-season and WJ replied “yes, all of the above”.

  29. RiverCity Redleg

    That’s when Welsh said, how do you know what you got internally if you don’t play him?

  30. GregD

    Stubbs and Heisey both have to be on the 40-man roster this offseason or exposed to the Rule V draft.

    The super 2 arbitration date already passed in June, so if they play every day starting today or April 2010, it should have no impact on their arbitration and free agency eligibility.

    The only way it could impact those dates/clocks is if they don’t feel Stubbs or Heisey will spend significant time on the 25-man roster next year.