Twelve games remaining in this season, and the Reds need to win each of them if they want to avoid a ninth straight losing season.

Sigh….

Perhaps the Reds think they can avoid that losing record. That would explain why Johnny Cueto is still pitching instead of being shut down for the year.

There is some great news, however! Rejoice! Willy Taveras is back!

Perhaps we should have a contest to predict how many of the last 12 games Taveras will start in CF and leadoff. Will he have to marinate tonight, or will Dusty stick him right in the lineup?

Oh, the questions…. Discuss them all here.

65 Responses

  1. mike

    if Cordero gets 6 more saves in the 12 games he ties the Reds all-time single season save record currently held by Brantley.

    can you imagine the torture Dusty is going through right now.
    he want’s to start Willy T but knows he shouldn’t…..I can see him sitting staring at the lineup card in pain.

  2. mike

    phew….looks like Willy T isn’t in the lineup

    but Willy T Jr, McDonald is…..

    I think it was wise for the Reds to give up on Bruce. He was only one of the top prospects in all of baseball.

  3. taoistlumberjak

    Darnell McDonald is a vast improvement over Wee Willy T
    That’s a scary thing to say

  4. mike

    another little fact to go along with Cordero’s chance to bread the all-time single season Reds save record

    Votto is hitting over .300 with an OBP of .400 and has more than 20 HR

    only 8 Reds in history of accomplished this. (I’m hopping Votto keeps his average over .300 and OBP over .400 for the rest of the season)

    Those 8 other Reds
    BA OBP HR Player Year
    0.304 0.400 22 Joey Votto 2009
    0.326 0.429 30 Kevin Mitchell 1994
    0.334 0.429 26 Kal Daniels 1987
    0.320 0.444 27 Joe Morgan 1976
    0.310 0.454 21 Bernie Carbo 1970
    0.317 0.401 40 Tony Perez 1970
    0.342 0.421 39 Frank Robinson 1962
    0.323 0.404 37 Frank Robinson 1961
    0.326 0.407 49 Ted Kluszewski 1954

  5. Steve

    mike: you must have overlooked Corey Patterson, 2008

    Seriously, do the Reds have any interest in playing WT in order to show other teams that he is healthy? I guess they could just DFA him, but that seems pretty unlikely to me. If they are going to try to trade him, maybe there is some virtue (hard to type this) in playing him.

  6. RC

    mike: I think it was wise for the Reds to give up on Bruce. He was only one of the top prospects in all of baseball.

    Bruce? You mean Jay Bruce, the late inning defensive replacement guy?

    He’s OK, but he’s no Willy T.

  7. mike

    anybody have any idea why Gonzo is playing so well in Boston?

    He’s hit .298/.316/.474 in over 100 plate appearances for them
    and played better defense

  8. Jello

    mike: anybody have any idea why Gonzo is playing so well in Boston?He’s hit .298/.316/.474 in over 100 plate appearances for them
    and played better defense

    he’s not bored to death?

  9. al

    why gonzo is playing better d i don’t know, since i just thought his kneww what shot, but boston is a very different environment to play in, i’m sure he just cares more.

  10. WORLD

    Gonzalez is in a positive situation now as opposed to being in the middle of the mess in Cincinnati. Also, he had a very serious problem with his child that very few people know about that kept him out of the lineup for quite a while. That is all resolved now and he can go back to being a solid ML shortstop.

    And Dusty Baker has no reason at all to play Darnell over Jay Bruce except for one that I suggested earlier this year and was thereafter shouted down by a good many contributors.

  11. shane

    mike: He was only one of the top prospects in all of baseball.

    A prospect isn’t worth a dime if he isn’t producing. Some oen needs to inform Bruce that his bat is just about a foot shorter than he thinks it is so maybe he’ll stop swinging at everything thats low and outside

  12. RedinFla

    Hey — more dogs at the ballpark tonight 🙄

  13. RedinFla

    It’ll be interesting to see Cueto’s pitch count tonight.. any predictions??

  14. mike

    shane: A prospect isn’t worth a dime if he isn’t producing. Some oen needs to inform Bruce that his bat is just about a foot shorter than he thinks it is so maybe he’ll stop swinging at everything thats low and outside

    so you’d bench Bruce (one of the youngest players in baseball) as well in this crucial end of season run for the Reds??

  15. RC

    It’s a tough town to be a prospect in.

    Guy still hasn’t played 162 games yet, has he?

  16. RedinFla

    Well – some sweet defense erases the baserunners, makes up for those last two plays.

  17. al

    WORLD: Also, he had a very serious problem with his child that very few people know about that kept him out of the lineup for quite a while..And Dusty Baker has no reason at all to play Darnell over Jay Bruce except for one that I suggested earlier this year and was thereafter shouted down by a good many contributors.

    actually, i think everyone knew about that issue mr. insider.

    and what was the reason to play mcd over bruce again?

  18. RC

    Sorry. Everybody’s got their ideas for what a team in the Reds “situation” needs to do. For my bucks, that team needs to give Jay Bruce every chance to succeed. And that does not include sitting. Nor does it include hitting him 6th or 7th.

    But that’s just me.

    And look, we’re winning all of a sudden…

  19. RedinFla

    Hey – Phillips is at 92 RBI’s now ..

  20. JasonL

    Fun fact I just noticed:

    Reds Leader in Runs Scored: BP (70)
    Second: Joey Votto (69) in about 100 fewer PAs

    I don’t understand, though. Joey is an RBI man, he isn’t supposed to be scoring runs. He’s supposed to be driving them in. He should probably stop clogging the bases… or something. I’m glad I have Dusty or I’d think Joey’s high OBP was leading directly to his scoring of runs.

  21. RC

    I really can’t imagine the thought process that sent Cueto back out there for the 6th, given recent shoulder issues and even more recent illness. I just can’t get there.

  22. RedinFla

    Cueto only pitched 5 innings. He laid down the bunt in the top of the 6th — is that what you mean?

  23. RedinFla

    mike: if Cordero gets 6 more saves in the 12 games he ties the Reds all-time single season save record currently held by Brantley.

    With any luck (and a decent bullpen), this one won’t be a save situation. 😀

  24. broadwaydave

    dusty actually showed some sense with cueto tonight…smart move letting him bunt as well…cueto’s one of the better bunters on the team and we didn’t waste a pinch hitter

  25. RedinFla

    Late-inning replacements are in LF and RF 8)

  26. Steve

    Big night for Rolen – 3 RBI. I see our defensive replacement is up to bat.

  27. RC

    I’m perfectly OK with leaving Cueto in to bunt. But he was already in the 90s on the pitch count after 5, wasn’t he? I wouldn’t be pitching him at all, frankly, but no way would I let him get anywhere near triple figures tonight.

  28. RedinFla

    Cueto threw 101 pitches, 68 for strikes

  29. taoistlumberjak

    Say what you want about Jay Bruce, but I wouldn’t give up on a guy who can play defense the way he can.
    His hitting will come sometime soon, in the next season or so. Let his defense prop him up until then

  30. Chris

    WORLD: Gonzalez is in a positive situation now as opposed to being in the middle of the mess in Cincinnati. Also, he had a very serious problem with his child that very few people know about that kept him out of the lineup for quite a while. That is all resolved now and he can go back to being a solid ML shortstop.

    That was resolved a long time ago. He has no excuse for how bad he sucked this season.

  31. RedinFla

    Up by six runs — this is a time to let a young pitcher find his way.

  32. RedinFla

    taoistlumberjak: Say what you want about Jay Bruce, but I wouldn’t give up on a guy who can play defense the way he can.His hitting will come sometime soon, in the next season or so. Let his defense prop him up until then

    Maybe he’ll visit his college coach like Homer did, and get some pointers 😆

  33. earl

    I guess McDonald has gotten some hits in his starts, so he deserves that recognition. That being said, the guy playing everyday figures nothing out for next season.

    I suppose it is not wanting to just ‘give’ the job to Jay Bruce.

    Of course, this must be a a Kobayashi Maru type situation for Dusty Baker, as he seems to live and die by baseball truisms and of course one of those is “you cannot lose your starting job to injury”. Dusty probably has to sit and marinate on that one with some cool jams to be able to balance that one out.

    Someone has to throw strikes to Gonzales out of fear of the rest of the Red Sox lineup, so I guess the guy can hit a fastball if it is in the zone.

  34. preach

    @Chris:

    Kinda what I was thinking as well, Chris. Perhaps it has to do with batting eigth or ninth in a lineup instead of #2 (where, coincidentally, he hit like #2).

  35. preach

    “Maybe he’ll visit his college coach like Homer did, and get some pointers”

    I still say that was strategically pointed out. Just eat the money and hire LaRussa and Duncan. Or, rumor has it that Duncan is a little upset with the Cardinal organization, maybe that includes Tony and we could get him solo…that would even be better.

  36. David Kaiser

    since cueto can’t go longer tham 5 innings why not put him in the bullpen?he can be the middle relief guy.makes as much sense as not playing bruce and stubbs everyday.

  37. pinson343

    Chris:
    That was resolved a long time ago.He has no excuse for how bad he sucked this season.

    Gonzalez does have an excuse for how badly he sucked this season, inadequate rehab from knee surgery, and being played every day in that circumstance, leading to the elbow injury, etc.

    Management has no excuse for how badly its handling of Gonzo sucked this season.

  38. pinson343

    preach: “Maybe he’ll visit his college coach like Homer did, and get some pointers”I still say that was strategically pointed out. Just eat the money and hire LaRussa and Duncan. Or, rumor has it that Duncan is a little upset with the Cardinal organization, maybe that includes Tony and we could get him solo…that would even be better.

    agreed, solo would be best

  39. pinson343

    I don’t think Taveras gets a single start the rest of the season, and I don’t think he’s on the roster in 2010.

    Before this was just wishful thinking, but I never heard Dusty throw a player under the bus like that. After 5 months of no production and little effort, Dusty gets pissed off at the guy while he’s on the DL. I guess WT didn’t make much of an effort to come back soon.

    For whatever reason, Willy Taveras did not want to play baseball in 2009, once his fast start ended.

  40. pinson343

    Maybe Dusty’s trying to help Bruce by limiting his play to games against hittable right handed pitching. That being said, he’s limiting his play too much.

    Knowing Dusty, he’s thinking about something dumb like keeping him above the Mendoza line (he said something about that).

    Bruce’s wrist is probably not 100%.

    In any case, I still believe that Bruce is our starting RFer in 2010. He’s got to be, right ?

  41. RedinFla

    preach: “Maybe he’ll visit his college coach like Homer did, and get some pointers”I still say that was strategically pointed out. Just eat the money and hire LaRussa and Duncan. Or, rumor has it that Duncan is a little upset with the Cardinal organization, maybe that includes Tony and we could get him solo…that would even be better.

    I’m a bit weary of big-ticket managers. Maybe there’s a guy already in the Reds system who would be great in the job and rise to the occasion, like Rick Sweet. Just a thought, won’t ever happen but I’d like to see it.

  42. Nathan

    mike: anybody have any idea why Gonzo is playing so well in Boston?He’s hit .298/.316/.474 in over 100 plate appearances for themand played better defense

    My wife and I saw a game at Fenway 2 weeks ago and he was the starting SS. He hit a 2 run double and my wife says, “he didn’t do that in Cincinnati!”

  43. Glenn

    Pinson’s right; if Bruce was 100% he’d be playing every day. Secondly, I’m guessing WT gets one or two starts tops. My guess is he gets traded over the off season with a sizeable chunk of his salary sent with him. The Reds get a bag of balls in return.

  44. Steve

    Ages for Reds players:

    Joey Votto – 26
    Drew Sutton – 26
    Adam Rosales – 26
    Wlad Balentein – 25
    Daniel Herrera – 24
    Johnny Cueto – 23
    Homer Bailey – 23

    Drew Stubbs – 25 (in a week)

    Jay Bruce – 22

    And people are talking about giving up on Jay Bruce?

  45. Drew Nelson

    If Doc Rogers is right we have seen the best that Bruce can be so he may be right in saying deal him along with Stubbs and Willy T and get some more young talent that our Manager can misuse. In the real world, I just kinda wonder if Bruce is at 100%, his type of injury can play havoc with swinging the bat so while he may be able to play in the field okay but could effect his swing.

  46. GreatRedLegsFan

    I think the infield is locked for 2010 with Votto, Philips, Janish and Rolen. For the outfield, I bet for a competition in CF between Dickerson and Stubbs and in RF between Gomes (if tendered) and Bruce, plus Taveras (if not traded) or Nix you have filled the five spots. Balentien can be kept in AAA and McDonald should be released along with Nix if Taveras continues. Then Hernandez can not continue @ $8.5MM, so resigned for less or look for somebody else. Hanigan is a back-up. Miller in AAA, if needed. Tatum in AA.

  47. RedinFla

    Steve: Ages for Reds players:Joey Votto – 26Drew Sutton – 26Adam Rosales – 26Wlad Balentein – 25Daniel Herrera – 24Johnny Cueto – 23Homer Bailey – 23Drew Stubbs – 25 (in a week)Jay Bruce – 22And people are talking about giving up on Jay Bruce?

    Smaller-market teams HAVE to stick with some of their young guys and grow them into major league players. This has the added benefit of inspiring fans to watch and follow their meteoric rise through the system… :mrgreen:

  48. Eddie

    I believe Balentein has to be on the major league level.
    I’d do Dickerson in CF, Bruce in RF, Gomes in LF
    Bench: Balentein & Nix or Dorn

  49. Dan

    Let’s not forget Chris Heisey — .314/.379/.521 with 35 doubles, 22 HR’s, and 21 SB across AA and AAA.

    Heisey deserves a shot.

    We have no studs (unless Bruce turns into one), but we’re kind of overloaded with OF options that are pretty good.

  50. Dan

    I have a bad feeling that Dickerson has been type-cast now as a 4th outfielder with not enough power, and that he’ll be traded in the offseason. My guess is to Oakland (based on nothing other than the fact that they like to buy low on OBP guys).

    Dickerson will be a productive everyday CF in the major leagues, I think, if anyone ever gives him a shot. I can easily see him putting up something like .270/.360/.420 with plus defense.

  51. RedinFla

    Eddie: I believe Balentein has to be on the major league level.I’d do Dickerson in CF, Bruce in RF, Gomes in LFBench: Balentein & Nix or Dorn

    I think Balentien has shown some skills, but I wouldn’t put him, Nix or Dorn over Stubbs.

  52. Dan

    Why isn’t Heisey up w/ the big club now? You telling me that .314/.379/.521 in AA/AAA doesn’t deserve a call-up? The guy is almost 25 years old now. Let’s see what he can do.

  53. Dan

    Heisey, by the way, would make a MUCH better #2 hitter than Janish… though I realize that’s not saying much.

  54. Steve Price

    1) Dusty Baker is managing right now to get Dusty as many wins as possible. I believe conversations need to take place between Dusty and Jocketty as to what’s best for the team at this point. If left up to Dusty, well, the team has a losing record…investing in the future may not be in his best interest.

    2) I believe that Jay Bruce should have been sent back to the minors last year when he started chasing that same pitch he’s still chasing, and he definitely should have been sent back down this spring. His defense is excellent, but right now he’s essentially Adam Dunn without the walks. IN NO WAY, should he be written off, but he’s not going to improve at this point sitting on the bench, being a late inning defensive replacement, or having his confidence destroyed.

    3) Paul Janish will never hit. I love his defense…he’s a late inning defensive replacement, and a useful one at that as long as he’s not paid millions.

    4) Johnny Cueto did not need to go and bat in the sixth; it’s not a matter of saving pinch hitters…we have guys who need plate appearances and lots of guys to pitch. In fact, Johnny should have never even pitched this game. Oh, for the record, many scouts thought (think?) that Cueto may need to go to the bullpen due to his small stature.

    5) Dusty loves to throw players under the bus, back over them, and run over them again, especially young players. This year he’s done it to Dickerson (when it should have been Taveras one game), he’s done it to Bailey with regularity (“he’s got to learn”), he’s done it to Bailey and Cueto, even Harang and Arroyo (nine runs allowed how many times for these guys?). He doesn’t usually do it to veterans, but Dusty really can’t justify playing Taveras over Stubbs right now.

    6) In combination to Gonzalez not being ready to come back, he just doesn’t have the skills anymore. He seems to be playing well in Boston right now, yes…it’s also in a pennant drive and it’s still a small sample size.

  55. Drew Nelson

    1. You play to win, period if Dusty and Walt are playing for any other reason, both should be fired.

    2. We don’t know to what extent Jay is experincing some pain in that rest or how healthy it is.

    3. Janish doesn’t hit to the level you want and you devalue fielding over hitting. I will take a light hitting very good fielding SS any day given the so few great hitting SS in the league.

    4. Many scouts believed Randy Johnson was to tall to pitch in the major leagues. I believe Johnny has shown he can pitch on this level and can start. Also what was wrong with him hitting in the 6th?

    1) Dusty Baker is managing right now to get Dusty as many wins as possible. I believe conversations need to take place between Dusty and Jocketty as to what’s best for the team at this point. If left up to Dusty, well, the team has a losing record…investing in the future may not be in his best interest.2) I believe that Jay Bruce should have been sent back to the minors last year when he started chasing that same pitch he’s still chasing, and he definitely should have been sent back down this spring. His defense is excellent, but right now he’s essentially Adam Dunn without the walks. IN NO WAY, should he be written off, but he’s not going to improve at this point sitting on the bench, being a late inning defensive replacement, or having his confidence destroyed.3) Paul Janish will never hit. I love his defense…he’s a late inning defensive replacement, and a useful one at that as long as he’s not paid millions.4) Johnny Cueto did not need to go and bat in the sixth; it’s not a matter of saving pinch hitters…we have guys who need plate appearances and lots of guys to pitch. In fact, Johnny should have never even pitched this game. Oh, for the record, many scouts thought (think?) that Cueto may need to go to the bullpen due to his small stature.5)

  56. Sultan of Swaff

    As much as it pains me to say it, Bruce doesn’t crack my top 3 outfielders. Right now he would be better served being in the minor leagues. He’s in a fragile place right now, with a season and a half of constant struggle weighing him down. His body language at the plate is terrible. He’s so jittery between pitches you almost expect him to call time and run to go pee. I hope he uses his winter ball experience to completely revamp his approach, especially mentally.

  57. pinson343

    @Steve Price:

    4. Cueto in the pen, interesting thought, though it may have to wait until Volquez is back. I’ve been opposed to trading Cordero (despite the high salary) because the options for replacing him make me very nervous.
    But what do people think of Cueto as a closer ? He’s got the arm and the mentality, I think.

    5. Dusty makes wise cracks about players, but what he said about Taveras was a flat out “this guy’s lost his job.” That’s stronger than saying somebody made a bonehead play or didn’t hustle or even that they need to play better in general. I think he’s fed up with Taveras, my only question is why it took so long.

    6. Gonzo’s a typical case of a veteran player getting new blood when he gets traded to a contender. It doesn’t mean much for next year. But he’s not as bad as he was with the Reds this year and once again I blame the Reds’ management for that.

  58. Steve Price

    I never, ever read that Randy Johnson was too tall to pitch in the big leagues. I read that he had no control when he was younger. I always heard he got more chances because he was tall.

    As for defense…I don’t value defense less…for what it’s worth, it’s my favorite part of the game. If it was 1968, Janish would be a potential all-star. Alas, it’s 2009…Janish is a utility infielder in today’s game. In today’s game, you gotta have some offense, unless, of course, your team is balanced with a squad of sluggers at every other position. That ain’t us; and Jocketty said that just the other day.

    As for playing to win…yes, we want to win, but the Reds are not a single season industry. It’s a business that has to invest in the future, too. Anyone on the Reds who thinks Darnell McDonald is the future should be recognized as someone not interested in the future of the organization…and that starts with Dusty Baker…he quit this team months ago.

  59. mike

    Steve Price: If it was 1968, Janish would be a potential all-star.

    no kidding

    there wasn’t a single SS in the NL that could hit was there? I know defense was what was valued but you’d think there’d be one guy that hit

    Maybe Dal Maxvill?

    There were 2 OK hitters playing in the AL. Campaneris and Fregosi

    If it was 1968 in the NL and Janish played full time he’d probably be an all-star

  60. mike

    Drew Nelson: 3. Janish doesn’t hit to the level you want and you devalue fielding over hitting. I will take a light hitting very good fielding SS any day given the so few great hitting SS in the league.

    hmm…..so few hitting SS? Or do you mean great at only the Ramirez level?

    HANLEY RAMIREZ, TROY TULOWITZKI, YUNEL ESCOBAR, MIGUEL TEJADA, EVERTH CABRERA, RYAN THERIOT, STEPHEN DREW, RAFAEL FURCAL, JIMMY ROLLINS, BRENDAN RYAN, and JOSE REYES are all pretty good hitters.

    most of them can also field.
    well Tejada, Cabrera and Escobar aren’t the best fielders…..