Final R H E
  Cincinnati Reds (71-82) 1 7 0
  Chicago Cubs (68-84) 3 5 0
W: Hendricks (7-2)    L: Corcino (0-1)
 FanGraphs Win Probability |  The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score    |   Game Photos

The Reds set an all-time record for fewest runs scored in a three-game series at Wrigley Field. Keep in mind the Reds have been playing there for more than 100 years. So there’s that infamy.

Did you hear that Joey Votto looked like the old Joey Votto (John Fay) in batting practice today?

Kristopher Negron quickly resolved the daily no-hitter drama leading off the first inning by pounding a double to left-center field. The Reds went ahead and played for one run because, of course, that’s all you need, right? It’s not like they almost lost 2-1 or anything. Ramon Santiago sacrificed his out to get Negron to third and Yorman Rodriquez hit a routine grounder to third, driving in a run for the first time in his major league career. #playingthegametherightway!

Negron’s power (SLG .438) has been a pleasant surprise. Over five seasons in AAA, his SLG was just .344. Compare Negron to Phillips (.366 SLG), Ludwick (.391), Heisey (.388) and Bruce (.365). Only Mesoraco and Frazier have a higher SLG than Negron. Small sample size caveats apply. I like him for a bench spot next year.

Daniel Corcino followed up his strong 6-inning performance against the Brewers with another good performance. Corcino gave up 2 runs on 3 hits. He did walk four and struck out six. If Chris Valaika’s ground ball had been a foot or two to the right, he’d have hit into an inning-ending double play instead of starting the Cubs’ two-run second.

Yorman Rodriguez and Tucker Barnhart had two hits.

Jack Hannahan, Ryan Ludwick and Ramon Santiago combined to go 0-for-10. #veteranleadership

Did you hear the one about Joey Votto, he …

64 Responses

  1. BigRedSaguaro

    Wow wished the season had ended last week

  2. sergeant2

    I’m already looking forward to spring training and the unbridled optimism that comes with it. Because for now watching the players do no more than go through the emotions is deflating to watch. I’m hoping the players can muster up enough enthusiasm to put up a good fight against the Cardinals. I hate watching the reds lose, but I hate it even more to see them go down without fighting. We’ll see what this team is made of pride wise against the Cardinals. Go Reds!

    • ohiojimw

      Sarge with all the one run losses, I’m afraid I’ve already got a pretty set opinion on this squad because pride is a big part of the determination to bow one’s back and stop the downhill flow which this team has failed to do time and again.

    • greenmtred

      Sarge: I’ll take your word for what’s happening, because after half a century, give or take, of loyal Reds fandom, I’ve stopped watching for the year. Am I correct in thinking that the Reds are Cubbing, at this point? I hope that it’s an interesting off season.

  3. redmountain

    Lets start dealing. Remake this team into guys who will play everyday and be productive.

  4. RedAlert

    Hope Castellini has enjoyed compensating Jocketty for taking the year off – that right there ought to tell us he has deep pockets and no excuses not to improve this horror show called the Reds – if you can waste a whole year’s salary for a GM that has been on a year plus sabbatical , you CAN CERTAINLY SPEND TO IMPROVE THIS INEPTITUDE THAT HAS BEEN ON THE FIELD

  5. Big Red Ghost in this Machine

    there’s a chance to finish in last place and have a better draft pick. so they got that goin’ for them.

  6. ohiojimw

    Cozart’s name and numbers were conspicuous by their absence in the comparison discussion of Negron’s SLG % since SS was Negron’s natural position. With where this team is at, why back away from a shortstop controversy heading into 2015?
    This team needs a heck of a lot of additional offense; and, there are only 8 offensive slots available in the NL. Thus chances are the Reds are not going to find enough additional offense just by an upgrade in LF.
    Can they afford to say SS and CF both are off the table because of the incumbents’ defensive skills? Isn’t there most likely some level of trade off of defense for offense that would yield the team a net gain in wins?

    • Dale Pearl

      And it isn’t like Negron is the a terrible defensive shortstop either. He is adequate for the job and his offense merits a closer look. I like the idea of keeping Cozart around as a bench player and a late inning defensive replacement…. aside from that he is not a major league starter unless they come up with a DH for shortstop.

      • Tom Diesman

        I’m really glad for Kris Negron that he grabbed opportunity and ran with it and has been the bright spot in a dismal final month, but let’s reel it in a bit and see it for what it is. Negron, who by the way is 6 months younger that Cozart, will be hard pressed to maintain his current slugging spree and over time is likely to be hard pressed to out hit Cozart at all. I love Negron’s hustle and versatility, so toss him in the mix for utility bench guy next season, but let’s not fancy ourselves that he’d be a solution for starting SS. If you don’t care for Cozart there, you are not going to like Negron there.

        I’m actually more interested in seeing lots more of Jake Elmore. He’s only a year younger than Cozart/Negron but has hit as well if not better than both in the minors. He’s a different type of hitter though, in that he’s always got on base well. Consider these career minor league numbers for Elmore: 2729 PA 344 SO 346 BB. I haven’t got to see him play for the Reds yet, so I’m very curious as to how his glove looks at SS/2B, and he is very verstile in the field like Negron. He should be getting some big consideration for utility bench guy next season as well.

        Cozart 29
        Level PA BA OBP SLG OPS
        AA 541 .262 .360 .398 .758
        AAA 960 .275 .327 .435 .762
        ML 1771 .243 .282 .365 .647

        Negron 29
        Level PA BA OBP SLG OPS
        AA 623 .267 .362 .405 .766
        AAA 1424 .227 .289 .344 .632
        ML 133 .238 .295 .426 .722

        Elmore 28
        Level PA BA OBP SLG OPS
        AA 920 .274 .368 .347 .715
        AAA 1136 .313 .407 .422 .830
        ML 218 .219 .287 .291 .578

    • Joe Atkinson

      Cozart is the best defensive shortstop in baseball. Until that is no longer the case, I see no shortstop controversy; given the number of runs he prevents, I’m okay if they permanently add his name to the #8 spot on the lineup card template (and I suspect every pitcher on the Reds’ staff would agree).

    • greenmtred

      I agree with Steve that Negron looks like a really good guy for the bench–a super sub, maybe. But his minor league numbers don’t predict that he would be much of an offensive upgrade as a regular. Hamilton will probably improve: he’s young, enthusiastic, and has been better than expected. With decent offense elsewhere, I think the Reds could well afford–would be wise to–keep the great gloves up the middle. The decent offense elsewhere part looks like a fantasy right now, though, doesn’t it?

  7. ohiojimw

    It will be interesting to see Price’s posture versus the Cards over the weekend. The Reds play the Cards and the Pirates both 3 times in the remaining games. Thus as someone (Sultan of Swaft I believe) pointed out several days ago, if the Reds play the call ups versus both teams, it is a essentially a push as far as showing an advantage to either team.

    The Cards (and by inference the Pirates) are not going to catch the Nats for best record; but, 2nd best record is still on the line between the Cards/ Pirates and whoever wins the West if that matters to Price’s view of the integrity of the game????

    • Thegaffer

      Based on the numbers, playing the veterans actually is fielding a less competitive team. There should be no controversy.

    • pinson343

      Price has repeatedly said he’ll mostly go with the regulars against contending teams, and he just repeated that wrt the Cardinals. I made a similar comment to Sarge’s a while back, that if Price plays about the same number of call ups against each contender, that would be fair.

      • reaganspad

        What if Yorman is better right now than Jay?

        I don’t care about sample size. What does it matter if you get 1 hit with your regulars or 3 hit with your youngins

        I say play the kids

  8. pinson343

    Without Ludwick’s verteran presence at cleanup, the Reds would have had a good shot at winning that game.

  9. Dale Pearl

    LF, RF, SS all the starters of those three positions should be concerned as to whether or not they will be starting next year. Bruce needs to earn his position again. Hamilton also is going to be a big question mark. If his tapering at the end of this season is showing his true offensive ability then the Reds are looking at having yet another year for the worst offensive outfield in baseball.

    • doctor

      DP, so you would base evaluation on Bruce on a year where he had mid-season surgery vs the 3 prior years where he avg 157 games, 32hr, 100+ rbi, 35 doubles, 120 OPS+. that is pretty pessimistic view of you to declare a player going into his age 28 year in 2015 is suddenly washed up.

      I figure an off-season for him to recover will have back to his numbers pre-2014.

      completely agree with you on LF and SS. Perhaps Reds can use Negron in a psuedo-platoon with Cozart, Price playing the hot hand at the plate until that guy cools off. Either way Reds need to challenge Cozart with an alternative.

      and no secret Reds need offensive boost for LF of some sort

    • Drew

      Wow..Bruce has one off season and he has to “reearn” his job next spring? Hamilton is in his rookie season and you are already counting him out? SS is one of the best in the game defensivly and he is going to have to “earn” his position? Thankfully your not working for the Reds…

      • lwblogger2

        One bad year from a fairly young, otherwise above-average RF, shouldn’t have him fighting for his job upon his return. I bet people will really get upset if he slumps at the beginning of next season. He’s a core player and under contract for two more years (3rd year option). Sorry to burst people’s bubble who don’t like Bruce but he’s going to get every chance to get himself sorted out next season before he is in any danger of losing his job.

      • CP

        Dale is overstating things, but you’re putting words in his mouth regarding Hamilton. Hamilton will be a question mark next year, no doubt about it. The Reds will go into the season with him starting, but do you think they’re happy if at ASB he has a 83 wRC+? I guess that depends on whether they can address their offensive issues in LF, but at the very least, they should probably bring in a 4th OF that can hit and potentially play CF. Of course, they have two backup OFs who look they will be back in Schumaker and Heisey, so it’s pretty likely that the Reds will hope and pray that Hamilton can learn to hit That’s not what the Cardinals would do, but what do they know?

        Dale is completely wrong about Bruce, but Cozart and whoever is the LF have to be pretty worried. They are the only 2 starting positions the Reds can make changes to.

      • lwblogger2

        Agree, with the caveat that it’s possible the Reds could conceivably move a position player in a trade a free up a spot. Not to say I have any idea on who they could move nor what they could get back.

      • CP

        Yeah, I agree there is a remote possibility that happens. Frazier and Bruce have a ton of value, but they are soooooooo streaky. Not a big deal in isolation, but combined with the streakiness of Mesoraco, Hamilton, Ludwick/Heisey, and BP, it creates issues. Cozart could also be attractive to teams who want a defensive-oriented SS.

        Of course, Frazier is ridiculously cheap and Bruce is coming off a downyear and is still pretty cheap, so that makes it unlikely, but you have to give up value to get value.

  10. pinson343

    I’m usually strongly opposed to going for 1 run in the first inning. But tonight was an exception. The 1 run was pretty much a best case scenario. Or should they have played for a 3 run homer by Ludwick ?

    Without the sac bunt, they highly likely don’t score at all, and they’re swept by the Cubs in 3 consecutive shutouts.

  11. pinson343

    I’ve heard people compare Corcino to a young Cueto, but he reminds me more of a young Edinson Volquez: lots of Ks, walks, and wild pitches – even Ks on wild pitches. This is not necessarily a bad thing, Volquez was “effectively wild” in his 17-6 season with the Reds and from there was hurt by injuries and by having his head in the wrong place.

    • sultanofswaff

      Agreed. Even when Corcino is ‘on’, he really walks a tightrope out there. It seems as though he makes just enough quality pitches to wriggle off the hook and get thru his start. Just like Voltron.

      With the amount of quality starting pitching prospects, the Reds should be paring down Corcino’s repertoire and preparing him for a bullpen role. That said, the time to do that would be the middle of next year. Use him as a starter in AAA to start the year for insurance purposes.

    • ohiojimw

      I recall JC having a lot of the same issues early on. For one thing give him a 4+ run lead and you could almost chalk it up that he would find a way to blow it.

      But look at him now. Give him a sniff of a lead and he goes into super shutdown mode.

  12. ToddAlmighty

    3 game series against the Cubs… and the Reds score 1 run, and even then it was the AAA team. The only regular roster people who played (Ludwick/Santiago/Hannahan) went 0-fer. So the non-AAA part of the Reds scored 0 runs in 3 games against the CUBS.

    I said this before, and someone got all offended that I pretended to know for sure, but I will say it again. The Reds have quit on Price. Honestly, bullpen usage and Steve Smith aside, I rather like Price as a manager.

    I just don’t know if you can keep a guy who has a team quit on him. How many times has a team quit on a manager, that manager stays on, and the next year that team is good? I can’t imagine it’s often.

    • Drew

      Quit on the manager…now that is funny…

      • lwblogger2

        Honestly Drew, I don’t know if they’ve quit on him or not. Nobody knows except the players rather or not Price still has the respect of the players, especially the position players. Although I don’t necessarily agree with ToddAlmighty, I don’t think his opinion that the Reds have quit on Price can be completely discounted.

      • Drew

        Why would they quit on Price? Has Price abused them? Has he not given them all fair and ample playing time? How after one season can they be so upset with Price that they quit on him? Now I will agree they are going through the motions at this point but who doesn’t do that at their job from time to time. But I don’t see how this is on Price at all.

      • ohiojimw

        I think because it is a large part of the job of the manager to keep the team motivated and focused on task that a team which does neither can be said to have quit on the manager

  13. chezpayton

    I really think you people undervalue bunting. Everytime a red bunts, or even an announcer talks about laying down a sacrifice, you all just attack them. I’ve been playing high school baseball for three years now and I’ve never heard a fellow player or coach talk about bunting in this manner. The bottom line is: to people that watch baseball, a bunt or a ground ball to the right side with a man on second may seem useless because it throws away an out or lowers our “percentage of winning”(another thing which I’m not too crazy about), but to people that are actually involved in the game, sacrificing yourself for the good of your teammates is the ultimate example of teamwork and appreciated by all.

    • Grand Salami

      Every time a Red bunts, an angel gets its wings!

    • lwblogger2

      Bunting at lower levels in baseball makes more sense because defenses don’t execute as well as they do in MLB. A simple sacrifice bunt in HS, College, Semi-pro, or even Minor League ball forces the defense to make a play. The worst outcome of an out of the runner you’re trying to move over doesn’t happen as often in the lower levels. Also, there is a higher chance of the bunter reaching base because of a fielding issue at the lower levels. So, bunting at those lower levels is a different environment and can’t be evaluated the same way as bunting in the Majors. That said, baseball culture is exactly as you describe it. And as you said, from a team-building standpoint, it has value.

      Personally, I’d probably call for more bunts than the analytics would suggest should be called. I’d still call for fewer than many MLB managers however who go by the more traditional “book” on how to play the game. So you know my background, I am a former player (Knothole, Junior Traveling Team, High School, semi-pro (Lancaster in the Frontier League), over-30 recreational league). I am currently a SABR member and just have a deep love of baseball from both the analytical and traditional perspectives.

      • chezpayton

        That may be true, but major leaguers are less likely to boot an easy double play ball, and are generally faster and more skilled at bunting, so it’s not unheard of for them to beat out bunts.

      • CP

        The run expectancy tables take into account all those double plays, as well as failed double plays, failed sacrifice bunt attempts, at bats where the hitter hit a fly ball, etc. You’re asking people to disregard data-driven analysis for some very subjective feelings. Hitters laying down sac bunts may be sacrificing themselves for the good of their teammates’ stat lines, but the data shows it generally isn’t for the good of the team.

        Second, current MLB players probably aren’t more skilled at bunting. At most high school and college baseball programs, the best players aren’t asked to bunt very often, for obvious reasons. Guess who the guys that eventually reach the MLB are? The best bunters are usually weeded out by the time they reach the MLB. No surprise the exceptions are the middle IFs, CF, and pitchers…guys who aren’t required to hit as well to reach the MLB.

      • chezpayton

        Well when we both become managers I’ll bunt with my team and you can swing away with yours.

    • tct

      There are plenty of people, some on this board, who have more experience playing baseball than you do that question the value of the sacrifice bunt. Have you never heard of Earl Weaver? The argument that anyone who ever questions the strategic value of a bunt doesn’t understand baseball, or never played, is childish.

      Secondly, it’s not about hating the bunt. That would be as dumb as loving the bunt. The sacrifice bunt is a strategic tool, nothing more, and many people think Price, and Dusty before him, used it in situations where it had no strategic value. Earlier this year, Price called for a sac bunt in three straight games in the ninth inning when he was behind. That’s absurd to voluntarily give up outs when you are down to your last 3 and are behind. If the sacrifice doesn’t tie up the game, then I think it’s dumb to use it in that situation.

      The funny thing about your post is that you actually make a profound point on why sac bunting is overused and dumb. From your own words: The sac bunt often “lowers our percentage of winning”, (I think you meant win probability or chances of winning), but coaches call the bunt anyway or players take it on themselves because “sacrificing yourself for the good of your teammates….is appreciated by all.” So even when it lowers your chances of winning, the sac bunt is appreciated because the hitter makes himself a martyr instead of trying to be the hero. We all love a good martyr. But to me, if you do something that hurts your teams chances of winning, then you aren’t really helping your teammates. Really, it’s kind of selfish on the batter’s part because instead of trying to do something that will help the team, he does something that makes him look like the suffering martyr who gives himself up.

      There are times where the sac bunt is the right move, but many of the sac bunts that Price has called this year have not been the right move.

      • lwblogger2

        “The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three run homers.” – Earl Weaver

        Yeah, he was a character. He seemed to have an understanding about getting on base and having power guys that could hit it out of the park. He also valued defense. Now, some did say he didn’t handle pitchers very well. In fact, Jim Palmer went as far as to say “The only thing Earl (Weaver) knows about big-league pitching is that he couldn’t hit it.”

      • George Mirones

        This ongoing “bunt discussion” reminds me of Steve and Kevin railing about the value of FC versus other alphabet data. I believe TCT has it, There are times for a bunt and times to swing away. The bunt is situational not procedural.

  14. redsfan06

    Whether or not it’s called for, part of the reason the Reds bunt so much is because they do not have enough good contact hitters to hit and run.

  15. jessecuster44

    I am convinced that the Reds are playing for last place and a better draft pick. Worst Reds team in years. Fire everyone.

    • greenmtred

      Good idea, Jesse. That plan would make next year tons of fun.

  16. wvredlegs

    “The Dodgers have now scored 32 runs in the last 24 innings as they are inching towards best record in the NL.” Bob Nightengale.
    The Reds have scored 1 run in their last 27 innings. And are inching closer to the cellar of the NLC.

  17. sultanofswaff

    Because I never want to pass up an opportunity to bash Walt’s love affair with Hannahan, I’d like to point out that Hannahan forgot to cover first base again…..second time in as many starts at 1B. Anyone else notice the double down the RF liine the runner strayed too far rounding first and we had the guy dead to rights. But alas, Jack was nowhere near the bag to tag the runner. *facepalm*

    Nice game by YRod and Barnhart. Both guys hit offspeed pitches the opposite way for hits.

  18. sultanofswaff

    I’d like to wade into the SS mess for a bit. I think the whole argument revolves around whether one believes Cozart’s power will return. His home run total has dropped off a cliff (15, to 12, to just 3 this year). Any rational fan would conclude that no amount of defense can make up for his lack of offensive production. I think that’s why Negron is so attractive, even though in our heart of hearts we know his production is not sustainable. Negron is doing the things we thought we’d be getting from Cozart when he first came up—good defense, a little pop in the bat, some aggressive baserunning. Heck, for that matter Ramon Santiago is equally attractive.

    Maybe the old NFL addage applies here—if you have 3 quarterbacks you have no quarterback.

    • wvredlegs

      If you upgrade offensively at LF and 2B, there is no SS mess.

      • sultanofswaff

        Or, if you upgrade at SS, there is no 2b or LF mess (ok, LF is still a mess). Point is, we agree that a trade has to be made for the good of the team and the sanity of the fans. Personally, it seems obvious that the polished chrome hood ornament (Chapman) on this broken down Ford Fiesta (the Reds) is the most logical place to start.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Looking through the window from the 2014 season, the Reds have 4 positions that are offensive liabilities: LF, CF, SS & 2B. That’s 4 of the 8 positions and that simply doesn’t work. CF, SS & 2B are all defensive strengths. LF must receive a significant offensive upgrade, hopefully for a good hitter with excellent patience and plate discipline. After an off season of mental and physical recuperation and lot’s of work in the batting cage, hopefully Hamilton can show that he’s major league ready in 2015 to become at least an offensively neutral contributor. Can the Reds compete with 2 position with offensive liabilities? Sans injuries, I think they can, but injuries to any of the other 6 starting position players and we will start to see a repeat of the 2014 season in 2015.

      • George Mirones

        I think you are making a dangerous assumption by not mentioning 1B or RF. If you make adjustment to all the other positions you are counting on Bruce and Votto to be at career averages for the 2015. I would like to hope but I have to see the line up opening day before I invest my hope.

  19. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I agree we need better offense. But where are we going to replace?

    First base? So, we let Votto go?

    Second base? BP hasn’t been much of an offensive threat for several years. But, his glove. Still, a possibility.

    SS? That’s a possibility

    3rd base? Then, what to do with Todd?

    RF? I could understand getting rid of Bruce, but I would give him one more year to have that breakout year we all expected.

    CF? Hamilton “should” get better.

    LF? That’s a definite possibility.

    C? I don’t see how we can make much of an upgrade there.

    P’s? None of them his great.

    Bench? If they could hit, they would be starting somewhere.

    From what I can tell, if we let go a BP’s glove, we would look to improve 2nd base, SS, and LF. But, then, with who? A trade? Will the other team want what we have? Will another team even trade with us? FA? Who’s available? And, how much offense is out there at SS and 2nd?

    The bad thing for this team this year is the ones who were suppose to be producing some offense weren’t producing anything at all, Bruce and Votto. With the emergence of Devin, if he and Todd can keep up their numbers (Todd did deflate some last year), with Votto hopefully coming back healthy, and Bruce doing something, I do think the offense can definitely be better, even to the point of “potential playoff team”. However, those are some big if’s there. And, if we are going to be a “playoff force”, we have to get another bat from somewhere.

    • lwblogger2

      Bruce may never have that “breakout” year, but in the past has been an above-average, all-around RF. I’ll take that for 2015, 2016, and 2017. This year has been horrible and if he can’t rebound, then we have a RF problem. I lean towards thinking he’ll get back more to his career norms.

      BP is probably un-tradeable as his 10/5 rights kicked in earlier this year. His glove is still useful and he hits enough for a middle-infielder batting lower in the order. I think we’ll be ok in 2015 with him but things are going south when it comes to his bat and his health. Both of those probably due to age.

      If you can find a good fielding SS with a stick, then Cozart can be replaced. Those guys don’t grow on trees though and usually require a healthy salary or healthy haul in trades.

      Hamilton should get better but there are no promises there. He really does need to be hitting further down in the lineup unless he can get his OBP in the .320-330 range or higher. He could end up on a path like Dee Gordon. It has taken a while for Gordon for the light to turn on. Gordon can still stand to take more BB too. I think you can replace a guy like Hamilton but it has to be with a good defender who can hit. Not too many CFs fit that description and like I said above for SS, they don’t come easily when they do.

      I think Frazier is solid but can’t be the 2nd best hitter in your lineup. He is too good of a defensive 3B to move around though and his bat is more valuable at 3B than it would be say in LF too.

      Agree on Mesoraco

      Agree on LF

      Agree on the bench, though it would be nice if Hannahan, Schumaker are gone and Negron or Elsmore earns a spot. Love having Pena as the backup catcher.

      I’d say Cueto is great. I’d say the rest of the SPs are good. I have some worries about the health of the rotation. The bullpen needs significant help. It needs to be reworked and most of that rework should be done with low-cost players. It’s not an easy job though and I don’t expect them to be lights-out like they were in 2012 and 2013.

      Yes, Votto needs to be healthy and Bruce needs to produce to his career norms to give this team enough offense, even if they do improve in another area or 2. I think we all agree with that.

      • WVRedlegs

        Reading around, there are many teams and teams fans not happy with 2014 results. This off-season may be the busiest in many years.
        About BP, “BP is probably un-tradeable as his 10/5 rights kicked in earlier this year.” Don’t say untradeable, but it’ll make it more difficult. A good GM will try to create a market for BP. And make it worth BP’s while too ($$$$). What teams have 2B issues?? The bad thing? Not many. Toronto.

      • George Mirones

        “If you can find a good fielding SS with a stick” sign him and put him in LF

        “BP is probably un-tradable as his 10/5 rights kicked in earlier this year. His glove is still useful and he hits enough for a middle-infielder batting lower in the order.”

        Agreed but think about having a Negron play 30-35 games at 2B and keep Brandon fresh.

        “Hamilton should get better but there are no promises there.”
        To any of us who remember Stubbs know about potential. No matter what players say about hard work if it doesn’t translate to the field its worthless, and the value of a one tool CF (speed) without a strong, accurate arm, and a 285 BA and a +.350 OBP can be sacrificed.

        “Votto needs to be healthy and Bruce needs to produce to his career norms”
        The whole future of the 2015 season can be summed up in that statement.

        “Frazier is solid but can’t be the 2nd best hitter in your lineup”
        After the AS break Todd was not the same.

        As far as pitching, if the Reds are active this winter and do go out and make major position improvements The staff on opening day 2015 might look like this;

        Relief;

        Diaz
        Cingrani
        Marshall
        Villarreal
        Dennick
        Axelrod
        Iglesias

        Starters;
        Leake
        Holmberg
        Corcino
        Simon
        Bailey

        If the offence were to jell this type of staff just might be enough.

  20. Earl Nash

    “Cozart is the best defensive shortstop in baseball.” Cozart is good with theglove but I don’ t think he is as good Andrelton Simmons. Don’t watch enough AL baseball to speak to those guys, but Simmons has really impressed me when I have seen him play, he has about as good a range as you can get and maybe the strongest arm from a shortstop that I have ever seen.

    • ohiojimw

      When I read this (Cozart best defender at SS) I was thinking fans of at least 5 and maybe as many as 10 other teams could make a reasonable case to say the same of their guy.

      Cozart’s strength is that he is very reliable. On the other hand some of the other guys pretty routinely make plays Cozart doesn’t; but then these guys tend to be a little more likely to boot a routine ball or air mail a simple throw than Cozart is.

      What the Reds need to have learned from this year is that pitching and defense do win games when all else is relatively equal. However their putrid offense falls too far short of the relatively equal part of the equation. IMO they are in a situation where they need to be open to giving up a little on defense to improve the offense enough that in results in a net increase in victories in 2015

    • hoosierdad

      Per ESPN article August 13, 2014:

      Defensive Runs Saved
      1. Cozart +20
      2. Simmons +14
      3. Jhonny Peralta +13
      4. Jordy Mercer +9
      5. Tulowitzki/Alexi Amarista +8

      Ultimate Zone Rating
      1. Cozart +12
      2. Peralta +9.7
      2. Erick Aybar +9.7
      4. J.J. Hardy +9.4
      5. Simmons +8.2

      • hoosierdad

        Fix LF, fix the bullpen and bench, get typical Votto and Bruce years, let Hamilton come back stronger and more experienced, and you can live with what Cozart gives you. IF his offense rebounds next year just a bit with all the above and the REDS should be playoff bound.

        I know, lots of “ifs”.