It’s been a little more than two months since we last had one of these here at Redleg Nation. The Reds have watched some guys leave for free agency from the minor leagues, they’ve signed a few guys to minor league deals and they’ve even added two players to the 40-man roster to protect them from the upcoming Rule 5 Draft (here is a list of players that will be eligible, with the exception of Amir Garrett and Kyle Waldrop, who were added). While I am more than ready to take on any and all minor league, scouting or development questions, I won’t shy away from answering questions about the big league club if you want my opinion on them as well. So, if you have some questions to ask, now is the best time to do it.

I do have a few simple rules though:

  • Each user gets three questions.
  • Try to avoid questions that will require more than a paragraph to answer. I’m long winded as it is with my answers.
  • Ask your question before 9:00pm EST according to the time log in the comments section. If it’s asked after that I may not get to it.

I will be checking in throughout the day to answer questions, but this won’t be like a chat. There may be times that go by where I don’t answer some questions but then answer as many as I can in a two hour span. I will be in and out all day, so just leave your questions and I will get to the answers as quickly as I can.

Get things started. I will check in around 11:00am EST and get started.

31 Responses

  1. redmountain

    With Winker’s success in the AFL, how long do you think the Reds will wait to bring him to the majors? Igesias? Waldrop? There, I guess that is three.

    • Doug Gray

      With Winker and Waldrop I think it is more about who is brought in to play left field than anything else. If they have to bring in a free agent and give them 2-3 years, that is going to mean those guys have to wait at least a year and a half. I think both will probably be held up until at least the end of 2015 unless injuries dictate otherwise though. I think Winker will be ready before Waldrop will, but I’d imagine Waldrop reaching the big leagues first since he is on the 40-man roster already and could get a call up for the bench if someone gets injured and they need a body.

      Iglesias I feel will be on the 25-man roster at the start of the year with his role yet to be determined. If he doesn’t get a starter job he will end up in the bullpen for the short term.

  2. HELLSBELLS

    The Reds dont appear to have a spot on the 40 man, so no Rule V pick for them. Is there anyone out there that would have been worth leaving off to go get?

    • Doug Gray

      There is plenty of time to still open up a spot on the 40-man roster to make a selection if the team would like to and there, in my opinion, are a few guys that you could remove through waivers easily and not lose them from the organization.

      I haven’t gone through the entire list of players that could be available yet (there are hundreds), but the Reds, like most teams, will be looking at options that could help the team but could also take a chance on a high upside guy who could be long term additions. One guy that seems to be talked about with the Reds is Delino DeShields from the Astros. The connection is likely made because his dad has been in the organization as a minor league manager for years now and just got promoted to the Triple-A job. Still, he does have a chance to be exactly what the Reds bench could use. He struggled to hit for average in Double-A this past year at age 21, but still had a .360 OBP, a little bit of pop and stole 54 bases in 68 tries. He’s an outfielder now but used to be a second baseman, so he could be a utility type of guy.

      It wouldn’t surprise me either if the Reds took a chance on a big arm to try and put in the bullpen to help them out there. I don’t have any specific names right now for someone there, but there are guys like that available each year.

      • wvredlegs

        Delino DeShields, Jr. would be a steal. Any chance the Reds spend a pick on him since his pop is the Reds AAA manager?

      • wvredlegs

        Delino DeShields, Jr. hasn’t played above AA level, so he could be assigned to AAA, is this correct? “Organizations may also draft players from AA or lower to play for their AAA affiliates (for $12,000) and may draft players from A teams or lower to play for their AA affiliates (for $4,000).”
        This would be a no-brainer for the Reds wouldn’t it?

      • Doug Gray

        Rule 5 picks must stick to the 25-man roster all season, unless on rehab assignment from injury. Also, he’s not a Jr. He and his dad have different middle names.

        There are “minor league phases” of the Rule 5 draft, but DeShields will absolutely not be eligible for that. The rules are a bit different, but basically a team can protect 70+ players from those drafts and DeShields will certainly be protected from that.

      • Tom Diesman

        I could also see Mark Canha helping out on the Reds bench next season if the Reds should select him. He profiles similar to recently signed Josh Satin, but is 4 years younger. Canha will be 26 next season, he is a RH batter and primarily a 1B, but has played some LF (61 G last season) and 3B. He hit .303/.384/.505/.889 last year with 20 HR in the AAA PCL. His career minor league line is .285/.375/.474/.850. He could possibly help out with the LF situation should they go the cheap route, Boesch platoon maybe, and would be a sensible backup at 1B/3B should Joey Votto or Todd Frazier miss any time. He also has some RH power which would play well off the bench should Heisey be non tendered.

      • Tom Diesman

        Also noted that Jose Tabata is listed as available in the Rule V. Pittsburg recently removed him from the 40 man but nobody wants to touch his contract which is 4M in 2015, 4.5M in 2016, with club options (6.5M,7.5M,8.5M) and .25M buyouts in each of 2017-19. He’s RH batter and will be 26 next season and he’s put up a .275/.336/.379/.715 line in 1724 PA over the last 5 years. Steamer pegs him for a .278/.334/.387/.721 line next season which would play well at the #1/#2 spot of our batting order. He looks like a decent change of scenery candidate. Just not sure about the 8.5M over 2 years, I suppose it may be easier to swallow in 2016 than a Aoki/Morse deal of maybe 16M over 2 years if Winker is knocking down the door for playing time.

  3. Michael Smith

    What do you think the national perception is for the talent in the reds minor league system and roughly where do you think that system is compared to the other teams in the central?

    • Doug Gray

      I’ve been saying it most of 2014 and it seems that it finally happened when Fangraphs writer Kiley McDaniel wrote up about the Reds system when he said this: “If you asked me before I started making calls on the Reds what I expected from their system, I would’ve said average to a bit below. I was surprised to find they have at least average depth and a surprising amount of high end talent; they have an above-average eight 50+ FV players and three more that could’ve been in that group. While there isn’t a slam-dunk, top-20 overall prospect in the bunch, this is an impressive group, buoyed by aggressive international signings and an instinct to look for talent in unusual places in the draft.”

      And I’ve been saying that would happen all year. The national perception on the system didn’t line up with the talent they had, but once the writers started calling around and getting information it would shine through. It finally did. The Cubs may have the best system in baseball, so the Reds aren’t there. But I do think they match up well with the rest of the teams in the central if not better. I’d say they are around the 10th best system in baseball based on how historically a team like theirs has been ranked.

  4. tct

    Wassup, Doug?

    1. I asked you about a month or two ago what Reds rookie would put up the most WAR in 2015, and you said Yorman. Do you still feel that way?

    2. I’ve heard that this is the last option year for Guillon. Do the Reds try him as a reliever this year to try to get him to the majors by next year?

    3. Walt comes to you and says “Doug, our bullpen stinks, but I don’t have the money to fix it on the FA market. Find me three pitchers in our own organization that can be successful out of the bullpen this year. Doesn’t matter if they were a starter or reliever last year. The only caveat is that we want to keep Stephenson and Lorenzen in the minors starting games, so don’t use them. Anybody else is fair game.” What three pitchers are you taking?

    • Doug Gray

      1. No, I don’t. I think he winds up second on the list behind Iglesias. I had the thought that he would spend time in the minors as a starter for a while, but it seems more and more the feeling is that he will wind up in the bullpen if he doesn’t win a rotation spot (with the rotation spot being a long term answer). That puts him ahead of Yorman here.

      2. There’s been some debate on whether or not Guillon qualifies for a 4th option year. I believe he does, but some others read the rule differently. I plan to find out at Redsfest for sure. If this is his last year on options, I do expect to see him in the bullpen in the second half unless he is just flat out dominant as a starter in the first half. The move to the bullpen would be a necessity if it’s his last option year.

      3. Nick Howard, Jon Moscot and Raisel Iglesias. If you don’t count Iglesias because you already plan on him being there, I’d add Ben Lively.

      • HELLSBELLS

        I read Guillon got another year, but not sure.

  5. WVRedlegs

    Doug,
    Has Amir Garrett really ascended to the #3 pitching prospect in the Reds organization? What is his ceiling?

    • Doug Gray

      Not for me he hasn’t. You can see my entire list here: http://redsminorleagues.com/prospect-rankings/

      I’ve got him listed as the #5 pitcher in the system and #7 prospect overall. His ceiling is probably a #2-3 type of starter. He’s a lefty with above-average velocity and a good breaking ball. Needs to get more work, but there’s a lot of potential upside with him.

  6. Jon

    Ok if you were the Reds GM, first would you go all out for 2015, try to balance winning short and long term or try to set up for future winning beyond next year? And How would you go about accomplishing this? Hypothetical Specifics Appreciated.

    • Doug Gray

      I’d try to balance winning short term and long term right now. I often hear that you shouldn’t do that, either go for it all now or rebuild, but those people don’t know what they are talking about.

      Sure, if you are the Dodgers, you go for it all. You can afford to do that. If you are the Astros you build for the future. The Reds have a strong core of players though for 2015, though the pitching could look awfully different in 2016. Still, the 2015 team can make the playoffs and as we saw in 2014, once you get there anything can happen. I wouldn’t be against trading a minor leaguer or two to improve the 2015 team. The Reds have enough minor league pitching depth that I think they could make a real move and not really crush their depth there even though they may need four new starters in 2016 (though with Cingrani and possibly Iglesias getting starts in 2015 it may only be two).

      If I were running the team I would try to target an outfielder or a shortstop using one of the starting pitching prospects in my personal top 10, sans Stephenson, and maybe couple that player with a big league part or a minor league prospect and bring in help that way. I wouldn’t go after a long term left fielder as I think Winker will fill that role soon. Shortstop wise I would look for a longer term option, but would settle for someone on a 2-year deal as well. I wouldn’t trade for a 1-year option there. If the team could get Aoki on a 2-year deal, I would consider that. I really do think that the 2015 Reds are in good shape to make the playoffs if they can solve either left field or shortstop and have an average amount of health for the team in 2015. So that move would set up that team just fine. I’d still look for smaller moves to fill out the bench and bullpen with more depth, but those are small moves.

      For the future, it’s kind of the same path. There’s enough pitching depth that I think, at least as we sit right now, that Bailey and Cingrani can be penciled in to the 2016 rotation. After that we’d look at Iglesias, Moscot, Stephenson, Lorenzen, Lively, Holmberg and perhaps the group from Dayton (Travieso/Howard/Garrett/Romano) as options to help fill out the rotation. Winker/Waldrop/Rodriguez could help solve the left field issue in the future as one of them is likely to become a starting caliber player by 2016.

      That would be my plan at least.

      • lwblogger2

        Makes perfect sense to me. You always hear the argument that all teams have injuries and the good teams overcome. What people seem to not take into consideration are the actual man-games lost by players and what level of production lost in those man-games. All teams have injuries but not like the Reds did, with as many man-games lost, to as many key players. Will the Reds not suffer injuries in 2015? Of course they will. They may even suffer more than their fair share. It is unlikely however that they will be bitten as hard as they were in 2014 though, and that is one reason for some optimism as far as competing in 2015.

  7. Tyler Burdett

    Hey Doug, just thought I’d let you know that I love reading yours posts on this website, you give a fresh perspective on different club issues throughout the entire organization and I really appreciate your writings along with the other writers on the website.

    My first question is what is your opinion on Amir Garrett? I’ve seen some scouting reports a while back that say that he has a David Price-like ceiling.

    My second question is what realistic moves do you see the Reds making this offseason.

    Thanks Doug!

    • Doug Gray

      I’ve seen those reports too and I don’t agree with them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Amir Garrett fan. Of the two national rankings that have come out so far, and mine, I’ve easily had him ranked the highest. But Garrett doesn’t have the same velocity that Price has. He doesn’t have the control either. The control will likely improve for Garrett, but Price has elite control and very few guys can attain that. Now, if someone wanted to say he were Price-lite, I can get on board there. Price has been an Ace in the past, he’s won a Cy Young Award and he just had a season where he had 38 walks and 271 strikeouts in 240+ innings. Guys like that just don’t exist. So it’s not really a knock on Garrett to say he’s not David Price. I think Garrett is more of a solid #2 or good #3 type of ceiling guy.

      Realistic Reds moves: Sign a left fielder, probably Aoki or Morse. Get a bullpen arm. Get someone for the bench. That’s what I think they will do. I don’t think they make a splash by trading a starter even though everyone seems to think they will.

  8. Grand Salami

    Doug thanks for all the great answers so far! A lot of talk has been made out of what Winker and Waldrop (I think) accomplished immediately following the MLB season.

    Were either of their accomplishments surprising to you? Were these small samples enough to alter your projections on their ceiling or timeline to the bigs?

    • Doug Gray

      No, they weren’t. Both guys performed as I expected them to, sort of. Winker had more power than I expected, but only because wrist injuries linger at times and I thought maybe his would. He hit for the power I would have expected him to if he hadn’t hurt the wrist in July.

      I’ve always thought that Winker would be ready sooner and I still believe that despite Waldrop having success in Double-A and Winker not really having much time there. He’s just so advanced at the plate. I’d look for him to be pushing for a job by the end of 2015, though I’ve been on record saying he would hold his own in the big leagues in April of 2015.

  9. Dale Pearl

    Is there one single move the Reds could make that would make them the team to beat?

    • Doug Gray

      Acquire Mike Trout for left field without losing a starter in the rotation or in the field? Short of that, no, probably not.The central has good teams in it, so to be a clear “team to beat” you need to probably project as a 95 win team.

  10. ohiojimw

    Doug,
    To put you on the spot a bit in another way, do you see Riggleman being 3B coach as a sign Price is on a short leash from day one this year?

    • Doug Gray

      No, I don’t. I see it as a way to try and fix a problem on the coaching staff that was historically bad. Plus, someone had to be a fall guy.

  11. Hank Y

    How does the competition level in the Arizona Fall League compare to the full season minor league levels? In short, is it +/- the AA time Winker missed with his injury?

    Has there been any update on Tony Cingrani’s health?

    • Doug Gray

      Most people equate the AFL to roughly AA. I think that is both correct and incorrect. I think the hitting quality in the league is in that range, if not somewhere between AA and AAA. But the pitching is very hit-and-miss. There aren’t many big time starters out there, though there are a few. What you see a lot of are relievers, so I think the pitching is probably more in that range between A+ and AA due to how late in the year it is for the pitchers and for the most part, a lack of premium pitching prospects that are in the league.

      As for Cingrani, I wish I had answers to that question.

  12. Dave Hindman

    Whats your thoughts on these rumors? Two new whispers are circulating today about the Reds. One links the Toronto Blue Jays with Jay Bruce. The other reports Miami Marlins interest in Johnny Cueto.