Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (7-7) 16 13 1
Milwaukee Brewers (2-12) 10 12 2
W: Marquis (1-1) L: Fiers (0-3)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–“It’s home run or nothing here on Home Run Derby.” The Reds had two grand slams (Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier) and three other homers (two from Zack Cozart and one by Joey Votto).

–Five Reds had multi-hit nights, led by Cozart, who was 3-5 with three runs scored and 3 RBI. Votto, Frazier, Brandon Phillips, and Brayan Pena also had two hits each.

–Kevin Gregg and Aroldis Chapman each pitched a scoreless inning, because of course they did.

–The Redlegs homered in five consecutive innings. That’s not bad.

–Cozart now has four homers this season. That’s exactly how many homers he hit all of last season.

The Bad
–Marlon Byrd. While everyone else was pounding the baseball, Byrd was going 0-3. On the season, he’s now hitting .122/.137/.143. No one could have imagined Byrd would be this bad.

–Jason Marquis struck out eight and walked none in five innings of work. That sounds good, right? Well, he also gave up five runs on nine hits. His ERA is 7.20. This is the Marquis we expected.

–Even worse: JJ Hoover. Hoover pitched the sixth inning…well, part of the sixth inning. He recorded one out, while surrendering four runs on one hit and three walks.

–Burke Badenhop recorded two outs in that same sixth inning, but gave up a grand slam. Ugh.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–The Milwaukee Brewers: Good For What Ails Ya’.

–Joey Votto is now hitting 377/.492/.792. Is that good? That seems good.

–Devin Mesoraco, about whom we have all been worried, made an appearance as a pinch-hitter. (He walked and scored a run.) Let’s hope he’s back in the everyday lineup soon.

–Cozart, eh? Cozart’s defense has always been elite, but last year, his overall offensive numbers suffered a steep decline, mostly because his power disappeared. This year’s early returns give reason for optimism. He’s hitting the ball hard this.

–That was the most runs Cincinnati has scored in a game since June 2007. Nice.

–Seven straight losses for Milwaukee. Starting to look like they are the worst team in the National League. The Reds will go for the series sweep tomorrow night. Oops. Four game series. Just ignore me.

209 Responses

  1. GeauxReds

    I wonder how Mez would play in LF? Seems like a good fit based on the way he was able to run the bases today.mand we could use a decent left fielder…

    • lwblogger2

      I think Mes could be a solid LF. That said, he has a ton more value as a catcher. Also, I’m not sure that even if he were to need a position change, the regular season is the time to do it. The only way I’d do something like that is if he can’t contribute behind the plate due to the hip and the Reds need to find a new permanent home for him.

  2. CTRedsFan

    Not to be critical but this is actually a four game series, so a sweep is not possible tomorrow

  3. George Mirones

    Chad;
    Isn’t this a 4 game series with the last game on Thursday at 1pm? Just asking

    • Vicferrari

      Just cut and paste that last sentence in tomorrow’s recap. Cueto’s pitching what could go wrong?

      • lwblogger2

        Poor guy has had the run support of a team made up of me this season.

  4. Grand Salami

    Sweep? I thought it was a four game set?

    Why yank marquis after 70 pitches, 5 innings and 7 or 8 run lead? Hoover clearly wasn’t ready to pitch and neither was Badenhop until he tightened the game up.

    Working in Chappy for the 9th when the 7th through the 9th were equally meaningless is exactly why Marquis should be in the pen and Chapman shutting down the brew crew for 5 innings. Let Tony close.

    • Robby20

      Marquis lost one four run lead pretty quickly. Why let him blow another big lead? Although the bullpen really is just awful. Glad the Reds had an entire off season to improve in that area..

    • Carl Sayre

      Watching Marquis has me wondering why Cingrani is in the bullpen?

      • CTRedsFan

        And why is he so seldom used? Every other pitcher in the pen has at least 5 appearances, most have 6 or 7, but Cingrani only 3. Does anyone know if he is having arm troubles again, or is he in Price’s doghouse?

      • vegastypo

        YOU ask Price about that, will ya? And maybe after 10 minutes of blaming you for trying to aid and abet the enemy, you’ll get an answer.

        I was wondering last night whether he could be hurt again, in some regard. Guys have to have limbs hanging off them to go on the DL, after all.

      • Vicferrari

        My theory, he dressed up as Mesoraco because Devin is still in PA. After the lashing Monday, all the beat reporters kept it under wraps to not ruin the Reds strategy

  5. Charles Mesterharm

    I can play left, although I would probably be hitting around .125, oh wait…..

    • lwblogger2

      .125? You have more confidence in your ability than I do mine. 20 years ago, in independent ball, I didn’t hit much better than that 🙂

  6. jdx19

    Reds still had an 88% WP after Badenhop gave up that homer. 98% before it. Crazy stuff. I find those WP graphs fascinating.

    • Vicferrari

      Byrd’s is at .280 (that is not obp or slugging, that is OPS…mercy does not give it justice. Not often you can make 4 outs and get in an 0-2 hole in your final AB and see your OBP increase from its game time level without getting a hit or really even taking a pitch, dudes going so bad he probably swings aaway if it did not hit him

    • Ohioindiaspora

      He has also hit more home runs than Giancarlo Stanton… maybe he should be batting in Byrdman´s spot…

      • jdx19

        Absolutely. I think Byrd needs to be dropped ot 8th until he proves he can still hit major league pitching.

  7. Vicferrari

    I thought Badenhop could have been the 8th inning guy just based on past success and just figured the spring training was an aberration, now starting to worry he is as useless as all the others, some ugly ERA in that box score until Chapman comes in.

    • redsfan06

      It’s not a good idea to stock up on ex-Brewers pitchers (Parra, Badenhop), a team that perennially has bullpen struggles.

      • Vicferrari

        Pitching with his 5th team in 5 years chances are good that he would have pitched for Milwaukee but even his worst year would have been better than most of the bullpen last year.
        At least they are not locked in to a 2 year deal, can pay him 1.5 M not to play next season if I understand the contract correctly.

      • lwblogger2

        Yeah, I don’t think he was a bad signing. He has never missed a lot of bats but has been a ground-ball machine throughout his career. Even his worst season would have seemed an upgrade over our 2014 pen. Not sure why he’s been so bad this season other than he’s leaving the sinker up and when you do that, it gets smoked.

  8. JMO

    Reds BP is not good. Our offense and D will be top 3. Comes down to the pen IMO and the back end of the rotation.

    • Vicferrari

      A bit optimistic, Reds OF has got to be the among worst hitting in baseball, they have replacement level catchers and below that on the bench. Maybe the entire infield can have career years while remaining injury free. Plus the manager is on the verge of a breakdown due to all the pressure put on by the vicious Cincinnati media.
      I wish I could agree with you but I doubt the bullpen gets a chance to blow too many leads if Mes is not catching and hitting close to last year’s level. A lot more has to change I suspect Bruce and Byrd will be putting up better stats than Cozart by season’s end, just hope Zack does not tail off too much, I say .260 with 15 Hr’s is realistic because you know his OBP will not be a factor unless he changes his approach.

      • lwblogger2

        I’d love .260 and 15 HR out of Cozart. With his defense, I’d be thrilled. He’s not going to take too many walks but if he can hit for a little power and maintain an average near .260 along with hitting his share of doubles, he’d be very valuable.

    • redmountain

      Several years ago, the Reds bullpen was blowing leads early in the season, but they got much better as the season progressed. Maybe that is their thinking. Look at Lorenzen’s Louisville stats and you gotta believe he will be in the majors in the next month if things do not improve.

  9. Vicferrari

    Not sure what this means or how terrible this actually is but my count besides Chapman, the Reds bullpen have entered 9 innings with leads and have given up 14 runs. Diaz’s and Gregg’s innings tonight were the first where no one scored.

    • Carl Sayre

      I was glad to see Diaz have some success just for his own head. Your comment on the outfield hitting or lack there of has some merit. I was being optimistic when we signed Byrd thinking .240 or so and 28 to 30 HR would have been such an upgrade now i am thinking the best argument for Byrd came out of a bourbon bottle. IMO he can’t hit well enough to put his horrorific defense in the game. The terrible D i am talking about is no less than 6 singles that he has plodded into doubles he is just slow.I wonder if dropping Hamilton to the 8 hole would take some pressure off or if he needs to go back to AAA to work on his hitting. Bruce gets into the 265 area and goes for 25 to 28 would be wonderful but maybe to optimistic. One definition of insanity is to continue doing things the same way and expecting a different result. He doesn’t even try to hit the ball the other way and everybody overshifts on him. To finish this rant i am starting to think Lutz would look good in LF, that is indeed sad commentary.

      • Vicferrari

        I am not ready to give up on Byrd in the past 8 season – throwing out a limited 2012 his lowest OPS was .719 typically getting near .800 or above which would have been 3rd or 4th on last year’s team. I would be very surprised if he does finish within the top 7 on the team. April has historically been his worst month, but would like to see Boesch out there a bit more who tends to have horrid 2nd halves.

      • greenmtred

        I’ve seen Bruce go opposite field several times.

      • redmountain

        You would not think that about Lutz if you checked his stats in Louisville. Aside from DeJesus, no one is hitting in AAA. As far as hitting goes, look around at who else is below the Mendoza line. For example, Jose Bautista is hitting around 150. It is early and some of these guys may come around. Bruce, for example, is right about where he usually is going into May. May is when he starts one of his runs historically. He is certainly hitting bombs, so maybe that means he starting to heat up. Can DeJesus play OF? I bet he would give it a try if he was asked.

  10. John Walsh

    WAIT, EVERYONE!?! Isn’t it a four-game series? How can the Reds go for a sweep if tomorrow is only the third game in a four-game series? Chad, how could you make such an error? Are you being serious? Is the dress white and gold or blue and black. OMG, I am freaking out right now.

    • Chad Dotson

      Yeah, I’m a moron.

      Actually, I was half-asleep when I was finishing this recap. I’m surprised I didn’t make more errors than I did.

      • John Walsh

        It was funnier when there were three straight “It’s a four-game series” comments. The sarcasm really came through then.

  11. GREATREDLEGSFAN

    I hope a decision will be made pretty soon concerning Marquis, Byrd, Hamilton and the bullpen (sans Chapman & Cingrani), otherwise Reds will lost track of Cards and Cubs. I bet for a DFA’d for Byrd and Marquis, a demotion for Hamilton (.250 OBP) and at least Hoover and Gregg should be replaced in the bullpen. GO REDS!

    • The Badger

      Just a reminder about BH’s hitting or lack thereof. Who in the world would we replace him with? Right now we have a great defender in center that can cause major constrination when he does get on the base paths. A year in AAA may make him better, but a look to the bench says sending him there makes the overall situation far, far worse. If we want to give up, fine, but why not leave BH in Cincy to learn against Major League pitching?

      • charlottencredsfan

        Can’t believe I’m suggesting this but move Zack to clean-up. He is just killing the ball right now. Virtually on every strike he is thrown. It’s not like he is just running into a couple of lucky pitches. Billy needs to get with him and find out how he did the turn around.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Because he is so far off and you can’t have regulars hitting below .200. Don Long is a very poor hitting instructor and hopefully Billy could get professional help in Louisville. Negron can play CF in the meantime.

      • CTRedsFan

        Except isn’t the manager in Louisville the very person, Delino DeShields, that Billy worked with all off-season to improve his hitting?

      • redmountain

        Where is the evidence that Long is a bad hitting coach. He has worked hard with Votto and Cozart and also with Frazier, Meso and others. As far as helping Hamilton goes, I can diagnose what he is doing, but that does not mean he will do it. Hamilton is swinging far too much at pitches with an upper cut.

      • jdx19

        Not sure Long should get too much credit for Votto. I have no idea when they first crossed paths, but I think Votto was likely an exceptional hitter far before that point.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Red, never heard about him working with Votto, at all. You have any back-up?

        My argument: in the second half of last year every, I mean every, hitter tanked and not one recovered. Hitting instructors at this level do not teach “hitting” but they should be able to identify flaws and help correct them (make adjustments). Jay Bruce, “I don’t watch a lot of tape of myself”. No kidding. All the great hitters use video – at least the ones I’m familiar with. A fundamental of baseball hitting: if your feet are not set at the point of contact, you are swinging with nothing but arms and off balance to boot. Go to a batting cage and try to hit a ball square moving the foot around like Billy; then set your feet, maybe like JV, and see the difference.

        Last fall Billy went to work with Delino DeShields on bunting. Bunting? Heck, Billy can bunt as good as anyone. What he needed to work on was making solid contact with a baseball. That would improve his butting success a lot more than working on something he is highly proficient at. He doesn’t need DeShieds help, he needs someone like Rod Carews help. Go see his videos on hitting and see what I’m talking about.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Not the Reds MO. We’re going to have to wait this one out. Hopefully if none of those guys come to, by ASB, there will at least be platooned. I think we are probably stuck with Marquis until September. For whatever reason, Reds just can’t move quickly on anything – very much like the Federal Government.

      Wish we could play the Brewers ever game, just like the Globetrotters versus the Washington Generals. They make us look good.

    • redmountain

      Check the stats of players in the minors, they are not very good outside of a few exceptions.

    • greenmtred

      I’ll be a minority of one here and say that I’m not ready to give up on Marquis. He has impressive movement on his pitches, tends to sink everything, and stays low in the zone. So far, when things have gone wrong for him, it appears to be because his pitches have strayed into the upper part of the strike zone. He didn’t pitch last year, right? Might take him awhile to regain his feel. Somebody will, of course, bring up the back of his baseball card, to which I can only say that people aren’t baseball cards. If future performance were really so predictable based on the past, there would be no need to play the games. Just think of the reduction in injuries…

      • preacherj

        Exactly what i was thinking regarding Marquis. I can see why it was appealing to the FO to give him a shot at the rotation. He really does have some nice movement on his pitches. It wasnt just because it was the Brewers why he had all those k’s last night. Unfortunately, he tires and elevates the ball. His stuff is far too slow for that. The way he pitched last night might make him the perfect long man, or a complement to someone like Inglesias or Lorenzen to help keep their innings moderate.

      • Adam M. Singhoff

        The only movement I’m seeing when Marquis pitches is the ball coming hard off the opposing team’s bat.

  12. Mike

    When Joey Votto swings and misses — he doesn’t lose his balance. Like a good golfer, he pivots. Everyone else false off balance when they miss. I don’t understand how anyone can expect consistency if they’re unbalanced. I can understand Little Leaguers and high schoolers, but not MLs. They should,all be required to watch Votto Video and swing on balance. Quiet bat, quiet hands, quiet feet. He makes it look so simple. Like Ted used to. Boom boom, you can’t stop the Big Red Machine — at least not tonight.

    • Captain Hook

      Well it helps that he is swinging and missing at pitches that are relatively close to the strike zone.

    • lwblogger2

      I hear this a lot but honestly, once you’re older and you’ve been hitting a certain way pretty much your whole life, it is very, very, very hard to change how you hit. Well, ok, it isn’t that hard to change but to actually change and manage to be as good as you were before you changed; that’s the difficult thing. It does happen. It happens somewhat frequently, but it isn’t automatic at the higher levels of baseball. It also breaks down more often than it works. If you’re teaching a younger player how to hit though, when they are still developing, watching Votto is a great learning tool.

  13. Jake

    Vottos’s stats so far are eye popping

    .377 AVG
    .492 OBP
    6 HR 13 RBI
    .792 SLG
    1.285 OPS

    Hopefully this offense will show up tomorrow for Cueto. Nice to see the bats come alive!

  14. TomatoTovotto

    Was curious so looked this up:

    Heisey batting .257 with 4 HR (though 12K to 5BB) in AAA Oklahoma City.

    Wonder what it would take to get him back at this point.

    • Vicferrari

      Probably Corcino would have been enough

    • redmountain

      Why? He is hitting 257 in the minors. that translates to under 200 in the majors.

      • jdx19

        Not trying to be contradictory, but what basis are you using for the “translation?” I’ve seen a few studies and was curious what you’ve seen.

      • lwblogger2

        MLEs are pretty good. There are a few different ones. I haven’t seen one that says .257 in the PCL translates to under .200 in MLB. There are way too many other factors MLEs look at aside from just batting average.

    • lwblogger2

      He got called up and started in CF for the Dodgers last night. Didn’t look great but almost made a fantastic catch in CF.

  15. gus0341

    I would take Heisey all day in LF over this old reject we got in there now. He has had 3 weeks, showed absolutely nothing. And his defense is terrible as well.

    • Vicferrari

      I think we all know 3 weeks is plenty of time to judge anybody, you pretty much can tell when hitters with a .756 OPS for their career are finished
      We all know Disco is going to be rookie of the year & Cozart a silver slugger based on what we have seen so far

  16. Matthew Watkins

    Has anyone thought of maybe batting Cozart leadoff? If he keeps hitting for power and getting on base lets get the MVP Votto some more RBI’s

    • jdx19

      He certainly shouldn’t be batting 8th if Byrd is in the lineup. I think we can all agree to that! 🙂

  17. aceistheplace2

    Ive said it much earlier in this past off season: can Devin play LF?
    From what I’ve read and heard (and who knows if they are credible sorces), he has no issue with batting and especially running. His issue is getting behind the plate and crouching down is where the pain is.

    Mesoraco is a fast runner, for a Catcher type. His big bat is needed in the lineup and C seem like it is becoming less of an option, (obviously 1B is taken). I would honestly be ok with Tucker and Pena as the catchers,

    The big questions really are: how much worse defensively in LF can he be than Byrd (or Dunn for that matter, whom we trotted out there for a while), and would this move cause more concern for additional injury to his current situation.

    • jdx19

      Yes, Devin CAN play left field, because any decent athlete can play LF and Devin is a decent athlete.

      Highly doubt the Reds try him there, though. They’ve got Byrd for that!

      • lwblogger2

        I love Jay Bruce. He’s my favorite Red but yes, that was actually painful to watch.

  18. Daytonian

    1. I thought Cingrani was to be the long man. Where was he last night when we needed a long man?

    2. Let’s see… The Reds use Chapman in the 9th with a big lead. But the reds do not use him at all against the Cards in a tie game when a crucial strikeout is absolutely necessary? Whom do we have int eh bullpen who gets strikesouts? Hmmm…..

    3. Boesch may be the answer in LF. He had two hits in his last start and then was asked to ride the bench again. No sense riding a hot bat when, as Dusty would say, you need to get your cold bats started (sarcasm). Boesch got off to a slow start as a PH but appears to get in a rhythm when in the lineup. If Byrd can’t find his stroke, try Boesch in LF for 2 or 3 games and see the results.

    • jdx19

      Two hits is a pretty thin argument for calling Boesch the answer, or even claiming he’s on a hot streak.

      Also, trying Boesch for 2-3 games will tell you nothing. I think you’d have to maybe platoon the guys for 2-3 months, then make a decision in July-August who you want. I dunno. Either one of them could heat up or be abysmal.

    • Big56dog

      Boecsh historically is much stronger in the 1st half and Byrd worst month is April by far, it might not be a bad idea for Byrd to find his eventually grove solely against LHP until he gets on track while we see what Boesch can do

  19. ProspectCincy

    Cingrani’s usage is puzzling. 3 games all season; 0.1 innings in the last 10 days … I don’t understand what in the world is going on.

    Price would rather use Chapman for an inning w/ a 6 run lead than Tony. It’s clearer more now than ever; dude needs a scenery change. Cincinnati seems to have it in for him since day one … poor kid deserves better.

    • Matt WI

      Somebody get C Trent on the case! I smell subterfuge with Cingrani 🙂

      • Steve Mancuso

        You want CTR going around sniffing out subterfuge, don’t you. How does that help Bryan Price?

    • lwblogger2

      I’d expect him to be one of he first guys out of the pen in innings 6, 7, or 8 tonight. I’m hoping that Cueto throws a gem though.

  20. charlottencredsfan

    It’s early but interesting Votto stats:

    2015: K%= 13.8, BB%= 18.5
    2014: K%= 18.0, BB%= 17.3
    2013: K%= 19.0, BB%= 18.6
    2012: K%= 17.9. BB%= 19.8
    2011: K%= 17.9, BB%= 15.3
    2010: K%= 19.3, BB%= 19.3

    He is a notoriously slow starter, he is certainly primed for an MVP and his best season ever. Man-oh-man.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Correction 2010, BB%= 14.0%

    • Steve Mancuso

      Great stats, Charlotte.

      If you remember, I predicted before the season a return to MVP form: https://redlegnation.com/2015/03/09/player-projections-joey-votto/

      Was also in my season preview published in February. And while I’m tooting my own horn, I said this about Zack Cozart:

      … expect Zack Cozart to hit for a higher average and with more power this season.

      • wkuchad

        “… expect Zack Cozart to hit for a higher average and with more power this season”

        Well, that’s not really going out on a limb. 😉

      • charlottencredsfan

        Toot away – you nailed it.

    • jdx19

      Nice post! And to boot, strikeout rate begins to stabilize at 60 PAs! And Votto is past that point. If the man stays healthy, I expect big things.

  21. Andrewpky

    Great to see a beat-down! Reds showed no pity to the Brew Crew. Hoover looked awful simply because he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with his off speed stuff. Hopefully all it takes is to take a look at the video, identify what he was doing wrong and make the quick fix.

    Sounds like it may be time to see Cozart lead off. Move Billy down to 7 so he can get his head and/or swing worked out without causing too much damage. Probably time to see what Bosch can do with some starts in LF.

  22. sultanofswaff

    R.A. Dickey.

    Doesn’t Marquis seem a lot like him? I mean, he’s got a ton of movement on his pitches which leads to strikeouts, but at the same time hitters square him up a lot and you just have to hope for the best. This much I know, Marquis needs to throw his slider more often. Most everything he offers to right handed hitters runs back toward them—very little margin for error. The other problem (besides being not very good) is that he doesn’t have the ability to change the hitters eye level because he doesn’t have the velocity to be credible up there.

    • i71_Exile

      Marquis two strikeouts in the bottom of the fifth on pitches with insane movement. Granted, the Brewers hitters were swinging out of their shoes, but still. I’m not expecting Marquis to suddenly put it together at age 37, but he does have some weapons at his disposal.

    • jdx19

      Not so sure compating a knuckleballer to a non-knuckleballer is all that valid, but I certainly agree with the rest of your premise.

  23. sultanofswaff

    The book on getting Hamilton out is almost etched in stone at this point, isn’t it? Hard stuff early in the count, soft stuff with 2 strikes. Billy really loves to chase when he’s down 2 strikes. While I appreciate that he’s seeing more pitches, he’s doing himself no favors by not jumping on the fastball in the 0-1, 1-1, 2-1 counts.

    • reaganspad

      or bluffing the bunt on those pitches. agreed Sultan

  24. VaRedsFan

    FYI…Matt Adams made 2 errors last night in the 2-1 loss to the Nats, after making at least 3 web gems against the Reds last series

  25. Matt WI

    I went to the game last night… that was wild. I saw a comment somewhere above about Cingrani… and it was so clear in the 4th inning that Marquis just wasn’t going to be the guy. It was as if he felt bad for Fiers. Then, he didn’t get a good bunt down. I know that in his previous start, Marquis got no offense and he was bad, but this time, he hurt the team on the mound and in the box.

    It would have been ideal to let Cingrani go for 3 or 4 innings. Accountability and whatnot.

    Byrd simply couldn’t resist swinging at the ball. Still looking for that first walk.

    But, I have finally seen Joey hit one out in person. Ahhh.

    • Big56dog

      I cannot find any logic where this helps out the team, Cingrani go 4 innings? I do not think that is feasible, pitching has been so good bullpen not getting any work, I would imagine Kid Furious is your bail out guy in the 8th or possibly 7th, not the 6th, did not need him and Chapman needed some work

  26. Eric the Red

    The concern I have with Byrd is that there’s nothing to suggest he’s going to turn things around. He’s not having bad luck where he stings the ball and guys catch it; he’s not chasing a particular pitch and just needs to look at video to see the problem. Yes he has a track record, but so does Pete Rose and I doubt he’d get 200 hits this season. Byrd looks like he can’t catch up with even an average fastball so he’s guessing at everything. That’s not going to get better as the season progresses, unfortunately.

    • Matt WI

      Right. Same problem as with Ludwick. The bat speed is dying, and you’d think the one thing you could count on them for is a veteran-y sac fly when you need one… and nope.

      • Big56dog

        Did not Byrd get SF last night? But overall agree his performance is unacceptable

    • charlottencredsfan

      Willie Mays circa 1973.

      Only thing other than age that is causing the bat speed loss, is gripping the bat too hard. Unfortunately, I think he is cooked and isn’t even worth a bench spot. Phillies seem to have got the better of us.

    • sultanofswaff

      I’m seeing the same thing. During spring training, Byrd himself said that too often last year he would sell out in order to hit for power. He’s right, he is selling out………just to be able to catch up to the fastball. Everyone can see it. I mean, he had a few center cut fastballs last night and couldn’t do anything with them. Flipping over to the Cubs/Pirates game I saw the same thing with the new guy from South Korea—Kang. Not impressed.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Yep, the fundamentals don’t look promising. Large increase in swinging strike rate and swinging at pitches outside of the strike zone. Overall swing rate way up. Contact rate is way down for pitches in strike zone. Line drive rate tiny. K% was career high last year (29%) but even higher this year (31%). Hard to believe he can stay this bad. But he doesn’t seem even close to being a capable hitter.

      I’m not crazy about Brennan Boesch, but you have to try him a few games in LF at this point, don’t you?

      Great class of ’15 for Jocketty so far: Byrd, Boesch, Marquis, Gregg, Badenhop. One saving grace, and it’s a big one, is DeSclafani.

    • ohiojimw

      Agreed. Right now its looking like father time caught up with Byrd over the off season.
      I said the other night he got himself into some good counts but then couldn’t do anything with them. Somebody pointed out that the two times he swung at a 2-0 pitch it was off the plate inside and he hit toppers. That was technically accurate but I suspect both those pitches were the kind of pitches he used to crush, thigh high and a little in. Now he can’t turn on them. Maybe he could adjust but I doubt it because he can’t get to pitches on the outer half either.

      Seems to me the Reds need to start getting Boesch some ABs; or particularly if they get Meso back as an everyday player, use Negron in LF.

      • lwblogger2

        I’d like to give Boesch some ABs at least against RHP. I don’t think you can just write Byrd off though. He’s a slow starter anyway and he’s also a pretty smart player. He may be able to adjust. I think he needs to be put in a place where he has a chance to succeed. Let him face some LHP, drop him to 7th in the order, or even 8th. I don’t think you can give up on him less than a month into the season but man he has looked bloody awful.

    • jdx19

      Going from playing one of the top 4 teams in MLB to playing one of the worst 2 teams will do that for ya!

  27. eric nyc

    So is it possible Price’s little tantrum actually DID fire up the team or are the last two days just the Brewers Effect? I mean clearly the entire pitching staff outside of Cueto and Disco and Chapman is still a giant dumpster fire, but the offense is finally clicking. Who knows…I’m still finding it very hard to get emotionally invested in this year’s model but it’s fun to see grand slams!

    • Matt WI

      I’d lean toward the Brewer effect. A couple of days inside the closed up dome goes a long way. As we saw last night.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Brewers Effect, clearly. Mesoraco was asked yesterday if Price’s rant could fire up the team and he said no, team already fired up. Manager rants don’t affect it. Makes sense.

      • eric nyc

        I don’t actually think it could have an effect, but I was more commenting on the fact that some people were saying it might actually HURT the team.

        Speaking of Mes, I sure hope that was actually a sign that he’s ok because if we started his DL clock again for one AB in a game that was pretty well in hand I’m going to be pissed.

      • Steve Mancuso

        I do think when a team sees bizarre, out-of-character behavior from their coach, it can lessen their confidence (although not if it’s just a one-time thing). It wouldn’t be surprising to learn that Price has been similarly explosive with players. Outbursts from hot-headed managers like Lou Pinella or Billy Martin were expected by their players. But when a normally cool and collected guy loses his poise over an extended period of time, people notice.

        All that amateur speculation aside, I doubt it will have any effect on the team.

      • Matt WI

        Besides, Steve, manager aside, Joey Votto is hitting now. So doesn’t that make him a team leader that everyone looks up to? He’s got fire and cares. 🙂 Because nothing says leadership like leading the league in HR’s.

      • James

        I was noting the correlation is all. But it does raise the larger issue of the ways in which managerial style may impact player performance, thereby impacting their statistics and team performance.

  28. Eric the Red

    1) I just read the game thread from last night. I’m surprised there wasn’t more criticism of using Mesoraco to PH in a game we led by a lot at the time. Unless they’re really, really, really confident he’s going to be able to resume catching something like 4 days out of 5 in the near future, that move seemed like an unnecessary reset of his potential DL date. (Of course, his “family matter” might have been discussing the potential for surgery with his loved ones, in which case he’ll be lost for the year so we might as well get some PH appearances out of him and the DL date doesn’t matter. As you can see, I’m a real optimist/fun at parties.)

    2) We literally have one reliable arm in the bullpen. How would you like to try managing a team like that? I don’t know how you solve the problem, but if it doesn’t get solved the season will be toast.

    3) A healthy Joey Votto with even a bit of lineup protection (I know, I know, there’s no such thing…) is an awesome sight to behold.

    4) I don’t know how long you can go with a cleanup hitter with no XB power, especially with the guy hitting 6th having been struck out by Father Time. Seems a little churlish to mention that on a day after we scored 16 runs, though.

    • jdx19

      It’s never churlish to mention the worst clean-up hitter in the league! 😉

    • tct

      Interesting.
      1. This is a good point. Maybe the Reds just felt like if he’s not ready to go now, then he’s gonna need at least a few weeks before he is ready, making a retroactive DL move pointless. Might as well see if he can go.

      2. This is true. But Price needs to start thinking outside the box and forgetting typical bullpen roles to try something different. I mean, he’s not even using Cingrani and he could possibly be another good reliever if he can locate his slider.

      4. Yeah, but right now you have Hamilton, Byrd, BP, Pena, and Cozart who all really should be 6-8 spot hitters in a good lineup. I think it’s funny that people are now criticizing the manager for Not hitting Cozart at the top of the lineup. I like Zack, but just because a guy has been hot doesn’t mean he will be hot going forward. He has no on base skills and makes a ton of outs. Three good weeks shouldn’t make us forget his last three years.

      • charlottencredsfan

        TCT, on point 4. Does it really matter if he is stinging the bat at the moment?. Why not ride that streak for as long as possible? Are BP, Bruce, Byrd and Pena so great that they can’t be moved down for a better bat if even for another week or two? This team doesn’t have enough good sticks to play the same lineup, night-after-night. Ask yourself, what would Maddon do?

      • tct

        What you’re saying makes sense logically. But if I’m managing, I’m doing it like a smart man plays blackjack. By the numbers and always playing the odds instead of gut feelings. Every study I have ever seen says that a player being hot or cold for the last week, or two weeks, has no predictive value on what hes going to do for the next week or two weeks. Guys should be expected to play to their projections unless the projections have an obvious flaw or there is a change in skill set. There is no flaw in his projections, as he has been a well below average hitter in the majors for his entire career. Has there been a change in skill set? I don’t think so, but he has definitely made some changes in his swing.

      • charlottencredsfan

        I see your point. I just don’t see enough good hitters on this team to not move them around depending on who’s is hot and cold. The Big Red Machine? No way. 2015 Reds? Without a second thought.

      • ohiojimw

        Three weeks in 2011 won Cozart the job and kept him there since despite his abysmal offense most of the time.

        I’m happy for Cozart now and hope there is a net improvement over time. He had an offseason to adjust. Let’s see how he doing in three weeks when lot’s of folks have seen lot’s of video of the “new” Cozart.

  29. Brian Shotts

    Release Marquis…..bring up Inglesias and Lorenzen. Start one and give the other one a shot to mix-n-match in the 8th w/Cingrani or Jumbo. I know they want to stretch them out and give them more innings but the Reds need arms now!!

  30. Brian Shotts

    Badenhop last year…..2.29 era with 1 hr allowed in 70.1? How is that possible?

    • jdx19

      Good luck last year on fly balls. Bad luck this year on fly balls. The truth lies between the two extremes.

      • charlottencredsfan

        JDX, you know how much I think of you but don’t be so dependent on old “luck”. It is a convenient way to explain away a lot things. How about looking at his 2014 & 2015 heat charts and letting me know what you think?

      • jdx19

        I understand there is a lot more to it. And as you allude to, placement of pitches is a big contributor. But, HR/FB% still has a large “luck” factor. And the word “lucK” is probably more appropriately described as “variance” in a case like this. The stat xFIP was created to get rid of this “luck” factor, as it uses league-average HR/FB rate rather than the actual pitchers rate, which is why you see someone like Gregg having a much lower xFIP than ERA or FIP.

        Consider the following example:

        Scenario 1: Badenhop throws 10 belt high fastballs to Ryan Braun. Braun hits 2 home runs.

        Scenario 2: Badenhop throws 10 belt high fastballs to Ryan Braun. Braun hits 3 home runs.

        Both are completely plausible and both scenarios will explain Badenhop’s “performance,” like ERA or FIP or whatever, as being different, when in fact his performance was the same. The result was different and due to random variation.

        That’s why I say “luck” sometimes without adding the context. Much simpler.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Nice post.

        Here is another example: HR Derby. If TF is thrown 10 pitches exactly the same and hits out 5, were they luck? Were the other 5 “bad” luck? I don’t see that as luck. Variance is better but still not quite right. More like the odds/ratio maybe, I’m not sure. Not to hurt anyone’s feelings but I think luck is a weak word. Kind of like, “I don’t know, it has to be luck”.

        If Badenhop keeps getting the ball up, it will not balance itself. If he pitches like he can, the BABIP will probably reach the mean. I guarantee he will be luckier with the ball down.☺

    • jdx19

      Home run rate stabilizes at 1320 batters faced.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Simple: he is up in the zone. Can’t live up there and be any good.

      • VaRedsFan

        I agree with CNC here. BABIP is a result of good or bad pitch location. Since the pitcher has control of where he pitches the ball, then it’s (mostly) a result of skill, not luck.

      • Steve Mancuso

        If BABIP is mostly skill, then why are the best BABIPs 27% and the worst ones 30%? That seems like an awfully narrow range between the best and worst pitchers if it is mostly skill. And why are there great pitchers who don’t have among the best BABIP? Randy Johnson (29%). Roger Clemens (28.5%). Chris Carpenter (30%). Pedro Martinez (28%). Roy Halladay (29%). Jose Rijo (29%). Tim Lincecum (30%).

        And these: Jason Marquis (29%, lower than Johnson or Halladay), Eric Milton (28%), Kevin Gregg (29%)

        Still think BABIP is determined (mostly) by skill?

        One last exercise. Here are the BABIPs for 9 seasons of Tim Lincecum – .283, .304, .282, .310, .281, .309, .300, .299, .292. Now, pick out which two years were his Cy Young seasons, and which were the two where he was so poor that he lost his job in the Giants rotation.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Thanks VA. Yeah, when I see something like this, the first thing I look at is heat maps. If you are a sinkerballer and you are up in the zone, you’re going to have rotten “luck”.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Let me ask you a question Steve. Is a hitters BABIP more about luck than skill?

        Everytime I hear this, I think of Greg Maddux. When Maddux was winning Cy Youngs his BABIP was very, very lucky. Early and later in his career, he was very unlucky. I don’t get that.

      • Steve Mancuso

        There are outliers and Maddux and Cueto may be two of them. But a couple isolated examples doesn’t disprove a theory. Not when the vast, vast weight of the numbers goes the other way. See all the other examples I provided. Can you tell which years Lincecum won the Cy Young? Nope. Do you think Jason Marquis has been a better pitcher than Randy Johnson or Chris Carpenter? Of course not. There’s just way too much random variation in BABIP from one year to the next and one pitcher to the other for it to be substantially skill related.

        Hitters do have more control over their BABIP. Hitting a line drive is a skill that some players have more than others, for example. But pitchers face a random assortment of hitters over their careers. A pitcher who faced Joey Votto every AB would have a much higher BABIP. But that’s not how it works. A player’s speed also has a large impact on their BABIP.

      • Jeremy Conley

        BABIP is a complicated issue statistically. Clearly pitchers can control it somewhat, because different pitchers have different ground ball rates, and ground balls have different expected results than line drives and fly balls.

        The issue is that hitters can control it way more. For example, Votto has a career .356 BABIP and that’s not luck. He hits a lot of linedrives, and therefore should be expected to have a high BABIP. And because a pitcher faces so many different hitters, all with different tendencies, they are going to basically move towards the average. It’s a law of large numbers thing.

        If a pitcher had to only one hitter all year, you would expect them to have a BABIP mostly based on what the hitter does, and somewhat based on what the pitcher does, but less so. Since they face hundreds of hitters, you generally expect a pitcher’s BABIP to be league average, with some small variations based on GB/FB tendencies.

      • Steve Mancuso

        There’s also new research showing a link between pitch velocity and bad swings, with worse BABIP at the margin.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Steve there are a lot of outliers. Most are not strike out pitchers: Don Sutton, Warren Spahn, Johnny Cueto, Orel Hershiser, etc. Easy to find. The better the year generally the lower the BABIP.

        The greatest pitcher in my lifetime: Sandy Koufax. Sandy in his great years had an extremely low BABIP and was a strike out pitcher. The best of both worlds and why he may have been the greatest of all time..

        Heck, most pitchers greatest years they have a very low BABIP with the exception of extreme strikeout pitchers: Randy Johnson, Roger Clemmons, etc. Is this luck or maybe they were just more effective pitchers that year(s).

        Does it tend to average out over a lifetime? Sure and makes all the sense in the world. When a guy is in his gravy years he is posting low BAPIP’s and as he loses it , the BABIP swings the other direction. It can only swing so much in either direction,as a pitcher can only be so good, or so bad he is out of the league. So absolutely, over a lifetime will a BABIP stabilize? Yes, more than likely. You guys haven’t posted too many items that can only be explained away by luck. Generally, it’s “I don’t want to dig too deep to find out why, so I’ll say luck”.

      • Steve Mancuso

        When you say “the better the year the lower the BABIP” you realize that’s impossible to differentiate from “the better the BABIP the better the year” right? That’s the point.

        Of course there are outliers. You say there are many and you identify a few. You understand the population is EVERY pitcher who has thrown in the major leagues. That’s many. Even if there are fifty pitchers who were good enough to sustain a statistically significant variation in BABIP, that doesn’t disprove the general theory about the thousands of other ones.

      • charlottencredsfan

        You bet but Badenhop is not getting knocked because of bad luck. He’s getting knocked around because his pitches are up in the zone. If he continues that, he will have an awful BABIP. That was the original point.

        Normally if a guy gives up 10 hits in a game, it’s not to equal out the last 5 outings he pitched but that he stinks on that particular day – not luck. I believe things will return to the mean in general for the reasons I pointed out. Mainly because you won’t have guys with <.230 BABIP or much more than .300, in the high case, not for very long – they are weeded out. When Bob Gibson compiles a 1.12 ERA, you can be sure his BABIP is very, very low. Is that luck?

        So we agree on the endpoint but disagree on the means. I don't see a whole lot of luck going on.

      • lwblogger2

        Not when you’re a sinkerballer who doesn’t miss many bats and doesn’t have velocity on his side. His fastball can’t be up or they’ll kill him.

      • jdx19

        Right, but even in the “kill him” category, there are scales of relative goodness or badness.

        Being killed could look like an ERA of 7.00 or an ERA of 18.00. That variance is based on “luck.”

      • lwblogger2

        And if they leave the yard they are not statistically BIP. They do matter on the HR/FB ratio though.

      • jdx19

        I think part of the breakdown here is what people’s internal definition of “luck” is. We throw it around a lot and it means different things. Such as “standard deviation of returns” being called “risk” in securities investing.

        See my example to your post above where I try to give a scenario to show what we are trying to say with “luck.”

      • jdx19

        You can live up in the zone against Mike Trout! The guy has like a .100 career average on pitches up, or something wild like that. Weird, eh?

      • charlottencredsfan

        Outside, the miracle man Votto, everyone has cold spots. Joey probably needs to be checked out. He is not made of flesh & bones.

      • lwblogger2

        Stranger still being that he is a RH hitter and most RH hitters love pitches up. Holy crap! I have something in common with Mike Trout! I like the ball down and I’m a RH hitter! I have have something in common with Mike Trout!

        Note: That’s probably the only thing I have in common with Mike Trout. The guy is unbelievably good.

  31. Jeremy Conley

    What kind of rope do you give some of these guys? I understand it’s too early to be calling anyone’s season lost, but really…

    Marquis, Gregg, Hoover, Parra, and Badenhop have all been terrible. Their ERAs are bloated in a time of decreasing offense, and their peripherals show they aren’t just getting unlucky.

    So say that things don’t get better, when do you make a move? You can’t just keep running them out there forever if they can’t get major leaguers out. Other guys can.

    Same question applies to Marlon Byrd (so far the single least valuable hitter in all of baseball) and Billy Hamilton, but the answers there could be easier. If they keep struggling, I expect Price to start giving more ABs to Boesch and Negron. For the pitchers you’d have to go to the minors to fill the roles.

    • Matt WI

      It seems so obvious to sit Byrd for awhile. Of course, he adds nothing coming off the bench either. So darned if you do, darned if you don’t. But even understanding that Negron isn’t the super-hero he flashed last season, a replacement player has to be better than what they are getting.

      Has anybody checked into getting Left Field exorcised? Did Adam Dunn lay some kind of curse out there before he left?

      • VaRedsFan

        Addition by subtraction in Byrd’s case.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Jeremy, I think he il stick with those relievers for awhile. Just the Reds way of doing business. Look how long it took to bring up Jumbo last year.

      As far as Byrd & Hamilton, both are so fundamentally flawed that you really need to sit both Byrd should be released, but Hamilton’s issue is very fixable. Rather see it happen in AAA than leading off every night for team. Batting him eighth or ninth is not the answer as he is a true <.200 hitter at the moment.

      Really admire Zack Cozart. Obviously he worked very hard in the offseason to get himself together. His problem was never bat speed, free swinging, or strength; it was getting under nearly ever pitch he it. He is staying on top of the ball and it is something to see. Honest to God, he should be hitting clean up tonight.

      • Jeremy Conley

        The big problem for Cozart was the Reds got in his head about trying to go the other way. He just can’t do that with his swing, he pops everything up. When Cozart was a league average hitter, he did it by yanking everything down the line. He’ll never be great that way, but he will hit some HRs and doubles.

        Apparently Barry Larkin talked to Cozart in the offseason and told him to stop over-thinking his approach. Now he’s back to yanking everything, and he looks way better. He’s not going to OPS 1.000 all year because pitchers will start caring about him again, but I do think he’s going to be back to the Cozart of 3 years ago.

        I would just go ahead and sit Byrd and Hamilton tonight and start Boesch and Negron.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Not what I’m seeing with Cozart when I look at the spray charts. 3 of 4 line drives where in the middle of the field, so far. That is a recipe for a much higher batting average. He stays on top of the ball, he will have plenty of power, the kid has some strength.

        Again, looking at the spray charts I’m not seeing “yanking everything”. Nearly an even split between LF-CF-RF. By the way, last year he hit nearly half his balls to the pull side.

      • Jeremy Conley

        I don’t think you’re looking at the spray chart correctly then.

        Go to fangraphs spray chart page for him and select hit type. You will see that every one of his HRs has been to left field close to the line and the vast majority of doubles have been as well. That’s where all of his power is.

      • charlottencredsfan

        I don’t care because it has always been that way. He is spreading the ball around as in going with the pitch. The ironic thing is that the more he employs solid hitting fundamentals (using all field) the more power he will have – even if most (all) of it is to LF. What your suggesting sounds like 204 Zack – Yank That Ball, son. ZC needs to a hitter, not a hacker. Last year – hacker, this year – hitter. Guys that spread the ball around aren’t big on pop-ups.

      • Jeremy Conley

        I just think you’re wrong on this one. He’s hitting the ball less to all fields, more to the pull side, and hitting for more power. His swing isn’t nearly as level as Votto’s, so he can’t just get more power by going to all fields.

        Also, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about in 2014. He was explicitly trying to go the other way all last year. Look up interviews, look at spray charts, it’s all there.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Thanks Kevin. Wish I knew how to post a Spray Chart, saves a lot of words.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Dag gone Jeremy, I aways look up my claims,. Location of balls hit 2014:
        Pull: 203
        Center: 121
        Opposite: 103

        That is not too balanced.

        2015
        Pull: 16
        Center: 14
        Opposite: 13

        That’s as near to perfectly balanced as you will get.

        The less ZC tries to hit HR’s the more he will hit. His pop-ups will have an inverse relationship: less pop-ups equals more HRs, less pop-ups equals more HRs.

      • Jeremy Conley

        The point is it’s not about where he’s hitting the ball, but where he’s getting hits. Look at the chart Kevin posted. All but three of his balls to the opposite field are outs, because they are weak hits.

        Charlotte, what you are saying is the same conventional wisdom that the Reds tried to tell Cozart that messed him up. He’s just not that kind of hitter. For him, his zone is the inside part of the plate, and when he just tries to swing hard and pull the ball, he hits HRs and doubles down the line.

        When he tries to go the other way, he messes his swing up and pops out.

      • charlottencredsfan

        I will bet a T-shirt on this: if Zack Cozart has a real good season (265/320/400), we will see two things: he spreads the ball to all fields far, far more (like this year) and has a higher batting average almost by equal percentages across the field (LF-CF-RF), compared to 2014. That will tell me: that going with the pitch not only increases his hitting efficiency to CF and RF but also LF. All fields win.☺

        His problem is not pulling vs. pulling, his problem has been he had very poor fundamentals. Get rid of the uppercut, hit the ball where it’s pitched and presto, we have a new and improved Zack Cozart!

      • charlottencredsfan

        Jeremy, I’m not suggesting this:

        “When he tries to go the other way, he messes his swing up and pops out.”

        I don’t want him to try to hit the ball to any particular zone in the OF. I want to hit the ball where it is pitched. To me it is simple: the more he spreads the ball to all fields, the more he is going with the pitch, the more he goes with the pitch, the more successful he will be hitting to all fields. Yes, his dominate field will be Left followed in order by CF and RF. If he has a very poor average to two fields, he is a dead duck; if only one field he will be mediocre.

        So Kevin’s chart showed me exactly what I suspected: 3 of 6 balls hit to right field were base hits, 5 of 12 to CF, 5 of 5 in LF. This doesn’t mean that if he hits all balls to LF, he will bat a 1.000; no he will bat no better than .305 to that field. He is hitting most balls to centerfield and that is good.

      • jdx19

        While I have very much enjoyed reading this sub-thread, I feel compelled to remind everyone (and I know you all know, I just can’t help myself) that Cozart’s batted ball profile so far in 2015 is way to small to draw any useful conclusion on!

      • charlottencredsfan

        [mlbvideo id=”84876383″ width=”400″ height=”224″ /]

        Always thought Billy Ripken was excellent at analysis, now I’m thinking he is a genius. LOL

        Just poking. Great discussion.

  32. charlottencredsfan

    My two cents on Marquis outing: he can not live in the heart of the strike zone. Re: Bronson Arroyo.

    That said, the first two innings last night were beautiful: he lived on the edges of the zone, kept the ball down, good pitch mix, and hit 90 on the gun. Can’t recall seeing any of his pitches, prior to last night, anywhere near 90. The difference between 86-87 and 90 is huge, ask Sam Lecure. Starting in the 3rd inning, he was grooving get-me-over pitches early in the count and was hit very hard for 2 innings. My theory is, that he strikes out 5 in 2 innings, he may of been a little too confident in his stuff. It wasn’t fantastic stuff that was causing those K’s but smart and precise pitching. Jason is either going to be crafty or watching baseball from his recliner.

    Seeing signs of a serviceable #5 starter but obviously not there yet. If he can hit 90, stay on the corners, and mix pitches effectively; we have a winner. I hope the Reds will give him no longer than the end of May to see what he can do.

    • Jeremy Conley

      I agree that Marquis looked better in the first two innings, but remember he was facing a terrible Brewers team. No Gomez, no Lucroy, no Ramirez, and a terrible Ryan Braun. They had 4 total HRs coming into the game and Marquis ERA actually went up from 6.50.

      Maybe they can try him in the bullpen.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Same guys in 3rd & 4th innings.

      • Jeremy Conley

        Sure, like I said, he clearly looked better in the first two innings. I’m saying against a better team, the results he got in the first two innings may not be the same.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Don’t misunderstand, I’d start bringing up the youngsters today. But we know they are not going to do that, I just don’t want them to extend the “trial period” any longer than June 1st. We both know, that probably no matter what he does, he’ll get to the ASB.

    • lwblogger2

      I think there’s a good chance that it was guys starting to see him for the 2nd time that caused the damage. Sort of like “Ok, I’ve seen what you got, now you’re mine.” Even the worst MLB hitters are good hitters. They are going to hit pitchers with marginal stuff unless 1) They have great command or 2) They are exceptionally deceptive or 3) They don’t get to see each batter for more than one plate appearance.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Go look at the tape.

        Your point is a good one in general but doesn’t apply here. I just disagree, respectfully. He also returned to form in the 5th.

  33. Matt WI

    Honestly, I can’t understand a team that has both Johnny Cueto and Jason Marquis on the same roster. Either you care enough to make the most of Johnny’s (likely) last year and address the dead weight, or you keep letting dumpster fires start and you do the good graces of getting some talent back for Cueto. It’s some of the same middling hesitation to commit to a direction that fangraphs is saying the Brewers are stuck in.

    If my 5th started cannot handled a TWO grand-slam spot, then good grief.

    • Big56dog

      Did Marquis not leave with a lead, he handled it and he is the only one to start a game where the Reds won, that is a #5 starter

      • Matt WI

        Which I feel beautifully demonstrates the failure of the “W” stat to meaningfully project a lot about a starting pitcher. So while I saw him leave with a lead, it was an extraordinary one, and I also saw him getting absolutely shelled by Brewers bats that haven’t hit the broadside of the barn since the season started. And I saw him have to leave when most any other pitcher on the staff should have been able to go 7 or 8 strong given the lead.

        To give Marquis any credit for a win (also, think of his poor bunt when the game was still close) is like congratulating a kid for not setting the house on fire while they played with matches and gasoline in the garage.

        So, when Johnny gets 2 runs of support most times (if that), and we talk about how he left without a lead, I’ll take my man Cueto every day. Every day. Process, not results.

  34. Brian Shotts

    Byrd = 14 games isn’t enough….35 games minimum

    Marquis = Not just no…hell no. It hasn’t even warmed up in GABP yet? We have other options….this doesn’t have to be Eric Milton Part 2?

    • charlottencredsfan

      Brian, never seen a 37-year old guy magically regain bat speed. Anything is possible, I guess.

      • Brian Shotts

        They were throwing just as hard in spring training…trying to make their team and he hit fine. We’ll see? He cant be this bad?

      • jdx19

        Ceratinly agree he can’t be this bad. But, I still think given an entire season his upside is somethng like .230/.280/.330, which is pretty bad in my book. Basically, Cozart from last year.

        That is based on no data of any kind. Just a good old fashioned seat-of-the-pants guess!

  35. GreatRedLegsFan

    How about?

    Philips 2B
    Cozart SS
    Votto 1B
    Frazier 3B
    Bruce RF
    Meso C
    Boesch LF
    Negron CF

    • eric nyc

      Why put BP that far up If you believe Cozart’s turn around is for real and not just a hot streak (I’m still skeptical, but I’d love to be wrong) then why not just put him at leadoff and move BP back down in the order?

    • Matt WI

      I’m leaving Zack right where he is. He’s hot and it’s great. I can see the wisdom for a brief stint at the 4 spot while he is scalding hot (e.g. for a game or two, pending a Mesoraco decision) but all else being equal, this is a temporary great stretch and and i’m happy to have someone in the back end of the order contributing. He was always better than last year’s stats, and is unlikely to continue this tear. If he’s still hitting north of .300 in a month, then Price should consider moving him. Also… I’m not moving Joey out of the 2 hole for anything right now!

    • Jeremy Conley

      I would go Negron, Votto, Frazier, Bruce, Cozart, Mesoraco, Phillips, Boesch

      But that would be my starting 8.

      • eric nyc

        Until you can show me you can consistently get on base, I don’t want you anywhere near my leadoff spot. Negron still has too much to prove. I say go with whoever’s hot and be willing to make changes on the fly. Right now it’s Cozart. I’d put him at #1 until he starts to slip and then I’d look down the lineup and see who has the best OBP besides Votto and stick them up there. Rinse, repeat. Of course this is something a Reds manager would NEVER do because of “roles” and whatnot.

      • Eric the Red

        To be fair, no manager would approach it like that. It makes sense to us as fans, but not even the Joe Maddons of the world operate the way you’re describing.

      • eric nyc

        Isn’t that almost exactly how Joe Maddon operates? I’m not saying it’s an ABSOLUTE formula. There’s room for some judgement in there. Even if Jay Bruce is in one of his hot streaks you aren’t going to want to bat him leadoff. Same for Mes. But otherwise is there any reason to not have any other member of that starting 8 bat leadoff if they happen to be getting on base better than everyone else? And in the absence of a Choo-type no doubt leadoff man you need to be flexible. Guys are going to go through hot and cold spells and if the manager can’t roll with those fluctuations and adjust the lineup daily then why pay the guy? Set the lineup in April, check back every 6-8 weeks to see if you want to make a tweak, and so on.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Case in point, James Looney.

  36. lwblogger2

    Off topic for this thread but I have done the initial research for a quick project that was given to me analyzing the percentage of payroll that the top 5 salaried players take up on each team. I’m hoping to make it an article and get it to the staff. With all the new writers, I’m not sure it’s gonna pass muster as my writing stinks. I can pass the raw data off to one of them if they’d like. Just let me know guys.

      • lwblogger2

        I’ll send you the raw data when I get home. It’s on my personal laptop.

  37. Steven M. Nelson

    And in other news… anyone notice that Alfredo Simon is 3-0 with a 0.87 WHIP. I didn’t think I’d be having remorse over that deal, but Simon would look pretty good in Marquis’ spot right about now.

    • eric nyc

      I think maybe I’ll give Suarez a chance before I judge that trade based off 3 Alfredo Simon starts.He’s still not striking ANYONE out so it looks like he might just be up to another lucky start. Suarez could potentially be a plus-hitting every day SS. If that happens we win that trade big time.

      • charlottencredsfan

        He doesn’t strike many people but did strike out 7 in 7 last start. Not his game but since 2012, his ERA has been ~3.10.

      • eric nyc

        He was perfectly average the second half of last season, which is what you should most optimistically expect from Simon as a starter. It’s what the Tigers will get in the long run this season. When the move was made I think all of us (and probably Price and Jocketty) assumed that one or more of Cingrani, Lorenzen, Iglasias would be in the rotation. Simon’s value was never going to go any further up. Again, if Suarez becomes an every day SS that can actually hit consistently then it was a fantastic trade.

      • eric nyc

        Not to mention we could dig up DOZENS of threads from the first half of last season breaking down the myriad of ways Simon’s numbers were grossly inflated by extremely good luck. That was a daily debate if I remember correctly.

      • charlottencredsfan

        He wore down, IMO. Through July he was carrying a 2.80 ERA. The most innings before 2014 that he pitched in a year was 115 that was in 2011, 87 in 2013, 61 in 2012. Still finished with better ERAs than Homer & Leake. I bet he will again this year too.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Talking to the wrong guy when you talk about luck. One year? Maybe. 3 years +? Nada.

      • eric nyc

        I don’t think you can read much into how a guy will pitch as a starter by a few years of relief numbers. There’s just way too many variables. Simon was an above average reliever but he didn’t pitch nearly enough innings to say that’s how he would continue to pitch as a starter. I can’t believe I’m still debating Alfredo Simon…Really was hoping we’d be done with that by now.

    • eric nyc

      Besides, Lorenzen would look just as good in Marquis’ spot if you ask me.

  38. Chris Miller

    Personally, I’d like to see Boesch get a little extended time out in LF. I know, I know, about his past. He made some changes, and had an amazing season last year in AAA. Why not find out if it’s a reality. Sure, it’s early, and Byrd could be just starting out slow, but you can’t ignore how slow his bat looks.

  39. charlottencredsfan

    For those interested, Billy Ripkin is going to analyze Cozart on MLB Network shortly. Should be interesting.