Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (18-22) 1 9 0
Kansas City Royals (26-14) 7 10 0
W: Guthrie (4-2) L: Marquis (3-4)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Brandon Phillips had three hits in four trips to the plate, including a double. Burke Badenhop pitched a perfect inning. That just about covers all the good news from tonight.

The Bad
–T.O.S.*

–When will the Jason Marquis experiment end? He’s clearly not a big league pitcher anymore. Tonight, Marquis couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning, permitting four runs on four hits in 3.2 innings. His ERA is now 6.91; that’s the highest ERA among all qualified starters in the major leagues.

Things just aren’t getting any better. In his last three starts, Marquis has pitched 12.1 innings, surrendering 21 hits and 15 runs. That’s a 15.33 ERA. Not good.

–Raisel Iglesias gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in one inning of work.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–That’s five losses in a row and, all of a sudden, the Reds are four games below .500 and in a tailspin.

–If I may quote myself, from a piece I wrote yesterday for Cincinnati Magazine:

Only Colorado’s Kyle Kendrick has posted a worse ERA among qualified major league starting pitchers. Marquis’ FIP of 5.67 is the fourth-worst in MLB, as is his WAR of -0.2. Opposing hitters are hitting .325/.373/.565 against him. Marquis seems like a good guy, and he’s clearly working hard, but it’s been a rough year. Frankly, we’re getting close to the point in the season where it will be managerial malpractice if Price keeps running him out there every five days.

As noted above, Marquis now owns the worst ERA in all of baseball. Time to cut the cord here.

–After getting swept in this brief two-game series, the Redlegs head off to Cleveland now for another edition of the Ohio Cup. Raise your hand if you are excited!

Milton was unhappy with Cincinnati's performance tonight.

Milton was unhappy with Cincinnati’s performance tonight.

*This offense stinks.

151 Responses

  1. Kurt Frost

    Keep running him out there. I want to see a full year of Walt’s failure.

    • Morgan Mayham

      May 20th 9 games out of first. Mark it down 15 games out by June 1st.

  2. Brady

    Tough time to be a Reds fan. They can’t hit in the minors, either. Almost have to trade Cueto for a top hitting prospect or two and a 3-4 starter at this point.

    • Redsfan48

      We don’t need a pitcher. We have Disco, Iglesias, Lorenzen, Moscot, Stephenson, Travieso, Howard, etc. next year. We need offense.

      • Michael E

        That’s what he said, get offense, did you read it?

    • Michael E

      Agreed. Our top 15 prospect list is about 12 pitchers. While injuries and disappointments abound, we still look much better there than hitting. We have NO professional hitters outside of Votto. Not a one. A bunch of swing-out-of-their-shoes hacks that can’t put a ball in play with two strikes to save their lives.

  3. Andrew24

    New year, same story. The Reds offense continues to be a problem for this club. I would like to see Jocketty and Price both gone, trade Cueto for a good young hitter or two, and hire a new GM and Manager that are new school and believe in analytics. The Cubs and Astros are the future of MLB. It’s time the Reds catch up.

    • docmike

      The Reds are hopelessly old school, and are getting left behind. Jocketty must go, and Price is running out of time to prove he can embrace new ways of managing.

      • Travis Bailey

        A new way of managing cannot put runs on the board. He has tried every possible lineup configuration to no avail.

    • George Mirones

      It took new ownership to turn around the club when Bob C bought the Reds and It will take new ownership to make positive change happen. Don’t for a minute think that Bob C. is going to wake reborn and turn the staff over. The Cubs were sold and new owners went and got who they thought was the best GM with a plan they understood. The Dodgers got new ownership and they aren’t too bad. The Astros had a change and look at them. Ownership is the cause of the Reds funk, old thinking, lack of strength in the farm system, too many lifers (old boys) around. Gut the office staff first then rebuild the team on the field. Don’t forget players are parts and pieces not the soul of a team.

      • Mike W.

        You are right, I don’t think Bob C. can hit a curve ball either, so he must be the problem. Lets get rid of him. It can’t be the actual players on the field who are the problem. He has done nothing but show us that he is willing to spend money and pay for a winning ball club. The payroll has increased every year if I am not mistaken since he bought the team. Let’s blame the man he put in charge of using that payroll. That is where the mis-management has come from. He is the one that needs to go.

        Both the Cubs and the Astros got new ownerships and they are good now according to you, but let’s not forget the past 5 seasons they each have had. Who wants to go through that? The dodgers got new ownership, and they aren’t too bad, according to you. But they also have almost unlimited cash to do what they want. Even Walt could build a winner with a $250+MM payroll each year.

        I am usually in agreement with most comments on this site, but I think this one is way off base. Fix the problem and get rid of the GM first and then the players who need to go to rebuild this team into a contender as fast as possible.

      • lwblogger2

        I think what is being said above is that if Bob C is making the hiring decisions, then guys like Kevin Towers would be the next GM, and Jim Riggleman the next manager. It’s hard to go backwards from where this team is from a management standpoint but moves like putting Towers in the GM role and Riggleman in the manager’s seat are steps backward. The thing is, most people see Bob C making hiring moves like this if Price and Jocketty get shown the door.

    • Vicferrari

      Not sure if has been addressed but if they trade there key pieces should they let Jockety do it? How can you replace a GM after you have made some pivotal trades to set up your future? You almost have to fire the GM immediately so he can make these trades or at least make the decision not to make them.
      The roster construction is inexcusable and no hitting prospects in sight, they need to start at the top and then let the top decide what direction to go.
      Is there any situation Jockety is around next season?

      • VaRedsFan

        yes, he just signed a 2-year deal

      • Tom Reed

        If the owner agrees, Jocketty will be around next season.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      Nothing closer to reality. Jocketty’s cycle has ended, maybe as long as back in 2013. He should split right away. New baseball management trend requires a different approach, specially when you belong to a small market where you’re supposed to “buy low, sell high” and keep away from long-term commitments ala Votto, Philips, Bailey, Bruce. I’d keep Price as the pitching coach, he won’t find another managerial position anyhow. Only then Reds can start to think about rebuild, roster moves and trades. GO REDS!!!

      • wdwrolen2713

        Maybe that was Reds plan all along, to prove that Price was not an option as manager so that they could keep him as pitching coach. Long term thinking for the win?

      • Tom Reed

        If Price is let go as the manager, he won’t stay with the Reds. He’ll go to a west coast team as a pitching coach.

  4. Grand Salami

    My thought from watching the first three innings and giving up on the game was that one team is built to compete and the other isn’t. It’s painfully obvious. Marquis made the juxtaposition all the more stark. I was a proponent of using him as the long man in the pen. Cut him – he can’t help the team on the field. Walts sunken cost can run to 10 mill plus this year (Ludwig, Marshall, Gregg – who am I forgetting?)

      • charlottencredsfan

        Honestly.Votto too. Those guys will get paid $38M between them next year. For the Yanks or Dodgers, no big deal. For the Reds, it can be a back breaker.

      • Robby20

        The Reds have no choice but to entertain offers for Votto. Unfortunately, they aren’t likely to get any.

      • Tom Reed

        If Votto passes a physical exam, he’ll get plenty of offers from the big-money teams.

      • Robby20

        Most of the big money teams do not need a first baseman and I guess time will tell, but it appears Votto may have started to trend downward.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Robby, I agree he is going nowhere. If we have concerns about his health, I’m sure 29 GM’s have the same.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Tom – I understand but I like to turn these situations around to try to be objective: Should the Reds be interested in a guy that is owed over $200M, is on the wrong side of 30, plays only 1st base, has a recent history of injury, and coming off a sub par season? And by the way, is locked in a real power slide for several weeks? I think if the Reds were contemplating such a scenario, the natives at RLN would be less than thrilled.

      • Redsfan48

        Votto is leaps and bounds better as a hitter (all-around hitting) than anyone else on this team. Yes, Frazier, Meso, Byrd and Bruce all can hit for more power than him but name someone on this team that could realistically hit .300/.400/.550 with 25+ HRs in any given season. A healthy Mesoraco that plays 150+ games, maybe. Votto will be here a long time, and they really need him to build around for the future. And honestly, I’m beginning to think they need Frazier to build around as well, not just because of his hitting, but because of his leadership ability. Keep those two, Votto as the primary bat to build around, and Frazier to lead the team, and rebuild the entire offense (we have enough young pitchers, unless they can resign Cueto, don’t bother with other pitching.)

      • Michael E

        The right thing to do would be to trade anything not bolted down and everything that is high/long costs.

        There isn’t one player I would not trade at this point, not a one. We need to rebuild and we need to go ALL IN on it. Not half, one or two trades and next winter we hear “well, we’re payroll strapped, so can’t really improve the team”. You know that’s what will happen, even after a Cueto trade, and you know that means no chance to contend, so why NOT trade anything and everything that can either:

        A – clear chunks of payroll today and years to comoe
        B – brings back a respectable prospect.

        We should should a top 3 farm system come next year after a slew of trades and payroll that has been cut in half and ready to actually sign a couple of solid FAs to go with a stream of young, cheap, top level prospects.

        If we don’t go all-in, what we see this year will just continue for the next 3 or 4 years…do you REALLY want that?

        Votto should be shopped and hard. He would be tradeable now that he has shown he is healthy and hitting well. That contract is not easy for most teams, but at least 10 could handle that with little issue and I’d expect a prospect or two as well, though not as much since we wouldn’t be agreeable to giving money to offset any salary.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Depending how his health is, Mesoraco too.

      • Redsfan48

        Seems like Mesoraco’s health is on the upswing. Maybe a healthy Mesoraco that can catch 4-5 games a week (have him catch Disco, Cueto and Lorenzen, have Barnhart catch Leake, and Peña catch Iglesias at least until Mesoraco is ready to handle catching more again) will help this offense and turn around the Reds’ season. It’s still early enoguh to turn it around. A couple 5 game winning streaks and a bit more consistency, and the Reds are right back in the hunt. They just have to salvage the season as soon as possible to avoid letting it slip away. I’d say by the All Star Break, we will know for sure where this team stands. We can only hope that it gets better from here.

      • lwblogger2

        As bad as things are, I think you’re right to say that the Reds can’t really look at selling until around the All Star break. When management throws up the white flag it affects ticket sales the rest of the year and usually will affect sales of season ticket packages over the next few years. The team needs to be given a chance to show beyond a doubt, that they will not compete this year. We will have the answer around July 1st. A couple more slides like this and they’ll be far enough even from .500 to know for sure.

      • charlottencredsfan

        100% in agreement. All I hope is that Walt is testing the temperature of the water to see what value he has in Cueto & Leake. Please don’t wait until ASB to begin this process. It is critical to have a bidding war for their services. If he limits the potential trade partners, by being slow to gauge interest, he limits a return proportionately.

      • Michael E

        EVERYONE and ANYONE should be shopped and dealt. Clear payroll, get a dozen prospects and get this rebuild going full steam. Delaying this only keeps us mediocre longer. Payroll is strapped even after a Cueto and Leake trade (assuming that is done), so next years team will be last place contender.

        Not trading anything another team might want/need is stubbornly holding on to Lloyd’s line in Dumb n Dumber “so you’re telling me there’s a chance?”

      • Michael E

        Yes, even Votto should be dealt and yes he can be dealt. All-star level players don’t present themselves often. Trade him. The long contract means the partners are reduced to a handful of teams, but if he was offered up a few other GMs would be giddy to grab a Votto at the trade deadline to bolster their lineup with a top hitter.

        Now is the time to strike with Votto, now that he is playing full time and playing well. Don’t risk him going down again later in the year or next year and being stuck paying a 1/5 of the payroll every year the next 7 years or whatever it is.

      • Michael E

        How do I know Votto could be traded? If he were a free agent right now, you don’t think several teams would offer up a 6 or 7 year deal at $25 per year? I do, we see lesser players getting bigger offers and older pitchers getting similar deals.

  5. ohiojimw

    Just a bunch of stream of thought stuff…… The Reds need to understand that offensively Votto and Meso (if healthy) are the only real keepers they have. Frazier is a good support piece but not a central guy; keep this in mind where he is concerned. Cozart is regressing to his mean in a hurry; Suarez is young cheap and on the rise. Sell on Cozart before the market crashes. Hope BPhillips keeps hitting until somebody in a race needs him; he will probably be happy to get to a contender given the Reds status. Ride it with Bruce and see what happens on the field and in the trade market. Find an option for CF and send Hamilton down to see if more time at AAA can turn him around.

    • tct

      Frazier came into the game in the top ten in all of baseball in WAR. He is the Reds best overall player right now. I don’t understand why you seem to continually criticize him.

      Honestly, Frazier probably has the highest trade value on the team at this point. I don’t see a team giving up more for a few months of Cueto than they would for two whole years of Frazier plus whatever is left of this year when they get him. So if you want to say trade Frazier cause his value is high and the Reds probably won’t compete in 16 and ’17 anyway, then I get that. But to say that a guy who has put up 2 WAR already before the end of May, as well as a 4-5 win season last year, is not a keeper is insane.

      • CP

        Yeah, I don’t really know what his deal is with Frazier. He’s relatively cheap and he is not a free agent until 2018. Maybe he’s not a star, but he’s a much safer bet than Mesoraco is now. Votto, Frazier, Mesoraco, and Hamilton (provided they give up on the thought of B-Ham ever being a competent hitter) are a decent core. It’s everyone else that’s the problem.

        I still like Bruce, but even if he turns things around, a team can only have so many extremely streaky hitters, and in the end, we’re talking about a guy that has had only 2 seasons of 2+ bWAR in 7 years as a Red.

      • jdx19

        By fWAR, he averaged over 3.5 WAR per season from 2010-2013. If Baseball Reference has Jay with only two 2-WAR seasons, then I question their methodology. Not sure how exactly it differs from FG methodology, but Bruce was a good player for 4 straight years, and 2-WAR is sort of the definition of an average MLB everday player.

      • CP

        I stated it wrong. Jay has a season of 4.7 bWAR and 5.3. In his other 5 seasons he has .8, 1.3, 2.0, 1.9, -1.1, or 4.9 WAR over 5 season, and 5 WAR over 2 seasons.

        I’m not going to take the time calculate it, but the variance/standard deviation of Jay’s performance is super high. But that sounds about right for Jay anyway, because is career has been pretty volatile.

        Jay fairs a little better from FG’s methodology, with 16.7 WAR over those same seasons. His defense, which the eye test says is pretty good, is scored pretty low by BR and FG.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Most of the variance for Jay Bruce, prior to last season, was the way he was judged by defensive metrics. His offense was remarkably consistent from 2010-2013. Really, among the most consistent I’ve ever seen. His wRC+ was 124, 119, 120, 117 for those four seasons.

      • CP

        ugh, last section of first paragraph:

        “and 10 WAR over 2 seasons)

      • CP

        That’s true Steve, and Jay was always one of the fielders that made me question the validity of current defensive metrics. Hopefully we’re have Statcast data to compare Jay to the rest of the MLB right fielders.

      • ohiojimw

        Frazier is in so many ways, Phillips from 4 or 5 years ago. The firestorm started by me saying I saw him as a solid support guy but not a core player just underscores that.

        Frazier isn’t all that young. This was is his age 30 year which would indicate he has already peaked. That is why I said the team should exercise caution in their negotiations with him lest they end up holding a large contract on a player with greatly declined skills. I’m not the only person here who has offered the opinion that the team should be prepared to let him walk versus signing him for a premium price when he comes out of arbitration.

        C.Trent pointed out in his blog yesterday that Frazier is currently hitting under .200 with runners in scoring position. That just doesn’t make it for a guy batting almost exclusively in the 3 or 4 slot all season. Someone else here (JDX19 I believe) pointed out several days ago that Frazier has more infield pop fly outs already this season alone than Votto has in a number of entire seasons combined. What % of the runners has he advanced versus the % he has stranded?

        These are examples of why I see Frazier as a support guy and not a core guy at this point.

      • Michael E

        He’s right about Frazier. He is a solid hitter now (not great), but already at his peak levels. If we’re talking about trading to rebuild, Frazier should not be kept.

        So they point you are missing to leaving Frazier out is simple, given his age and trading to rebuild, keeping him makes ZERO sense. He has good trade value at a weak hitting position, and will be fading by the time the Reds are contending in earnest in 2018 given the payroll and talent limitations of today.

      • Michael E

        Ohio, just saw you’re reply to those questioning you leaving out Frazier from keepers.

        It’s nice to see some people with foresight on here and not just wondering around lost in emotions. Yeah, Frazier is a likeable player and plays hard, but he is not part of a rebuild AND he’ll bring back a nice package if traded now.

        I don’t see any upside to keeping him well after his decline, unless those disagreeing are going old school Walt on us, wanting to have a faded veteran around to mentor (at a very high and lengthy cost most likely).

      • tct

        Frazier became a starter in 2013. Since then, he has put up 10 WAR, in two years and almost two months. Only 24 players in all of baseball have put up more wins since the beginning of 2013. Frazier is ahead of guys like Stanton, Puig, and Lucroy.

        Since the start of last year, Frazier is 14th in all of baseball in WAR. And he would have put up a half a win to a whole win more last year if they hadn’t played him so much at first base.

      • Michael E

        And he stays two years, we lose him and we continue to be mediocre. No one, not even OhioJimW is saying Frazier is bad, but he isn’t great either and he is ALREADY at his peak prime, only slow downhill from here, with maybe ONE more really good season mixed in…

        So, if we’re talking rebuild, clearing payroll and getting young prospects, keeping Frazier makes little sense because he could get back a couple of good prospects and we won’t be on the hook to pay him $12 or $15 million in arbitration or contract extension that will be paid during a decline.

        I like Frazier and I bet OhioJim likes Frazier, but thinking beyond next week there is little argument to be made to keep him and “build around”, right?

  6. Morgan Mayham

    Time to replace marquis with moscot

  7. WVRedlegs

    Where is the accountability??
    Jocketty’s plan to improve the Reds:
    Chris Dominguez-lasted a week and a half, optioned out.
    Brennan Boesch-hitting .150.
    Kevin Gregg-lasted one month, one month too long, optioned out.
    Jason Marquis-worst ERA in MLB for starting pitchers, still in rotation.
    Marlon Byrd-had a good 2 weeks to begin May, but is back to being 38 year old Marlon Byrd.
    Where is the accountability, eh hum, Mr. Castellini?

    • George Mirones

      The accountability is to the budget first and if those are the players needed to meet budget so be it.

      • Vicferrari

        Who is responsible for the budget being where it is? There are replacement level who are better than the first 4 listed. There are a lot of misses and probably a lot players who could have been obtained but after a good run of MLB potential call ups from Bruce, Stubbs, Frazier, Mes, Cozart and even Heisey- there has not been much coming from the minors and nobody is realistically a year away.

      • MrRed

        Well, Castellini can’t fire himself. And let’s be honest, while a lot of folks have been calling for Jocketty to be jettisoned, that doesn’t completely solve the problem. Castellini apparently likes the direction the Reds have gone since he renewed Jocketty for 2 more years. If he lets Walt go, I’m not sure how confident we can be in him choosing a potential successor.

        It pains me to say all of this because I think Castellini has done a great overall job with the Reds. I’m more positive on the minor league assessment then you appear to be as I think the quantity of talent going to the Majors is cyclical. But, the overall direction of the major league team has stagnated to where there doesn’t appear to be a plan for the short term and intermediate future, let alone long term future unless it’s hope that everything that can possibly go right will. Too many resources have been misspent toward the likes of Phillips, Ludwick, Hannahan, Schumaker, Para, Marshall, Broxton, Chapman (in his miscast role) among others. They also haven’t pulled the trigger on getting value from potential trades of Cueto and Chapman which is consistent with their hope for the best approach. In short, I don’t see any clear indication that things can and will in fact change for the better in the foreseeable future.

  8. PARED84

    We need to understand that Walt never admits his mistakes.Probably the best that Price can do is to run him out to the bullpen.Wasted dollars just keep adding up, one would think that Mr.Castellini is tiring of Walt but maybe not. Small market team with conservative ownership is recipe for disaster in today’s baseball economy.If that’s the hand you’re dealt then you have to try to be smarter than everyone else to compete. Clearly Walt is not smarter. Cards dumped him so should Bob.

  9. Robby20

    This is just an awful team. And there isn’t much hope of it being any good any time soon. Time to move anyone they can and reload for 2018 or beyond. Votto may still be a great player but if he can be moved the Reds should jump at the chance to get out from under his contract.

  10. Mike

    I said it 6 weeks ago and we’re half way there: let everyone 34 and older go. That meant Gregg and Marquis. I think Price was a good pitching coach, but clearly not manager material. Simply different skill sets. When I managed I surrounded myself with coaches who knew how to teach skills: hitting, pitching, etc. I managed people and lineups. I could have managed this team to be 5+ games above .500 now EASILY:

    Gregg and Marquis would not have been on the Opening Day roster. Hamilton would have been TOLD to bunt. Bruce would have been told to,bunt to the left side as long as the D had a shift on, otherwise hit away. because of the mediocrity of the NL, we still have a chance for a Wild Card, but these changes need to be made now.

    Come on Upper Management, make these changes.
    You owe it to your fans.

    • lwblogger2

      Ok, this begs the question, who have you managed? Look, I’ve played with a handful of guys who have played in the Majors and unless you’ve played at their level or higher or have a track record of managing professional baseball players in the minor leagues, these guys aren’t going to perform their best. Honestly, some of what Mat Latos has said about the clubhouse is probably true and these guys don’t really respect Price that much either. From a strategy standpoint, I’m sure there are a lot of guys who can mange better than what we have, but from a realistic standpoint and the managing players part of things, there is no way a guy like me or you can manage a MLB team. That is unless I am grossly underestimating your experience around the game and if that’s the case, then my apologies.

  11. kmartin

    I am trying to be optimistic. Between now and June 10 we have three games against Cleveland, three against Colorado, and six against Philadelphia.

  12. Vanessa Galagnara

    Do people actually pay to watch this team right now? Seriously not fun being a fan 2015.
    Here is a question or a statement or a proposal however you see to read it.
    Green bay Packers are essentially publicly traded am I right? Why cant the Red do the same thing? Make like 100000 shares in the team, Bob C keeps 51000 shares and sells off the other 49000 to the fans. The stock holders hold a quarterly meeting and submit proposals from the meeting to Bob C. The stock holders hold no true power except to buy, sell, trade the stock and the group proposals to the owner.
    Couldn’t that generate additional funds for the Reds, keep a vested interest in the team, and give fans a real sense of ownership? Just a thought, but I do know That I would be buying low right now because the major league and the minor league product does not look competitive. Plus I simply do not like Jocketty or the management style of Price. I do think Price is a smart guy with pitchers but that is it.

    • Mister D69

      Seem to recall hearing a few years ago that MLB (i.e. other billionaire owners) would not take kindly to actual people owning one of their teams. Nice thought, though.

  13. Stiv

    Life long reds fan, Like everyone else is saying, it’s time to blow it up. But you have to start with the General Manager. Is Price hamstrung by Walt? Bring in someone new and see if he allowed to change the roster usage and his game planning. Don Long is clearly not the answer as a hitting coach. Why does he get a free pass? I know managers are reluctant to fire their coaches, but something has to give. I have never been so disappointed.as a Reds fan.

    • CP

      I don’t get the fan obsession with the hitting coach.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Not a lot to get. When this team hits as poorly as it has since ASB 2014, fans would like to see someone else get a chance. Elementary.- don’t need to over think it.

      • CTRedsFan

        We heard the same thing when Brook Jacoby was here, maybe it’s not the hitting coach but the hitters that are the problem?

      • charlottencredsfan

        Much harder to get rid of a team full of bad hitters, rather than try to make the bad ones better. Just because Jacoby stunk, doesn’t mean that Long can’t stink. Happens in management everyday. Get rid of the bum, what do we have to lose?

      • CTRedsFan

        Replacing Long will not fix this team, the problems run much deeper than that.

      • charlottencredsfan

        IMO, he is a part of it. Just a miserable coach, needs to get on with his life’s work. What has happened to this team’s hitting since mid last year is intolerable. Should have coached his last ballgame last might. The whole structure of Reds organization’s batting instruction should be burned to the ground.

      • Robby20

        Reds hitting has been bad much longer than since last year’s All Star break. It is an organizational problem. How and who they draft and what they do to prepare them in the minors. The approach at the plate by most of the team is abysmal and has been much longer than a year. Blow it up. A new approach from the top is needed badly.

      • CP

        Charlotte, you’re right, it happens all the time in business, but that doesn’t make it the right decision. Just admit it, the fans want a sacrificial lamb to make themselves feel a little better.

        I honestly don’t know how you can say that Long is a miserable hitting coach. It was pretty clear that this team’s offense was going to stink before the season. There were warning signs flashing all over the place with B-Ham, Phillips, Cozart, Byrd, Bruce, and the entire bench. That’s the scary part, some of these guys are actually playing pretty decent. It will probably get worse .

      • ManuelT

        I recently read an article that included the statement that Toronto had a reputation for bringing hitters back or further along. That said, coaching has to make a difference, even if just a little.

      • charlottencredsfan

        During last night’s game the announcers were praising KC’s hitting coach Kevin Seitzer as being instrumental in Moustakas development in becoming one of the best in MLB. Never hear that kind of thing about Long and the only adjustments mentioned, that actually work, are credited to someone else helping. Re: Barry Larkin with Cozart. Cozart has reverted back to his old ways, can Don Long help him find his path back? I agree with Robby that it’s an organizational issue. Apparently, DeShields worked a great deal with Billy on his game and he is worse than ever.

        I would fire that guy today, but I’m not risk adverse and not inclined to stick with something that isn’t working by chancing even worse. Very, very hard to succeed at anything with that approach.

      • lwblogger2

        Look at Long’s history with the Pirates. He didn’t have a ton to work with there but he sure didn’t make them a better hitting team. I don’t know if firing him would help or not but I don’t think it would hurt.

  14. Shchi Cossack

    Through the games of 05/19/15, the Reds are increasingly likely to get shut out from the all-star selections and limited to the 1 mandatory player named by the manager. You have to wonder how BC feels about the Reds lack of on-field representation at his highly ballyhooed all-star game in Cincinnati this season? The Reds will almost certainly be out of any realistic playoff contention and virtually eliminated from possible playoff contention by the all-star break. This performance courtesy of BC’s hand-picked, Old Boys Club baseball operation staff and their antiquated, old-school baseball philosophy.

    SP Cueto now has a 3.03 ERA with a 3-4 record in 9 starts.

    6-0 & 2.13 ERA (Wacha – STL)
    5-1 & 1.33 ERA (Miller – ATL)
    5-1 & 1.52 ERA (Grienke – LAD)
    5-1 & 1.98 ERA (Harvey – NYM)
    5-1 & 2.70 ERA (Hammel – CHC)
    5-2 & 2.40 ERA (Cole – PIT)
    4-2 & 3.20 ERA (Bumgarner – SF)

    RP Chapman has 1.04 ERA with 7 saves and a 2-2 record

    0-0 & 0.93 ERA with 13 saves (Rosenthal – STL)
    1-0 & 1.10 ERA with 12 saves (Storen – WSH)
    0-0 & 1.86 ERA with 13 saves (Familia – NYM)

    1B Votto has .866 OPS and .284/.384/.482 slash

    .355/.430/.674 (Gonzalez – LAD)
    .341/.465/.600 (Rizzo – CHC)
    .317/.418/.600 (Goldschmidt – ARI)
    .295/.387/.543 (Lind – MIL)
    .313/.388/.496 (Belt – SF)
    .303/.361/.500 (Freeman – ATL)
    .289/.386/.451 (Duda – NYM)

    2B Phillips has .704 OPS and .311/.348/.356 slash

    .395/.422/.481 (Gordon – MIA)
    .299/.361/.465 (Kendrick – LAD)
    .301/.350/.469 (Wong – STL)
    .322/.375/.415 (LeMahieu – COL)
    .288/.364/.417 (Panik – SF)
    .279/.346/.407 (Walker – PIT)

    SS Cozart has .856 OPS and .290/.348/.508 slash

    .283/.377/.504 (Crawford – SF)
    .302/.369/.497 (Peralta – STL)

    3B Frazier has .899 OPS and .250/.343/.556 slash

    .313/.377/.583 (Carpenter – STL)
    .290/.421/.467 (Bryant (CHC)

    C No Chance…

    OF You Gotta Be Kidding!!!

    • sultanofswaff

      I was thinking the same thing—–that Bob C. will hold onto Cueto specifically for the purposes of making sure the Reds are well represented.

      It’s going to be an interesting summer. The business end of things is going to run headlong into the baseball operations end. We’re going to find out which side he values more. Get out the popcorn!

      • Robby20

        If Cueto doesn’t start to perform a little better he may not make the All Star team or he may as the Reds only player. And I am not saying he is having a bad year.

      • CTRedsFan

        Chapman will make it, as will Frazier as long as he maintains his level of play. Not saying Frazier will start but he will get selected as a reserve and will be in the HR derby.

      • Robby20

        Chapman won’t make it if he only pitches once or twice a week.

      • CTRedsFan

        Pitchers are selected for the AS game by the manager. If you are managing the NL and home field advantage for the World Series is decided by who wins are you going to leave Chapman’s arm off your team? Regardless of how often the Reds use, or misuse, him his stuff is to good to be left home.

      • Robby20

        I was being a bit sarcastic but hypothetically, if Chapman goes into the break with 12 saves how do you justify his place on the team? Other than he could be the only Reds representative.

      • jdx19

        I think managers sometimes might pick guys that “wow” the fans. Chapman and his K/9 rate are certainly a “wow” factor. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make it, even with 12 saves.

  15. Mary Lykins

    This is Castellini’s team. He was treading water, with the team, when the season started, and he is still trying. This team will be rebuilt, but he could not put on a fire sale with the all-star game looming. When he does pull the trigger, I wonder how deep into the roster he goes. I would bet he just trades just a couple of players, rather than wholesale. He is afraid of losing money, ala paying fans.

    • jessecuster44

      He’s already lost my money.

    • Redgoggles

      He won’t lose all of mine, but probably 67% of the normal annual Reds spending.

  16. vared

    Most everyone realizes this team is a lost cause. What’s even more bothersome to me is there’s nothing in the minors to really get excited about either. I remember people talking about Votto long before Votto arrived – anyone excited about a single player like that now? Who the heck has Walt been drafting for 5 years? Can’t he find a single bat? Is there another team this bad all the way through the system? Add to that the bad contracts at the major league level that make a few guys unmovable … what a disaster.

    • Gonzo Reds

      I’m excited about Jesse Winker and Robert Stephenson.

      • jessecuster44

        How will you manage until 2017, when they might actually get to the bigs?

      • greenmtred

        A good question, Jesse. We say that the team should be blown up, but we would hate the result of that for some time to come.

      • Michael E

        It’s part of rebuilding. I can handle being 62-100 if I know we have a slew of interesting prospects (like Astros, Cubs and others had/have recently after they gutted their teams). What I can’t handle is keeping the same trash, yes TRASH of non-professional players, paying them well and stumbling to a very boring and frustrating 80-82 record.

        This is basically the choice:
        – going just under .500, not contending and having LITTLE hope for the future OR – going 64-98, getting the top pick in the draft (exciting and helpful) having a fairly stocked farm system from the 5 or 6 trades and LOTS of hope for the near future.

        Choice is easy in my book, not sure why so many fans think pathetic .480 ball with little hope in the future is such a good thing. It will take getting really bad to get really good…what we got AIN’T WORKING.

      • Vanessa Galagnara

        Don’t get to excited check out how awful they are doing at the AA level.

      • Robby20

        Amen. The talent is not in the system.

      • jdx19

        Gotta look beyond traditional stats for projecting minor league hitters.

        How often they strike out and how often they walk (contract and plate discipline) are the first two things I always look at when trying to evaluate a guy in AA or AAA. Most non-Harper/Bryant type guys don’t develop real “game power” until 24ish, so fewer home runs shouldn’t be worrisome for a 21-yr old guy like Winker.

      • jdx19

        I’m excited about Winker. I previously was excited about Stephenson, but he’s been sub-par for awhile now and it’s starting to get worrisome to me.

      • Robby20

        Hope you’re right about Winker. It appears he is not going to be ready in 2016.

      • jdx19

        Winker has a good BB% and K% for a guy in AA, and thankfully, AA/AAA plate discipline stats are a pretty good measure of future success. Much moreso than batting average or home runs.

        However, his lack of extra base hits does seem a bit worrisome. He’s basically been the AA version of Brandon Phillips at the plate this year, but with a lot fewer singles and a few more walks.

        Kiley McDaniel still has his future value at 55, which is a borderline all-star level player. And guys with good plate discipline seem to bust less often than regular prospects. I’m cautiously optimistic.

    • KhalVotto

      Certainly, the roster in Louisville is thin. Jesse Winker is coming, he’s in Pensacola right now, and struggling, a bit, but if other teams were wanting any of our guys, he and SP Robert Stephenson would be at the top of their lists. Lots of talent at the lower end of the minor leage system Low-A, High-A, and Double-A.

      • Robby20

        Time will tell on how much talent is the low end of the minors. I heard the same thing about Hamilton. How has that turned out?

      • jdx19

        Pretty much exactly like everyone thought it would. It’s always been “if Billy can hit, he’ll be a game-changing all-star. If he doesn’t, he’ll be a defensive and baserunning specialist hitting at the bottom of an order.”

        As far as I can tell, Hamilton has just about met the expectations most non-Reds pundits had for him.

      • jdx19

        Love the name, by the way. Got a chuckle out of it. 😉

  17. charlottencredsfan

    Who is Phil Castellini and when will the Old Man turnover the reigns? Is there any hope here? I think there is a very great chance that Walt is canned and his understudy, Kevin Towers, takes over. Phil is our only reasonable hope and I don’t know the guy from Adam. The ship is lost at sea and Bob C. will want the same guy who got us there, to lead us back to port. Walt or Towers, same ting either way.

    There is no sin in admitting you’re beat and basically clearing the deck. Everyone on this team should be made available if it improves the club. Seeing KC sobers up a fellow; our beloved Reds are rotted out, need tearing down to be rebuilt with new wood. Like a blood transfusion.

    • Michael E

      + infinity

      AMEN!

      Glad there are a few on this site with foresight and looking for guts from the front office to tear it down and rebuild with a cheap payroll and a slew of very promising prospects. As I keep saying, what we got ain’t working.

  18. sultanofswaff

    For me, the most pressing need for the team beyond trading impending free agents is to free up salary in order to more equitably distribute payroll to positions of need. To that end, the priority should be to move Chapman and Phillips. Chapman because $12mil is just too much to pay a closer given the patterns of usage by our esteemed manager. Phillips because his skills are declining and we need out from under the last 2 years of that deal—Blandino will be ready by next year. Probably a good idea to shop Cozart as well—-Suarez will be a 2-3 win player for us for the league minimum.

    With proactive retooling, the Reds could quickly morph into one of those young teams sprinkled with veterans that gets people excited.

    • Spudsbubba

      Phillips is a 10-5 player with a full no trade clause. He’s going nowhere.

      • lwblogger2

        I don’t know. I used to think that but BP has never won a pennant and he isn’t getting any younger. I’m starting to think he may waive his 10/5 rights to go to a team that has a shot at a pennant. That is assuming a team would take him and the contract. I no longer get the feeling that BP is non-moveable.

      • Michael E

        He’d waive his rights in a heartbeat. He has made it well known his distaste for the lack of full-time worship from the Reds fans and front office.

        The slap in the face contract and many other stories that come each year that set him off. He has NO love for this place.

        If Walt (or hopefully a real GM) comes and says, “hey, really good Team A wants you to come and man 2B for them. Looks like a playoff team for sure. Are you intrested?”

        Phillips says “interested? My bags are already packed and sitting just inside the front door. I’ll be back in an hour, get my plane ticket!”

  19. jessecuster44

    Poll: How many people believe the Reds will actually rebuild?

    • charlottencredsfan

      Do they really have a choice? To me, it is more about how well they do it.

      • jessecuster44

        Just because they have no choice doesn’t mean they will.

    • Matt WI

      The facts have been staring them in the face even before the season started. Half in and half out is no plan. It’s time. We may get passed by the Brewers eventually for crying out loud. It is time.

    • Michael E

      Answer:

      I don’t think the front office has the guts to do that. They’re too worried about a few tickets and rogue fans that might piss on a little if a favorite player was traded. Castellini is too emotionally involved to do the right thing.

      So, no, I don’t think they’ll do it. It will be another half-assed move, maybe one trade of a lesser player for some marginal prospect guaranteeing our crappy future lives on.

      I am the most adamant that they SHOULD do a complete tear-down and rebuild. Were I GM we’d see no less than 5 trades between now and July 31st and probably another trade or two over the winter, ALL to get back solid or great prospects whenever possible and build from cheap, young, talented players with just one or two 8 figure vets to help keep things moving and keep rookies working hard.

  20. wdwrolen2713

    Players of each position that should be built towards:

    1B – Votto (still a solid player and nobody’s taking contract)
    2B – Blandino (one prospect I don’t know anything about but only name I’ve heard)
    3B – Frazier (kind of iffy, if prospect comes around and TF gets old then no)
    SS – Suarez (sell high on Cozart, Suarez is young and decent, upside)
    C – Mesoraco (potential superstar, Barnhart is solid backup, Wallach future)
    LF – Winker (huge potential, only name in LF void, could be huge improvement)
    CF – Hamilton (possibly future leadoff, great fielder, if hits 250-260 would be great)
    RF – Waldrop (Bruce is too streaky and good trade bait, get younger.)
    P – Stephenson (won’t be as good as advertised, another Homer, 2-3?)
    P – Lorenzen (possibly best potential of five, already in rotation)
    P – Iglesias (same as Lorenzen, good potential and experience)
    P – Moscot (not heard too much about him, but sounds good)
    P – Leake/Cingrani (either future Arroyo for Leake or future lefty in Cingrani)
    RP – Cingrani (future closer? certainly has the stuff.)
    RP – Who knows? Anyone is better than current bullpen.

    Don’t know how Homer would fit in, maybe him instead of Leake/Cingrani?

    • Michael E

      Votto is tradeable now that he is healthy again. MVP caliber hitters don’t grow on trees and that contract is only bad if the player sucks…Votto doesn’t.

    • Michael E

      Every current starting player should be offered up…ALL of them. Then if a good/reasonable offer is made, make the deal. Cram the system full of prospects and clear that massive (for the Reds) payroll and lets get the titanic patched up and manning the pumps to get the dead weight water out.

      I can’t think of a single player that isn’t tradeable either. Even the .200 hitting Bruce has the power and fielding that a team needing to add an ingredient to a playoff run will take a chance on…same with Phillips, though I expect to get literally nothing back for him due to the cost and lesser talent/higher age than Bruce.

      By August, these players should be gone (if rebuilding is done right):

      Cueto
      Leake
      Chapman
      Bruce
      Byrd
      Phillips
      Cosart
      Pena

      maybe even Frazier and Votto, but only if a good deal presents itself (like 1 or 2 top 12 prospects).

  21. PDunc

    The Reds top 3 position prospects at least give me a little hope for the potential offense of the future.

    from Winker’s scouting report:
    “one of the best pure hitters in the Minors, with as advanced an approach at the plate as many veterans. He works counts and draws a lot of walks, with an on-base percentage over .400 as he headed into the 2015 season. He’s a line-drive machine capable of hitting doubles in bunches. There’s power there, too, and while he won’t sacrifice his approach for the long ball, he should start sending more balls over the fence as he matures.”

    from Blandino’s scouting report:
    “can really hit with an advanced approach at the plate and a willingness to draw walks and get on base.”

    from Suarez’s scouting report (from 2013 while with the Tigers):
    has knack for contact with a short stroke that generates excellent bat speed. His approach at the plate is very advanced for someone his age/experience level, showing excellent on-base ability.

    It’s obviously no guarantee that these 3 make it to the majors, but lets say they do and these scouting reports hold true.

    Add 3 players with an “advanced approach” and an “ability and willingness to get on base” to a veteran core of Votto, Frazier and Mesoraco and you could have the makings of a good offense. Lets assume Mesoraco is moved to LF, have a decent defensive catcher in Barnhardt, keep Hamilton in CF for his defense and that is a pretty good starting 8.

    A pitching staff that could consist of (healthy) Bailey, DeSclafani, Stephenson, Iglesias, & Lorenzen.

    Add in whatever prospects and salary relief comes from hopefully trading Cueto, Leake, Chapman, Phillips & Bruce and that is a 2016 or (more likely) 2017 season to be excited about.

    • PDunc

      Oh and forgot to mention Cingrani somewhere on this future pitching staff.

    • jdx19

      Good analysis, PDUNC. I agree.

      Ultimately, no team can be successful without a good farm system (or unlimited money), so I’m hoping the Reds emphasize prospects in their trades in the upcoming years.

    • George Mirones

      PDUNC;
      The fan in me agrees, the cynic in me says “Really”.
      Those outdated scouting reports are great fodder but when compared to reality the Reds could be looking at “Bruce version 2 or 3”
      The pragmatic me says, “not with current ownership” and an “old front office”. Not one GM in their right mind takes BP’s contract without substantial discount by the Reds (similar to Byrd’s pick up). Cueto is gone.The market for Cueto will be limited to about 6-8 teams in the play off picture. Chapman will cost the acquiring club many dollars with ARB so the discount can be seen as less value back. As a GM I would call Walt’s bluff and offer “2” A ball players with the statement that “The Reds can’t afford him in 2016 or beyond”.
      Leake can be a #3 for just about any team so his value is higher.

  22. IndyRedMan

    The Cubs got a boatload for Smrzdaja (?) and he’s not even half the pitcher Cueto is. The Reds could reload this farm system pretty well if Jocketty doesn’t screw it up….which is questionable. If someone would take BP or Bruce’s salary off the books then that would really help. If they lose Leake and Chapman too then GABP is going to be a ghost town for 3 years

    • Steve Mancuso

      Samardzija had 1.5 years left before free agency, Cueto will have a half year. Big difference. If the Reds are rebuilding, what’s the point of purely unloading salary?

      • IndyRedMan

        They’d have money for guys like Chapman that might actually help this team be good in 2017-18. I don’t know? By then Votto might be a .280/15 hr guy though? It just seems hopeless w/Jocketty at the helm imo

      • jdx19

        If Chapman remains a closer he won’t be helping the team that much. Certainly not enough to allocate many, many millions to.

      • Robby20

        Unloading salary is what the Reds did in the off season. Hasn’t it worked well? Only time will tell, but it won’t surprise me if the dump of Simon and Latos nets the Reds nothing in the way of talent for the rebuild that has to come.

        Dumping salary does help give the team flexibility to sign the likes of Gregg and Marquis. (Sorry, I’m frustrated by what is coming for this franchise – a long dry spell)

      • Michael E

        Steve, what’s the point of not unloading salary on a team that can’t contend? See, I can do that too.

        The point is unloading salary AND getting back some promising prospects and doing what no one seems to have the guts to do… rebuild.

        Rental ACE pitchers always bring back a couple of top prospects. Anything less for Cueto is a complete mis-handling. I am glad some of these folks commenting on here aren’t our GM. We’d have 4 crappy players making $300 million and every trade would bring back a Corky Miller “because we traded a rental all-star, can’t expect to get any talent back”

        Put it this way, if the Reds were a top contender, but lacking that top-of-the-rotation guy, you don’t think WE’D trade two or three of these top 10 prospects for Cueto? Sure we would and sure someone else will come July, IF Walt doesn’t pout like the commenters here about “rental, what can we do, he is a rental, nobody wants an Ace pitcher”

    • jdx19

      And by a “boatload” do you mean Addison Russell? Certainly that was a fantastic pickup for the Cubs, but as I’ve posted about 15 times in the last 2 months, the Oakland-Chicago situation was unique because of the situation surrounding Billy Beane and Billy Beane-led teams in the playoffs. He went “all-in,” or about as “all-in” as BB would ever go.

      In a normal year, Samardzija doesn’t get Addison Russell. And Cueto, below Samardzija’s stuggles in the last year-ish, is only slightly better then Samardizja was. He was hidden on a bad Cubs team.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Cueto slightly better than Samardzija? My opinion is so far off the beaten path on JC’s value. Teams that very well could be in the hunt for a #1 starter at ASB:
        Cards
        Cubs
        SF
        Dodgers
        Mets
        Angels
        Astros
        Royals
        Tigers
        O’s
        Blue Jays
        Red Sox
        Possibly: Yanks, Twins and Mariners

        It certainly should be a sellers market and if WJ doesn’t cut a sweet deal, he has a problem. This fact combined with Cueto’s value begs for a true bidding war. Walt needs to ensure that takes place to get top dollar in return. Without biding war, you’d probably get a Top 20 and a couple for other decent prospects. Hope Walt is having conversations with other GM’s now to lay the ground work.

      • tct

        I just have this bad feeling that they are going to ride Cueto like a horse, letting him go 110+ pitches in games that don’t really matter, until he either gets hurt or his arm gets so tired that he becomes ineffective and hurts his trade value.

      • jdx19

        At the time Samardzija was traded, I think he was only slightly worse than Cueto, inasmuch as Cueto is a #1 starter and I view a healthy Samardzija as a solid #2, touching #1 on some teams. But, his performance in Oakland and for the Sox, so far, have lowered my opinion of him.

  23. Robby20

    Hindsight is 20 20 but Cueto’s value may have been as high as it was going to get last year at the deadline.

    • charlottencredsfan

      It was always a risk to let him begin 2015 in a Reds uni and everyday that goes by isn’t helping right now. But you know the Al-Star Game and all that.

      • Robby20

        I know, but given the team’s history with injuries one has to hold their breath and hope Cueto stays healthy long enough to get moved.

        Actually quite a downer to think about what this team might look like in 2016.(as if 2015 isn’t shaping up to be bad enough)

  24. sultanofswaff

    Cueto might not net you a top 5 prospect, but Cueto and Leake packaged would.

    • jdx19

      Yeah, I’d think so.

      Although, I might want two Top 40ish guys rather than one Top 5 guy. Prospects bust so often, I think quantity over quality (assuming you don’t dumspter dive) is in the Reds best interest.

  25. chrislosolivos

    Being awful is one thing; but being awful due to underachieving is something else. On paper the Reds should be at least competitive, but they have morphed into a chronic band of underachievers. Last year we heard rumors about a dysfunctional clubhouse; we’ll hear them again before long. The manager appears befuddled.

    • Spudsbubba

      Not to mention the confusing injury situation with this team. Why not DL Phillips when he has turf toe so that he can come back sooner? The only cure for turf toe is rest. Maybe Latos was on to something…

  26. IndyRedMan

    First step should be DFA’ng Marquis and putting Moscot or Cingrani in the rotation. In a perfect world…deal Cueto, Leake, and BP and let Suarez play 2B but it might be hard to move BP?

    • CTRedsFan

      Why does everyone want to trade Phillips? First off, he has a FULL NO TRADE CLAUSE as a 5 and 10 player, so he has to agree to any deal. Secondly, among qualified NL 2B he is currently 6th in OPS and 4th in WAR. Granted, he may no longer be the premier 2B in the league, but he is not the problem!

      In fact, the Reds offensive woes do not stem from their infield. All the infielders, except C where the Reds do not have a qualified player, are currently in the top 6 at their position in both OPS and WAR.

      It is the OF’s that are dreadful. Bruce, Byrd and Hamilton rank at or near the bottom in OPS and WAR in the NL for their positions. If I recall, Bruce has the highest ranking among these three with an 11th in OPS. Bruce’s WAR is currently tied with Chris Denorfia, who has 21 AB’s on the season. This won’t get it done. If the OF production does not improve than TOS (this offense sucks).

      End of rant.

      • Matt WI

        You are certainly right in your assessment of the OF, but I don’t understand the argument (that more than a few have made) that BP as 5/10 player makes him someone that they can’t trade. What if he wants out for crying out loud? It’s just a possible as him refusing any trade. Has he gone on record and said “I dare you try to trade me?”

        To me, the 5/10 is just an additional factor, but certainly not something that makes it impossible. This team just needs a flat out shake-up. Entertain all ideas.

      • Steve Mancuso

        It’s possible Brandon might want to leave. But he does have pretty deep roots in Cincinnati. The 5/10 makes it harder to trade him because he’ll probably want something extra out of the deal, like a one year extension. That was reportedly what blew up the Yankees deal with Brett Gardner. (I may not be remembering that right.) But the 5/10 rights definitely give the player leverage. If he thinks the Reds are in rebuild mode, he might want out.

      • Mike W.

        Steve, you are absolutely right about the Yankee trade last year. Brandon wanted more money from the Yankees, aka an extension, or he wouldn’t go. They said no and so he invoked his no trade rights.

        The team can work out any trade involving him that they want, but if he invokes his no trade power and says no, for any reason, the deal won’t go through. This is the main reason they should have traded him before he became a 10 and 5 player.

    • IndyRedMan

      I know BP has a no-trade clause but if/when the time comes that this team is competitive again…BP will prob look about like Edgar Renteria looked in a Reds uniform

  27. Gonzo Reds

    On a more positive note, Billy Hamilton bobble head night is coming up. You know those are going to go fast! (Letterman is gone so someone has to make jokes.)