Final — 13 innings R H E
Detroit Tigers (34-32) 4 6 0
Cincinnati Reds (30-35) 8 16 0
W: Badenhop (1-2) L: Krol (1-1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Todd Frazier homered in the fourth inning to give the Reds a 2-0 lead. Then, in the bottom of the 13th, Frazier launched a walkoff grand slam into the left-center field seats to send the Reds home happy.

–Jay Bruce had a five-hit night. That’s good, right? Bruce was 5-6 with a couple of doubles and two runs scored. Bryan Pena had four hits of his own. In the bottom of the tenth, Pena doubled and had a chance to score Bruce with the winning run. Third base coach Jim Riggleman took a chance by sending Bruce home, and it was the correct decision. The Tigers had to make a perfect play to get Bruce at home…and they did, unfortunately.

–Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth. He’s good. And will likely be playing for another team soon, I presume.

–Donovan Hand made his Reds debut tonight, and he pitched a scoreless inning in the tenth. Then he pitched a scoreless inning in the eleventh. Then he pitched a scoreless inning in the twelfth. Let’s give that guy a…well, a hand.

–Actually, since we’ve just mentioned Chapman and Hand, let’s note that the Reds bullpen, by and large, did a pretty good job tonight. Ryan Mattheus allowed a run, but Manny Parra, Carlos Contrera, and Burke Badenhop were practically perfect.

The Bad
–Brandon Phillips and Ivan DeJesus hit 1-2 tonight. They went a combined 0-12, before BP’s single in the bottom of the 13th. They finished 1-13. That’s not good.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Long night, but that’s the way to end it.

–Frazier is hitting .294/.361/.639 with 22 homers and 46 RBI. If he isn’t an All-Star, they shouldn’t even bother to play the game.

–Johnny Cueto was not exactly vintage Cueto today. He pitched just 5.1 innings (thanks to the rain), allowing three runs on three hits and two walks.

–The Reds tied the game at 4 in the eighth inning, when Pena hit a ball up the middle that caromed off second base and into the outfield, scoring Jay Bruce. If that ball doesn’t hit the bag, there’s a decent chance that the Reds don’t win this game. Baseball is funny.

–One hour, 12 minute rain delay in the sixth. There’s always a rain delay or extra innings (or both) on nights when I re-emerge from hiding to do the Recap here at The Nation.

–Last Reds player with a five-hit night? Willy Taveras, of course, back in 2009. Of course.

–I’m tired. Good night.

98 Responses

  1. Aaron Bradley

    Forget about the all star game… Frazier wore himself out last year in the derby… accolades are nice but I’d rather these guys focus on the regular season.

    • Redsfan48

      Frazier is going to be the Home Run Derby Captain this year. I have no problem with it at all, especially since this team is out of contention. If we were in first place in the NL Central right now, I might have my doubts but in the place we are in, let him do it.

      • Aaron Bradley

        Sure I agree. But if you think back to last year… the Reds were still in contention, and had a lot of representation at the ASG and I feel they came out of that break VERY FLAT… Frazier in particular slumped for a couple weeks after the derby and I think all the hoopla and the fact the Cardinals are running the whole thing… it just saps the energy from our young players for some reason. Last year I would have rathered we got dissed and all our guys played with a chip on their shoulder for the 2nd half. This season is over you are right, so mine as well have some fun at the break.

      • lwblogger2

        And it’s in front of the home crowd. I say let him have some fun.

  2. kmartin

    I would love to know what Mr. Castellini is thinking right now. Many fans seem to think the Reds will be sellers and that Chapman and Cueto will be gone before the season ends. I am not so sure about that. Recent wins may have Castellini believing that this team can win and he will not want to trade.

    • vegastypo

      If Castellini is thinking at all about being a seller, he should be thinking long and hard about whether to include Frazier. I’ve read arguments for and against and not sure which way is best, but geez, what a fun guy to watch.

      • tct

        Frazier is a really tough decision. No matter what the return is, it would be an unpopular move, especially with the more casual fans who don’t understand all the nuances of the player market, MLB contract structure, and the position the Reds are in.

        The problem is Frazier is only under control through 2017. It’s really hard to see this team contending next year and contention in 2017 would take lots of wise planning and player acquisition, and lots of.luck. The Reds haven’t had any of those things lately.

        The good news is that the Reds don’t have to trade him the way they have to trade Cueto and, IMO, Chapman. They can ask for the moon. If they don’t get it, they keep an extremely popular player at home. But if they have a chance to get a centerpiece, elite level talent, along with a couple other good pieces, then they have to consider trading Todd.

      • greenmtred

        If they trade Frazier, they won’t be in contention in 2017.

      • VaRedsFan

        Exactly TCT. What about extending him now through his 1st few free agent years like they did for Mez/Bruce? They would be team friendly, but the Todd side of that might not agree to it.

      • jessecuster44

        Unless they can get a Correa type player, do not trade Todd Frazier.

      • jdx19

        Correa’s best comp is Alex Rodriguez… He would have been an impossible get before he was called up, and he’s put up 0.8 fWAR in 9 games. So, yeah… maybe wanting a “Correa-type player” is a bit much for a 29-yr old 3Bman having a power surge.

      • Redsfan48

        I wouldn’t trade Frazier unless they could get a TON for him. At least a top-10 prospect. They need Frazier to build around. He’s a great leader, he’s great with the fans and he’s just a great baseball player. I’d use some of the money saved from Cueto, Leake, and maybe Chapman and Bruce to sign Frazier longer term. I would want no part of him after his age-35 season because I think his decline will be fast, but lock him up until then (which would be 2020).

    • redmountain

      Reports from around teams that have inquired about trades say the Reds WILL NOT talk about Chapman, other players are available at the right price, but not Chapman. Perhaps this is what Castellini is thinking.

      • Matt WI

        I can only hope that is front office double speak for “bring me your best offers for Chapman.”

    • lwblogger2

      Castellini hates to sell and my big concern is that he will somehow still see this team as having a chance and he’ll basically sit tight. That’s not what the Reds are going to need. This season is pretty much toast, the sooner Castellini realizes that, the better. I still feel going for it was the right thing to do this off-season but with the injuries, some bad luck, some flat out bad play, and some stiff competition, the chances for a playoff birth are so small as to not risk losing Cueto and Leake for basically no return at all.

  3. aktrainer

    I will really miss Johnny Cueto’s patented walk-off water celebrations. Tonight was worth two whole water bottles!

  4. GreatRedLegsFan

    Certainly it looks like the right decision would be a fire sale, but with all injuries between 2014 & 2015 it’s hard to make a sound decision. Anyhow, it seems Cueto deserves a contract Reds certainly can’t afford, but with Leake it looks like within budget. Also, Chapman’s move can still wait at least until next off-season. GO REDS!

    • Big56dog

      Aren’t they paying Leake almost 10 million, that is way too much. He does not look like he gets it, he has games that are slightly better than his rookie year but he has several games where he is worse than the other rookie starters. He has regressed tremendously from last season, especially if take out a handful of spectacular starts.

  5. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I don’t care what others say. I like this team and how it plays. Every team always has problems. The “main” problems I believe with this year and last year are injuries and very little bullpen. I mean, with as many disappointing losses as this team has had, and they seem to still always work hard to try to win the next game, when they could easily cave in the rest of the season.

    I say “no fire sale”. As long as we have “plan B’s”, I do consider letting Bruce, Bailey, and Cueto go (unless Uncle Bob wants to open up his wallet for Cueto). Short term, up to 4 years out, anyone we lose because of trades or FA, we fill in with an average FA. No need for a star, just someone who can fill the hole, a “plan B”. Put most of our resources into developing the minors. Krivsky and Obrien had the right plan. if Walt can’t do this, then he and his cronies will need to leave.

    I extend Leake. I don’t want to start next season with Homer on the DL (I am even possibly interested in taking bets we won’t see Homer until at least next year’s AS break), where our top pitchers, then, being Lorenzen, DeSc,, with the remaining 3 still even to be named.

    I don’t put a lot of money into high-priced bullpen FA’s. That can easily be a money pit, like we had with Marshall, Broxton, and Chapman. Good bullpens are almost always a “shot in the dark”. It most always becomes “you put some resources out there and hope they work”.

    I definitely consider redoing the entire medical/training staff. There’s just too many players who never get quite right with their treatment. Votto wasn’t right for several seasons. Bruce complained about playing hurt last season. Latos simiilarly. We waited seeming for weeks for Devin before we shut him down and still only considering the operation, I believe.

    I like Price and how he has this team playing. I at least can feel an energy that they go out and want to win every game. Where, under Baker, it was “it’ll come, it’ll come”, as in waiting for the other team to make a mistake where we can try to capitalize. Good teams don’t wait for other teams. Good teams make their own opportunities. With this team, they are at least trying to do that, I believe.

    This way, I believe we at least can still field a semi-competitive team, aka 500 ball (instead of playing Astro ball of 3 straight seasons of over-100-losses, 4 straight over-90 losses), while we still work on the minors.

    • tct

      Isn’t the point to win a championship, though? This middle road is one of the reasons the Reds are in the shape they are in. They tried to play the middle road this off season by selling a.couple veteran pitchers for prospects, while also adding some veterans to the team and keeping their most valuable trade chips. That approach has failed.

      They have to, at least, trade Cueto, Leake, and Chapman. They have to at least listen to offers on Frazier and Bruce. This is the last fork in the road, and if the Reds don’t wise up, they are going to end up like the current Phillies. Except without the championship banner.

      • jdx19

        Well-stated, TCT. You either gotta be all-in or rebuilding. Middle roads don’t work unless you have unlimited funds to sign FAs every year.

      • greenmtred

        Aren’t there degrees of rebuilding? I agree that the Reds need to rebuild, but question whether that has to mean unloading everybody that they can. The point is to win championships by being good enough to seriously contend most years. You do that by having the best players you can put on your roster. Some of them might well be on your current roster.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        That’s the idea, Green. We aren’t going to spend like the Yankees or Dodgers, whose plan hasn’t always yielded playoffs or WS, either. They are the ones with unlimited funding. And, thus, they have been ones with some consistent winning.

        We need to plan/build to put a competitive team out there each year but also for the upcoming years, so we don’t have to go out and get multiple high cost FA’s or trades each season, aka Dodgers and Yankees. It can provide winnings teams. Just look at the A’s and Rays. Now, not having looked at their entire seasons, they may have had successive 100+ seasons while rebuilding. However, what JDX and TCT don’t apparently see is, how have the A’s and Rays kept that trend? By doing more of what I have exactly said. They’ve never been all in or all out (the A’s did make a move last season but then backed right back out after the season, the right moves). They keep it consistent.

    • VaRedsFan

      @Steve, I disagree with the majority of what you said. You mention trading Homer? Who in the world wants Homer now? He will be ready for 2016 start. They aren’t going to get much for Leake to begin with, but I also don’t want to extend him @ 12+ million per year, or even offer him a qualifying offer of 14 million. There are plenty of starting pitchers on the roster and in the minors that you can rebuild with trading Leake/Cueto/Chapman.
      Playing .500 ball for 3 straight years and going nowhere does not sound like fun to me. Have a direction that will take you to the top, instead of treading water.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        First, Vared, I never said a team would want Homer. That’s always the other part of the equation many people on here forget. I do believe that’s one part that Walt had problems with when he tried to trade Homer, he asked for too much and the other teams weren’t willing to give.

        Leake’s and Homer’s numbers are very similar. Including the advanced analytics, those numbers where Homer’s ahead, there are others where Leake’s ahead. Thus, as far as I’m concerned, they are pretty much similar there. Where I would have extended Leake is he can pinchhit, pinchrun, could probably even play emergency SS if we needed him to. Homer is pretty much a pitcher, that’s it. Plus, Leake hasn’t had anywhere near an injury history of Homer.

        Also, Vared, the starting pitchers on the roster to rebuild with, I can agree with. The thing is, few if any of them are ready for the majors.

        Are you worried about playing 500 ball for 3 straight years and going nowhere doesn’t sound like fun. What do you think 3 straight 100+ seasons sounds like, with no guarantee of winning afterwards? Also, if you keep track of playoff teams, not all of them are built to win. Many expected to be a 500 ballclub, but they catch some lightning in a bottle, some good luck, and run with it. We were almost one of those teams last season, with so many talking a 500 ballclub, many talking playoffs, with a poor bullpen, missing our star players as well as so many others to injuries, with such a poor record in 1-run games. If we just played 500 ball in 1-run games, we are in the playoff hunt till the last week of the season, with a team who many saw as a 500 club.

    • jessecuster44

      In a maddeningly disappointing season, this is what keeps me coming back. Go SuperTodd and Go Reds!

    • jessecuster44

      Amen about the Med Staff. A completely different training and treatment philosophy is needed.

    • Redsfan48

      Leake is a league-average pitcher. The Reds absolutely should not spend $100 million to sign him long-term. Already made that mistake once with another league-average pitcher, who’s in reality not even as good as Leake to begin with (Homer Bailey). Our rotation of DeSclafani, Lorenzen, Iglesias, Moscot and Stephenson will be just fine. Iglesias is electric, and I think he’s potentially the next Cueto. Lorenzen has the makings of a #1 or #2 starter. DeSclafani and Moscot are good middle-of-the-rotation pitchers. Who knows what we get with Stephenson, but he definitely has the potential. Take a shot with them, if it doesn’t work out, sign a cheap veteran for $2-3 million.

      • jdx19

        Show me data suggesting Leake is as good now as Baily was after the 2013 season when his contract was signed. I’ll wait…

      • Big56dog

        How about any season where Leake was ever better than Bailey?
        Not sure I get the point where you can say how Leake has ever been better than Bailey, but in general I agree Leake will not be worth it if you have to pay him anywhere near what you are paying him now

      • Redsfan48


        Leake: 11-13 with a 3.70 ERA, 3.88 FIP and 1.5 WAR (baseball reference)
        Bailey: 9-5 with a 3.71 ERA, 3.93 FIP and 1.3 WAR.


        Leake: 14-7 with a 3.37 ERA
        Bailey: 11-12 with a 3.49 ERA

        Wins are 75% run support based, so throw out the W/L total and Leake was better.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Kind of suspicious that you left out the FIP, WAR and other better estimates than ERA for 2013. Homer way ahead there. WAR is a counting stat and Homer was (a) hurt, and (b) only made 23 starts in 2014. When Homer pitched healthy in 2014, his last 12 starts, his ERA was 2.66. Leake is a nice pitcher and had good years in 2013 and 2014. When Bailey is healthy, there’s no comparison who you want, especially against a top lineup.

      • lwblogger2

        I’m not so sure that people really understand the value of these types of guys in free-agency either. Even as a “league average pitcher”, Leake is probably looking at a 4yr/$48-million starting point and I could see someone going for something like 5yrs/$75-million. I don’t think he’ll hit $100-million…. Bailey over his career has been league average but in the 2-3 years leading up to his deal, he was better than that. He was a #2 for a lot of teams and a solid #3 for a championship team. That kind of guy gets about the money that Bailey got. Don’t believe me? Well a solid #2, maybe a half-slot to one slot better than Bailey got a 6yr/$155-million deal this past off-season. That’s about 50% more money than the Bailey contract.I don’t like those kinds of deals for pitchers out of principle (pitchers are just too high of an injury risk) but Bailey’s deal was a fair market deal.

      • Redsfan48

        Steve, for 2013, their WARs were so similar so I just left it out. Homer’s was better by less than 0.5 so not significantly better.

      • Moses

        While I’m not pessimistic about the Reds’ young pitchers, I don’t see Lorenzen as a #1 or #2 in any way shape or form. The guy walks more hitters than he strikes out and that’s a recipe for disaster. I think his lowish ERA has been lucky so far. He needs to start missing some bats big time and keep guys off of the bases in order to have much of a future as even a decent starter.

      • lwblogger2

        I’m not quite as down on Lorenzen as you are but I agree that he likely isn’t a future #1 or #2. We do need to remember that he has only been pitching a very short time and he’s only been starting a shorter time. I think he’s got a good chance to be a nice middle-of-the-rotation (solid #3) starter as he gains experience.

      • Redsfan48

        Sorry I didn’t say exactly what I meant about Lorenzen. I meant basically that his ceiling is a #1 or #2. He may not ever reach that potential but he has the potential to do it. I can agree with you saying he will be a #3. Yes, he needs to limit his walks. Yes, he needs to set up hitters better to strike them out. But you don’t have to be a strikeout pitcher to be a successful major leaguer.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I can see Lorenzen getting that high. When I’ve watched some of his games on, he simply wasn’t getting many of the K calls that are on the corners. If he starts getting them, he looks like an ace. If he doesn’t get them, he looks like a journeyman.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Bottom line, including any advanced analytics, Homer’s ahead in some, Leake’s ahead in some. So, the best argument one can make is they are equal pitchers, just different styles.

        Where I would much rather have Leake than Homer is Leake doesn’t have the injury history of Homer, much less a delivery that doesn’t seem would be very injury-likely. Plus, Leake can hit, pinchhit, pinchrun, probably even play some emergency SS if we needed him to. Homer is pretty much a pitcher, period. As far as I’m concerned, Leake is much more valuable than Homer because of his versitility.

    • redmountain

      I would point out that the post draft evaluations of the minor leagues had the Reds as the 13th ranked farm system and moving up. They said that this time they concentrated on drafting athlete. Time will tell how that turns out. It should also bed noted that the Cardinals drafted some players pretty hgh that were not highly rated at all.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      For some here, you entirely misread my post. I will put it this way. If you go firesale, you are talking about something like the Astros 100+ seasons for 3 seasons if not more, before we have any sort of success nothing definite. With my proposal, we field about a 500 team and the division winning success would take about 6-8 seasons. But, then, one must remember, even some of the WS teams aren’t necessary built to win the WS. They simply catch some perverbial lightning in a bottle and run with it, teams like I am proposing to keep the Reds, or overachieve like the Reds did the first half of last season (people were talking a 500 team, we overachieved, people start talking playoffs). But, if we go the route of the Astros, we definitely aren’t going to be anywhere near where I propose, where overachievement may mean getting less than 100 losses.

  6. big5ed

    A “fire sale” would be silly, although I suppose it depends on what one means by “fire sale.” The Reds are not going to resign Cueto, because he will get a much bigger offer than the Reds can reasonably afford to match. I therefore expect him to be traded in late July. Trading Chapman could bring a plausible return from a team in dire need. Brandon Phillips may figure he wants to spend the next two years on a playoff contender and agree to a trade. But that isn’t “fire sale,” that is just good business, in light of the highest probability that the Reds aren’t going to get back into it this year.

    This team may not be able to compete next year, either, but with Votto and Frazier at the core, plus Mesoraco, Cozart, Hamilton (if he develops), they have the pieces to rebuild pretty quickly. It will depend largely on Bailey and on whether 3 or 4 of the young guns (and there are about 7 of them) pan out.

    Yes, Frazier has the greatest trade value, but his real value to the Reds is at third base. What a horse.

    • Redsfan48

      I agree with the vast majority of your post. But here’s the things I want to comment on. We should not trade Brandon Phillips. Not just because of him as a player, but I think trading Phillips would severely hurt the fan base. Phillips is one of the most popular players on this team, and you want to keep the fan base happy during this period of rebuilding.

      You also said with Votto, Frazier, Mesoraco, Hamilton and Cozart, they have the pieces to rebuild quickly. I don’t think Cozart has any significance in the rebuilding of this team. The shortstop of the future for this team is Eugenio Suárez. I don’t think there’s any chance Cozart is still with this team beyond 2016. Honestly, I think they will non-tender him this offseason.

      I do agree that Frazier’s real value is at third base for this team. Honestly, there’s only one prospect (Corey Seager-LAD) I’d trade him for right now, and that team doesn’t even need a third baseman.

      • jdx19

        Fan bases are happy when their team wins. If trading BP helps the team win (which it may not) then that is the correct course of action. Baseball is a business. The team shouldn’t be worried about the fans short-term happiness. They should be worried about maximizing the fans’ long-term happiness, AKA winning a championship and reaping the benefits that will come with that for years after.

        Fans won’t be happy with a bad team just because BP is manning 2nd.

      • tct

        There are only 2 qualified shortstops in all of baseball that have a higher wRC+ than Cozart did when he went down. He will probably make around 4-5 million in arbitration next year. There is zero chance that they non tender him after the way he played the last 2 months.

        I think Suarez will make a good bench player, utility guy, but I’m not yet convinced that he will hit enough to start, and his glove is definitely inferior to Cozart.

      • Redsfan48

        Many analysts have said because Cozart missed most of this season and will likely miss the start of next season, the Reds won’t tender him an arbitration contract because he will get $4 million or more. They might take their chances by non tendering and trying to re-sign, but I think there’s at least a chance that they don’t offer him a contract. It’s not a sure thing but it’s definitely possible.

    • Tom Reed

      I doubt the Red’s owner is a ‘fire sale’ type guy. Cueto and Leake will be traded because the Reds have pitching in waiting. Chapman will stay because MLB’s fire baller is a draw. Phillips will probably agree to a trade since he wants to be on a winner in the next couple years. But Frazier will be extended since he’s become the leader the team has long needed. Castellini will approve some trades but the core of the Reds will stay.

  7. VaRedsFan

    –Brandon Phillips and Ivan DeJesus hit 1-2 tonight. They went a combined 0-12, before BP’s single in the bottom of the 13th. They finished 1-13. That’s not good.”

    Phillips did hit 2 line drives right at people, I wouldn’t lump his performance in with DeJesus.

    I thought Cueto was nails until the long AB by Iglesias in the 4th. It carried over to the 5th by walking 2 people ahead of Miggy HR. Then the rain came, he was upset about not being able to redeem himself.

    • Big56dog

      Exactly what I thought about Cueto, what happened with 4 pitch walk to the catcher before Iglesias. He was cruising after a shaky 1st sitting at 54 pitches with 1 out to go in the fifth. I cannot believe how far Cabrera hit that pitch, but Cueto just went into the tank.

  8. IndyRedMan

    They obv will move Cueto pretty soon. They really need to move BP, Leake, and Bruce if possible. I doubt BP is going to have much left by 2017 or 18 when the Reds could be competitive again. Chapman is the big question mark but they might as well trade him too. Its not only that he can’t or won’t start but they won’t even use him in tie games on the road or 4-5 out saves either? They need to get some prospects that are close to being ready as well. By the time 18 and 19 yr olds are ready they Votto/Frazier will be towards the Marquis of their careers

  9. PDunc

    I’d be interested to see an analysis on Frazier’s future contract potential. If he continues to put up 5+ WAR seasons in 2016 and ’17 what kind of free agent contract will he get heading into the 2018 season when he’ll be 32 years old?
    Is there any chance the Reds could (or would want to) extend his contract say through 2020, his age 34 season? Would Frazier even consider this?

    • big5ed

      The Most Interesting Man in the World has convinced me. I hope they extend him for a few more years. He this year has supplanted Votto as the face of the franchise.

      • jdx19

        Maybe true. Might have supplanted him last year. Votto is still the better hitter, though.

    • jdx19

      Maybe 5/100 as a 32-yr old. But, if he sprinkles in a 7 WAR season this year (seems like a shoe-in) and another 6 WAR season, I could easily see 5/125 or 6/140. I don’t think anyone will take a chance on a late-bloomer like Frazier at 32 for longer than 5-6 years.

    • tct

      With the season he’s having now, I don’t think there is any way in the world that Frazier would sign an extension for less than 3 or 4 years(meaning 3-4 yrs on top of the 2 they already have). Your scenario would be a 3 yr extension, so I think it would take a.huge AAV for him to consider that, since he will probably be able to get at least 4-5 years when he becomes a free agent.

      I wouldn’t do it, because you would be buying really high on a guy in his mid thirties. But maybe if you offered 25 million for 3 free agent years, 2018-2020, and 15 million for his last arbitration year, 2017, then he would have to consider it. That would be 4/90 total and 3/75 for his free agent years. He would get more as a free agent, but he would have to wait 2 years and risk injury or decline.

  10. BigRedMachine

    I’m all for trading Cueto and others for prospects. Bruce’s name keeps getting mentioned. I understand where that is coming from but that trading Bruce raises the question of just who is going to play in the outfield?

    LF is a gaping hole. CF is Hamilton and as much as I love to watch him run the bases that may not be a long term solution if he hits below the Mendoza line. Trading Bruce would mean the entire outfield potentially needs to be replaced.

    Winker is one obvious name but he’s not exactly lighting up AA right now. It would seem to make it a requirement that trading Cueto/Chapman/Leake gets outfielder prospects in return. Or am I missing something?

    • Tom Gray

      You are not missing anything. If Bruce and Byrd get traded this summer, the Reds OF is a disaster. Winker is AT LEAST 1 year away.

  11. sultanofswaff


    —No shame in getting beat on a fastball 6 inches off the plate to one of the best hitters of our generation. Johnny was fine.
    —How Hand didn’t get smoked for multiple runs was beyond me. He’s not good.
    —Conversely, Badenhop has rediscovered the movement and location that made him a good reliever in the AL.
    —Don’t look now haters, but Bruce’s OPS is up to .766.
    —I don’t get the posters here who say the Reds won’t contend for the next 2 years. We have Votto/SuperTodd/Mez/Bruce in their primes! You retool around that core by adding new talent via trades and we easily contend next year.

    • CP

      As it stands right now, Anthony Desclafani is your most likely opening day starter. That’s why competing in 2016 seems unlikely.

      Eventually next season, the Reds will likely have Homer & Stephenson in the rotation, but Reds fans should’ve learned by now that 1) injured players don’t always come back themselves right away; 2) #1 prospects don’t always “get it” immediately upon promotion.

      • MrRed

        And you’ll want to add that the bullpen will still be an issue for next year as another reason why being competitive is questionable at best.

      • sultanofswaff

        1) It’s really just Bailey we’re talking about, and we’ll have him for at least 2/3 of the season if not more. We’ll know if Mez/Barnhart is our catching combo before Christmas. Very low risk there.
        2)That’s what this season is for, to give Winker/Stephenson/YRod/Disco/Moscot/Iglesias/Suarez/anyone acquired via trade time go experience their growing pains free from the demands of contending on a veteran laden ballclub. It’s why this season is far more valuable than people let on. There’s also the side benefit of giving the front office more information to work with so they can make informed trade demands for positions of need.

        I agree it’s a tough needle to thread, I just don’t get the folks who dismiss the possibility out of hand.

      • Tom Gray

        The Reds had a fire sale after 1981 (best W-L record in MLB that year). Traded Foster for nothing useful. Traded Griffey (Sr) for nothing worthwhile. Traded Knight for washed up Cedeno.

        Reds had 101 L in 1982 and didn’t contend until Rose came back as Mgr in 1984 and led Reds into convention in 1985.

        History repeats. That’s why some Reds fans think they won’t contend for 2 or 3 more years.

      • tct

        They aren’t contending now, Tom, that’s the whole point. It’s not like we are calling on them to break up a World Series contender. I just really don’t understand your opinion on this, because you bash anyone who suggests trading a veteran. But the Reds have only had one good run this century so far, 2010-2013, and those teams weren’t built by hanging onto high priced veterans and giving veterans huge extensions a year or two before they get to free agency. Those teams were built on the back of a strong farm system. That is what the Reds need to compete. 1981 isn’t relevant. There is a reason that teams in this position almost always sell and rebuild. It’s because rebuilding gives you the best chance to win a World Series.

    • IndyRedMan

      The main problem with 2016 is that once they deal Cueto, Chapman, and Leake then you’re asking a lot of young guys to step up. If Mesoraco can’t catch then the offense takes a big hit as well….Pena has no power and won’t hit for average like this again. Bruce hustles and made some great catches in Chicago….he’d be fine batting 6th imo. If they clean up in these trades then who knows? Lets see how Suarez, Inglesias, and these other young guys look?

    • Vanessa Galagnara

      Mez had one good year full of injuries to me he is a massive question mark on what he has to offer in the future. Bruce…. love the guy he had a great game but he just can’t seem to stitch together long runs of quality hitting. His batting average is terrible.

      Votto… yes he is proving himself to be back to health and in good form. Frazier is a beast right now I don’t think there is a hotter bat in all of baseball. Our pitching…. is completely unproven. Buiding bullpens isn’t as easy as everyone says.
      big questions for the Reds.
      1.) Will Mes ever be back to 2014 form.
      2) who are the full time catchers
      3) what do they do about SS. How will Cozart come back from 9 months of no fielding and no hitting.
      4) Brandon Phillips is aging fast.
      5) The hole that is Left Field
      6) A center fielder with an OBP of around .265 doesn’t cut it.
      7 ) No quality bats from the bench
      8) No ace pitcher after Cueto leaves
      9) No longer any depth of rotation waiting in the wings.

      I like you optimism but we are always one injury away from complete collapse (Joey Votto) everything is nice and wonderful but there is not enough depth to just “go for it” so the team really needs to start replacing the aging parts as rapidly as they can and in doing so they may have to get rid of some of the pieces that are still young as well.

    • Tom Gray

      Badenhop was good in AL last season but just fair in 5 years before that (Marlins). He has much better P results since May 1st.

      If the fire sale trades (Cueto, Leake, Chapman, Byrd, Frazier, Phillips, Bruce) happen, the Reds WILL NOT contend before 2018, if then.

      • jdx19

        Badenhop was much more than fair his entire career up to this year.

  12. sultanofswaff

    ………and I’d still rather have Jumbo Diaz on the roster than Donovan Hand………or neither.

    Why do we have 9 relievers???

    • big5ed

      Hand may be OK as junk-ball long reliever. It’s a bit like college football–all the defenses are geared to stopping the pass-happy offenses, and now they can’t stop a power running game like Arkansas uses. The hitters these days are so geared up to hit 97 mph fastballs that the right-handed junkballers seem impossible to hit.

      Jumbo needs to drop 35 more pounds and get stronger, so he can smooth out his motion and get more command. Command at 94 is much better than no command (or control or movement) at 97.

    • Vanessa Galagnara

      Maybe Hand was brought up because he is easily expendable on a DFA if the Reds get caught up on a situation bringing some of the guys back from injury. He is a burner or roster filler at best. Maybe we get lucky and he is lights out so we can include him as the player to be named later in a multi player trade.

    • greenmtred

      For the same reason that I have two chainsaws: If you have two, you have one. And they don’t have any hitters on the bench, so somebody has to fill those roster spots, right?

  13. tgarretson82

    From ESPN:

    ESPN legal analyst Roger Cossack thinks that the Cardinals’ information hacking of the Astros was not a one-time thing: “I think this was a plan and I think when this comes out you’re going to find out that this was done not just once, but several times. I think you are going to find out it was done over a period of time. This is very serious.” (via Mike & Mike)

    This better result in some sort of punishment, because this appears to be something very premeditated and repetitive.

    • Vanessa Galagnara

      Don’t buy that they will receive a severe punishment. Consider the snafu of the Astros botched draft picks last year. What was the punishment there? They are reward with more money and more picks for the draft this year. I still don’t understand why the Astros got 2 first round draft picks this year for screwing up. MLB barely knows what a computer is much less what hacking is all about.

      • tgarretson82

        Haha. I bet they are still using old IBM computers still.

      • lwblogger2

        I don’t know Vanessa, this isn’t just an MLB or a baseball thing. This is corporate espionage at a high-level. In and of itself that illegal, rather it takes the form of breaking and entering, social networking, bribery, or hacking. The fact that it seems to be hacking also would make this a federal crime as they used infrastructure resources that cross state boundaries to commit the crime in question. Right now, what MLB will do to them should be the least of their worries if this investigation finds something that leads to federal prosecution.

      • jdx19

        You hit the nail on the head. This is a big deal. Baseball is a multi-billion dollar industry. I’m pretty sure the government is going to take this pretty seriously and nip it in the bud.

  14. Big56dog

    Went to bed during the 8th, but found the game frustrating for various reasons and admire they were able to come back. I tend not to blame managers as they all do questionable things and it is too easy to dissect them in losses. But even despite the homer by Cabrera destroying what was looking like another awesome start by Cueto I was frustrated by the following
    1. Why double switch Negron so the pitcher could take Suarez’s spot?
    2/ Why double switch if you only allowing the pitcher to pitch one inning?
    After the homer in the 8th- I just gave up as it was toolate and despite the win I would have been further frustrated by the following judging from the play by play…
    3. Why pinch hit Votto for Dominguez with only a runner on 1st and 2 out- I can think of plenty of reasons why to save Votto- namely if he extends the inning you are stuck with Schumaker?
    4. Why not keep Votto in the game?
    5. Why is Chapman only pitching 1 inning? especially when you are willing to pitch Hand 3
    6. Leave a position player on the bench for a pitcher??- I have seen the splits so I almost see it but I truly believe Price did not want to be left without a back up catcher
    7. How did Hoover not get in this game
    With the runners left on third it would not have been enjoyable with the puzzling decisions just wondering if anyone out there is interested enough to justify any of these moves so I can let them go.

    • pinson343

      BIG56DOG: My comment below was meant for you. Here’s part 2 of my reply.

      I don’t think it’s fair to criticize Price for the non-use of Hoover. He had obviously decided before the game that Hoover was unavailable. You have to respect that, Hoover had pitched 8 innings over the last 10 days, Price and Pico know much more than we do about how Hoover is feeling and the toll that this would have on his arm.

      This is where there’s a basic conflict between fans and managers. Fans want to win tonight. Managers do too, but they also HAVE TO worry about the 162 game grind and the long-term health of their players. Good relief pitchers used to pitch up to 120 innings a season, but that’s not done any more, and so their arms aren’t conditioned for it.

      • Big56dog

        Good point about the use of Hoover, but 8 innings over 10 days does not sound like a bunch to me… if it is not a reoccurring issue- which it never seems to be with Price. Hoover pitched in less than 3 innings in the 2 weeks prior to the 10 days so it kind of evens out. If he does not pitch tonight then it is only 1 inning since Sunday. It just seems a waste to me if a good reliever does not approach 90-100 innings- then your are not using relievers anymore just role pitchers for their specific innings.

    • pinson343

      Here’s part 3 of my reply. In this and part 2 I’m trying to justify the moves, as you asked. Using Hand for 3 innings was clever like a fox IMO. For starters, Price was trying to rest multiple pitchers in the pen. Hand was the best guy for a 3 inning stint, he has started and thrown up to 84 pitches in a game at Louisville this year.
      Even with 3 innings, most hitters in the Tigers lineup were only facing him once and had never seen him before. That big looping 68-69 mph curve ball is baffling the first time you see it. Major league hitters aren’t used to that slow a speed, it screws up their timing. And the pitch looks so inviting, and then the bottom falls out.

      Also Hand pitched well. He was very composed and pitching smart. Even his fastball is 20 mph faster than his curve ball and he was able to sneak it by hitters, especially for one big K.

      • Big56dog

        I agree why not go with Hand for all the reasons stated, I think you were not disputing that I see your perspective, but if you are willing to go with Hand for 3 why not Chapman for more than 1 in virtually the exact same situation, especially when his spot was not due to up.

      • Big56dog

        I meant to add I think Price wanted to make sure Chapman would be available for the next game (today) rather than put his team in the best possible position to win last night. It would be like giving your best hitter one AB in a game that is tied so he can rest up and win the game tomorrow

  15. pinson343

    Your comments are right on. To add to number 6, I believe you that Price did not want to be left without a backup catcher. The Reds tv guys were incredulous about this, saying how Brad Ausmus, a former catcher, had just used his backup catcher to pinch hit.

    I understand that Barnhart is terrible batting RHed, 1 for 11 this year. But with the winning, game ending run on 3rd, you have to go with your best chance. And having a chance begins with putting the ball in play. Lorenzon had very high probability of striking out against a lefty who was dealing high strikes at 95 mph. Barnhart on the other hand at least had a good chance of putting the ball in play, he’s only struck out twice in his 11 RHed ABs, and obviously he has a whole lot more experience with hitting 95 mph fastballs.

    • Big56dog

      This is the one I had the least problem with when looking at the splits and maybe Price just had a gut feeling and at worst case he has Tucker Available to PH later against a Righty once he bit the bullet and had no back-up catcher. But it seems to me the whole game was managed by cookie cutter details with no innovation as the game played out.
      1. Make a double switch since the pitcher is due up next inning- even though he was not coming back out
      2. Pitch your closer one inning- no matter what the circumstances
      3. Don’t play your back-up Catcher- no matter what the circumstances
      4. Give your best player an off day and do not keep him in the game after a spot PH- no matter what the circumstances
      5. Give your second best reliever the night off – no matter what the circumstances
      I hate to be one of these people who scream Price has got to go as I do not feel managers have that much affect on the game as obviously last night’s demonstrates, but the needless double switch just soured me on a great game that was such a downer after one Cueto pitch. Glad they won.

  16. Kearnsie

    it’s amazing that reds need only win a few games here and there (and get a small amount of help from other teams) to be 4 games out of the wild card at the break

    a big one tonight — need mike leake to be at his best w/ bullpen depleted, 10 games against the marlins and brewers (with 7 of those at GABP), taking one of three against the mets and nats on the road, and stealing two from the pirates at PNC…

    you never know

    • pinson343

      You do never know and those two late losses to the hapless Phillies were daggers. Also all those walkoff losses to the Cubs in very winnable games.

    • Aaron Bradley

      Every time this club manages to eek out a couple wins in a row, someone comes out of the woodwork to say how close to the playoffs they are. No, I am sorry, this is a BAD team with numerous injuries. They are not going anywhere. Sure they are going to stumble into some wins and maybe even string 2 or 3 together… but they are not going to the post season and the quicker you accept that the less frustrated you will be in the long haul. Frazier and Votto and Phillips and even Bruce will maintain a level of professionalism, but the depth isn’t there and the bullpen is still pretty horrible and these things will be exposed time and time again even if they manage some close wins along the way.

  17. pinson343

    Chris Welsh was really impressive last night. In extra innings especially he was fed up with the Reds lack of fundamentals and he let loose. He talked about how Hamilton batting LHed is very screwed up, rotating his body too much and “locking his shoulders”. He talked about how Negron does not know how to bunt, that he was raising his bat at the last instant, which will cause him to bunt the ball up in the air, which he did on his first 2 tries.

    He was ticked off at DeJesus taking huge swings when a single or routine fly ball would win the game. He was REALLY ticked off at Hamilton for taking huge swings when batting RHed. The guy is supposed to be trying to get on base, not swing for the fences.

    I just presume the coaches work with the players on these things. But where you’re not getting results over the long run, that’s where accountability needs to come in.

    Also, even though he said that Negron didn’t know how to bunt, he agreed with letting him try it again with 2 strikes. That was a clear message that he believes Negron is overmatched by major league pitching this year, which was clear last night.

    • i71_Exile

      While I’m sorry for the team’s sake, I’m glad the Negron chorus in the comments section at Redleg Nation has died down after his hot year last year. He’s just not a good enough hitter to start in the majors. He’s valuable for other reasons, though.

      Hamilton is a mess at the plate. He’s completely over-matched from the left side and it sounds like he’s getting over anxious when he gets to hit right handed where he’s more confident. DeJesus was trying too hard to be the BIG HERO instead of just a hero.

      • tct

        Yeah, I think Tucker and Billy both need to abandon the switch hitting. The platoon advantage is only worth so much, and it doesn’t make sense to switch hit when you are significantly better from one side of the plate. Tucker is an easy call because he is much better from the left side, which gets more PA anyway. The thing about Billy, though, is that he has a much more natural swing from the right side, but he seems to be more patient from the left. He will need to work on his approach if he becomes a full time righty.

    • Matt WI

      I don’t know if this has been discussed at length here before or not, but I’ve been starting to wonder if it’s time to think about having Hamilton hit exclusively RH?

      This year’s splits: LH- .209/.261/.255
      RH batting- .257/.274/.406

      Now granted, he has more than double the PA’s as a lefty, but it makes you wonder. He has more contact and more power from the right. I wonder if he would make him feel more settled overall.

      Career wise it goes like this- .241/.288/.330 (LH)

      So it levels out a bit, he still doesn’t walk from either side, but has a slight uptick in power and hits overall.

      • Matt WI

        Mind you, I’m not saying this would be a cure all, but taking a consistent approach that leads to consistent contact could be a step in the right direction.