Here is the list of players the Reds should be shopping.

The Reds got swept by the lowly Milwaukee Brewers in front of their home crowd at Great American Ballpark. The Reds were outscored in the series 25-5.

It doesn’t get much worse than this.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (36-44) 1 4 0
Milwaukee Brewers (36-48) 6 13 0
W: Jungmann (3-1) L: Leake (5-5)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

The Reds have to sell. That is obvious. But they can’t halfway sell. They have to be “all-out” or this thing is not going to work.

The Reds won’t be good in 2016. You would have to be pretty naive to think that a team whose front end of the rotation will be Anthony DeSclafani, Michael Lorenzen, and Rasiel Iglesias can compete with the Cardinals, Cubs, and Pirates. The chances of the Reds being able to compete with the Cardinals, Cubs, and Pirates is 2017 is also slim.

So let me you ask you this: what is the difference between winning 50 games and 70 games?

Sure, some will say that will alienate the fan base. But wouldn’t four straight seasons of 70 wins, and zero trips to the postseason do the same thing? Blowing the team up will alienate them sooner, but it is going to happen either way. At least if you blow the entire thing up, you set yourself up nicely for the future, and can start stockpiling top draft picks.

Do you think Cubs fans are still upset about their 61-101 season in 2012 now? No, because that season of losing in glorious fashion netted them Kris Bryant. Do you think Astros fans are still upset about their 56-106 and 55-107 seasons in 2011 and 2012? No, because those seasons brought them George Springer and Carlos Correa.

The Reds are at a crossroads. They can either decide to halfway sell their team, and most likely end up resembling something like the Philadelphia Phillies. Or they can give up for a couple of years when they have a minuscule chance of finishing ahead of the Cardinals, Cubs, and Pirates.

Any player you don’t see helping the Reds in 2018 should be shopped right now. I already wrote why the Reds should trade Todd Fraizer, but they should also be shopping Marlon Byrd, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, Aroldis Chapman, J.J. Hoover, Manny Parra, and even Joey Votto (in addition of course to Cueto and Leake who they are already shopping). Some of those guys might not bring much in return, but if they aren’t going to give you any value in 2018 and beyond, they are pretty much wasted talent right now.

Blow. It. Up.

PS: While the Reds are at it, get rid of Marty and Thom too. Thom was absolutely unbearable to listen to today, and good ole’ Marty had this to say about Joey Votto today.

207 Responses

  1. Jake

    This team is absolutely embarrassing. I check in on the box score after the games to save myself from watching the circus act on TV

    • coble nelson

      My family went to three games this past week while on vacation in the Cincinnati area. The Reds won two of three. The effort was just not there. My wife and three kids, who are big Reds fans, noticed a lack of hustle. They commented on Bruce not running out balls to name one but did like watching Pena, DeJesus and Byrd. Pena, Lorenzen, DeJesus and Raisel all singed balls for all three kids. They even didcussed pitching, fielding and hitting with all three kids. Hugs, hand shakes and high fives were exchanged. The kids, after seeing last nights game, decided it’s time to trade many. Everyone can see it, even 13 year old triplets!

  2. redsfan06

    Was looking forward to seeing them play on TV this weekend here in Wisconsin. Couldn’t watch any more of Friday’s game after they got down 9-0. Was fortunate to have something else to do last night. Best thing about today’s game is I was able to nap through a few innings.

  3. tgarretson82

    But the injuries?!? That’s the whole, entire reason we are so bad. No other teams ever have this many injuries and still compete, especially no teams in our division. We will get back to 100% and have no injuries next season. -thoughts from Castellini

    • Vicferrari

      Cards lost arguably more talent are still one of teh best teams. Point is the players just quit. I am not sure what is so terrible about what he said about Votto. Votto might not even be above average 1B at this point.

      • Evan armstrong

        Exactly whom have the Cards lost and how do you know the Reds players have quit? More outlandish statements…

      • vegastypo

        Well, the Cardinals lost their No. 1 pitcher, Wainwright, for the season. They lost one of their top hitters, Holliday, who was amid or had just concluded a string of 40-some consecutive games of reaching base, if memory serves. Out at least a month. They lost their set-up man Jordan Walden for at least two months with injury, They lost first baseman Matt Adams for three or four months. They got starting pitcher Jaime Garcia back from injury, but he got injured again. .And that is just from what I can remember. Unsure if there are more…..

        Yes, the Reds have been devastated by injuries. No question. But gee, compare the two franchises and ask yourself, which one is better suited to still compete despite a barrage of injuries.

      • RedAlert

        I think this is “”Drew” from last year – a Walt apologist and a Price homer who makes excuses for everything wrong in this organization (regarding your comment on other posters outlandish statements )

      • Vicferrari

        Do not forget Óscar Taveras/ I do not know what to call it when you cannot even complete in one game- maybe competed for 4 innings Saturday- quit might be outlandish but it is just disappointing how poor this line-up played the past 2 weekends despite the inexperienced pitching

      • vegastypo

        Good point by Vic about the Cardinals losing Taveras, too. They had the depth to get Grichuk a few seasons ago, and then got Heyward from the Braves. Nice to have depth.

      • rhayex

        What?! Votto is not an even an above average 1B?

        Currently on pace for 5.8 bWAR. On pace for 5.2 fWAR. He’s been worth almost 20 million dollars per Fangraphs in less than half a season.

      • Vicferrari

        I wanted to start off my argument with Adrain Gonzalez, Goldschmidt, and Rizzo have no doubt surpassed him. but I will admit it gets harder and at least debatable when I looked closer at more 1B. Just by seeing them play I have to say Freeman and Lind are having slightly better years. I could argue that if you cannot get top 5 in your league you are not above average. But judging the drop off there just are not a lot of good 1B. I only would say maybe 2 in the AL are better. It was a gut reaction so I would say the way he has played over the past month since the 3 HR game and his awful May he is far from elite. He is not even in the top 30 in WAR so I find it difficult to describe him as elite. Hopefully he will bounce back.

    • jdx19

      If you think other teams don’t have injuries like the Reds you simply don’t pay attention.

    • VaRedsFan

      I think the majority here failed to see the sarcasm in Tgarrets post.

  4. jessecuster44

    This, hands down, is my least likeable Reds team ever. Talent, coaching, and chemistry… all terrible. Trade everything not nailed down, fire the entire coaching staff, pink slip the front office, and start over.

    How can you get your butt handed to you by the Milwaukee Brewers at home? It’s an embarrassment.

    • Evan armstrong

      We must be watching different teams as I don’t see the horribleness you do.

      • jessecuster44

        Then you must be very happy. Congratulations on enjoying mediocrity.

      • Marvin

        Calling this team mediocre is giving them too much credit. They are down right bad.

      • Evan armstrong

        No I am a realist. I can see who we are missing…the amount of young SP…a decling second basemen and a lack of bench and have appropriate expectations.

      • RedAlert

        It’s Drew from last year Jesse – I’m convinced of it

      • jdx19

        Um, Evan… even if the Reds are meeting your expectations and you feel your expectation are appropriate, it doesn’t elevate them from being horrible.

      • Bill McClure

        [Deleted for violating commenting guidelines. Personal attacks on other commenters are not permitted.]

  5. wildwestlv

    Nats should put their foot on the throat of this team and leave NO doubt in BC’s mind what to do next.

    • jessecuster44

      But there will be doubt. Bob C as an owner is the same as the most naive of fans. He will still think that there’s a chance.

  6. ohiojimw

    I had a (correct) feeling what “the list” was going to be when I saw it was a HTML link.

    If they are going to trade everybody on that list, they should also trade Meso and Bailey because they are two guys who would bring return (once they establish they are healthy again) and will be out in the woods by themselves after everybody else is dumped.

  7. Evan armstrong

    Blow it up? It is incredible to me how out of touch many of today’s fans are. Do some changes need to happen? But this idea that you need or must blow up this team is laughable. This team needs to improve its bullpen and bench, but it also needs to get healthy. I am no way a Walt fan and would like to see a change there but I am also realist and understand that for whatever reason Bob is sold on him.

    I live in Indy and will travel over to cincy at least three more times and watch them live and enjoy each game and understand as a fan I have no control over what Bob decides but will support whatever he decides.

    • jessecuster44

      “(I) will support whatever he decides”

      That is one alarming statement.

      Maybe you are the one out of touch? Good luck.

      • Evan armstrong

        He’s the owner…I am the fan. I have zero ability to determine whom is on this team I support the Reds no matter the roster.

      • jessecuster44

        … I don’t. I’ll root for them, but I won’t spend my money on this farce.

      • Evan armstrong

        Your choice…a true fan supports in good and bad…

      • PDunc

        “Your choice…a true fan supports in good and bad…”

        The problem with this thinking is that the amount of money the fans spend on the team is the only real way we have of affecting the ownerships decisions. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that all the Reds fans should just jump ship and become Nationals, Cubs, or Cardinals fans because they are tops teams right now. If Reds ownership keeps seeing relatively high attendance and TV numbers though, what is their incentive to improve? Trying to influence the Reds ownership’s decisions, in the only way an average fan can, does not make them a bad fan. Likewise, continually giving the team your money despite the poor decisions and/or results does not make you a “true fan”.

  8. ohiojimw

    It is interesting to me that less than 2 years removed from Price being the pitching coach, the biggest disaster area on the team is the pitching. Does anyone else remember the Peter Principle book?

    • Mutaman

      We just scored 5 runs in 3 games against one of the worst staffs in baseball playing in our own little league ball bark. Could be argued that the offense is our biggest disaster area.

      • jessecuster44

        Pitching is not the problem. How the pitching is being managed is a problem. Lack of offense is a HUGE problem.

      • ohiojimw

        The offense was suspect much of the time over the winning seasons they’ve had from 2010 forward. Even this year, they’ve found ways to win games the pitching kept them close in; and, they have had a number of blown multi run leads over the last 3 innings of games. To me that is the seas change.

        This failure of the pitching to keep games close and blown late leads (many multi run) is my basis for considering the pitching to be the biggest disaster.

    • Tom Reed

      It’s called being promoted to your incompetency. A rather common occurrence in many organizations, including the current manager of the Reds.

      • ohiojimw

        And a corollary is that a less skilled individual often moves into the position opened by the person promoted to their level of incompetency.

    • CP

      Reds are 21st in pitching and 22nd in offense so I don’t think it’s either/or. Although you could make the case that those figures are not adjusted for ballpark, and 22nd in offense at GABP is worse than it looks (and pitching is better).

      Just ignoring the Chapman situation, other than starting the season with Marquis, I can’t really fault how the Reds have handled their starting pitching personnel in the aggregate. I think they traded the right guy (Latos), and let the right guy walk (Bronson). The Homer extension is a mistake, but it doesn’t affect this season.

      • jessecuster44

        … bullpen. Cingrani. Chapman. That’s a whole bunch of bad pitching management.

      • ohiojimw

        You’d think that over the last three years there might be one starter from among that pair, right?

      • lwblogger2

        I’m not sure Cingrani is being mismanaged. I’m sorry but I don’t see a starting pitcher there.

      • jessecuster44

        Re: Cingrani – the whole April debacle is an example of how he was misused.

      • Michael E

        Wait, you want a LH starting pitcher OhioJimW? Don’t you know that is STRICTLY forbidden in Cincy? Take the most talented LH on the team and put him in the least used position…BRILLIANT! Take a LH pitcher that showed he could win with just two pitches, force him to learn more pitches, thus killing his momentum and confidence, then exile him to the bullpen, again wasting a good LH pitching talent. Then the draft comes, a high ceiling LH on the board when the Reds pick and…crickets. Every year we draft some 10 or 12 pitches and come up with one LH drafted, usually so late their almost no chance they have talent.

        Hey, its my Reds, it’s what we do.

  9. GreatRedLegsFan

    There’s no need to put more fuel on the fire. This management’s cycle is over, it just did not succeed so it’s time for changes. Perhaps a new owner will take over and so, just like with any other organization.

    • Tom Reed

      A change in management in the front office and/or the field is much easier than a new principal owner since Red’s ownership is always in local hands and, of course, big money is involved.

      • ohiojimw

        It seems to me that Phil Castellini is emerging as more of the public face of ownership that his father at this point. I have no idea where the Williams side is generationally but I thought one of them involved with the Reds was about P. Castellini’s age. So, maybe a functional change in leadership from the owners’ suite isn’t far off.

  10. ohiojimw

    I’ve reached the point I don’t really care who they trade and who they keep. But the reality is that they won’t be able to trade everyone. Given that I want to see them get quality over quantity if they clean house. By that I mean a few guys very highly rated already playing at AAA or can’t miss guys already at AA. No class A flyers unless a move is strictly a salary dump.

    I’m coming around to agreeing that being competitive in 2016 is a stretch. I don’t think that has to be true in 2017, it just depends how they go about things and how effective they are.

    $20M is coming off the books with Cueto and Leake. There is a lot of other “spare change” millions floating around that will also be off the books, This could buy a good starting pitcher who with a fully recovered Bailey could comprise a reasonable front end to a rotation in 2017. Pick up another innings eater cheap and fill in with the best of in house kids with the remainder of them reshaping the pen.

    This is a dicier and riskier approach than going totally nuclear but it is the road to take.

    • greenmtred

      Agree with you. One concern I have, though: It seems that many teams in both leagues are competitive. A good thing for the game, certainly, but perhaps detrimental to aquiring mlb-ready talent, except through free-agency (which is what you clearly were suggesting, of course). If the Reds get rid of everybody who is any good, they won’t have anybody who is any good, at least for awhile. Except possibly for free agents they sign, but aren’t free agents generally a poor option for less wealthy clubs? They have to do something bold, no doubt, but doing something foolish would be…foolish.

    • lwblogger2

      With 2 wildcard teams and with the general setup of this team, I tend to agree with you here. I don’t know if a total rebuild is a necessity. I think Cueto, Chapman, Leake and if possible Byrd should actively be shopped. Of course the Reds should listen on anyone on the roster. It’s bad business not to listen to offers. I think you’d have to get a very nice haul if you’re going to move a Todd Frazier though.

  11. gary

    Votto is no longer elite. Good, yes, above average, maybe, elite, no way. Can he be again, let some other team find out. Eat some salary, blow it up and let’s try again in the near future.

    • gary

      and please, stats can prove any premise you chose. We are talking Cecil Fielder with many less lbs.

    • Evan armstrong

      Votto is untradeable….Reds fans need to come to grips with that…

      • gary

        agreed, but if he is elite, some would believe (on pace for 28 hr/80 rbi, average to above average for a corner position player), then he should be trade-able at his salary.

      • Nick Carrington

        You can argue that Votto isn’t “elite” (what’s the cut off for that?) but using RBIs is silly. They are such a flawed stat. The debate as to whether RBIs are a good way to evaluate a player is over. They tell us virtually nothing about how good a player is.

      • gary

        how about using comparisons with other corner infielders as a baseline, is that also flawed?

      • gary

        my point is, Marty said he is no longer elite and that is his opinion. The Votto minions feel he is and they are entitled to his. If the Votto believers feel he is still elite, they he should be trade-able at his salary.

      • gary

        sorry for the typos, I am not a regular commentor on any site

      • Nick Carrington

        Sure, we can use corner infielders as a baseline. Your comparison was strictly homeruns (reasonable) and RBIs though right?. He is tied for the fourth most WAR among all first basemen behind Paul Goldschmidt, Miguel Cabrera, and Anthony Rizzo. He has the fourth highest OBP and ninth highest wRC+. All after this terribly slump.

        I honestly don’t know how to characterize an elite first basemen, so maybe Votto isn’t “elite” (whatever that means) but if he isn’t, he’s still really really good. On pace for over 5 WAR in both baseball reference and Fangraphs.

      • Nick Carrington

        I’m not even trying to argue that Votto is elite, just presenting the facts that matter. You can tell me if that is elite or not and why. I honestly don’t know if I think that or not. But it’s clear he is still very good.

      • ohiojimw

        If MLB At Bat had the pitch type and locations correct Votto failed to handle three meatball looking pitches in the 8th inning when he K’d, including the one he struck out on. That is about when MB made the statement judging from the light up on Twitter and here. I don’t know that I agree totally with the characterization but time was Joey would have only needed one of those three to make a statement. It might have ended up being a screamer right at a fielder but he would have put a serious hurt on one or more of those pitches.

      • HerpyDerp

        I agree with Nick on this – it’s hard to say elite vs very good because it’s akin to the eye test on decided what the difference is. For me, he’s still above average to very good in many batting stats with mediocre to shaky defense. At times this year, he has the same MVP spark we saw in ’10 and ’12, but he’s also had some major slumps. To me, that says very good. I also have no issues with a very good first baseman being on the team.

      • gary

        Thanks for the goodI discussion! I am not a votto lover nor a hater, just a long time Red’s fan. I try to not discount anyone’s opinion since just like (you know what) we all have one. I sometimes tire of all the love he gets and then have the caveat that he is not trade able due to his salary. The disconnect between the belief that he is elite but not worth his salary just does not compute to me at times. Thanks again


    Marty Brennaman . is no longer elite either. He has been at his trade long enough. He does not contribute any joy to the way he broadcasts. He sounds, tired, bored and gives the impression he is above it all. It is time for a younger person who would sound happy to be doing a ball game….like Marty once did. We know many of the same types at our places of work. Once they start complaining about everything it is time for them to move on. Marty, retire, play golf, enjoy life.

    • lwblogger2

      Well, I actually agree with Marty that although Votto is still very good, he isn’t an MVP candidate anymore, nor do I see it happening for him in the future. Does that mean he’s no longer elite? I’d say yes… I also agree with you that Brnneman is no longer elite. He’s intolerable to listen to when the Reds are winning let alone stinking. He doesn’t sound like he’s having fun. He’s turned into a curmudgeon. I’d like to hear a fresh voice. The question is more who?

  13. Shchi Cossack

    The struggles for 2016 are self-evident as the young starting rotation tries to establish itself. We’ve already seen those results in 2015 to set expectations for 2016 without Cueto and Leake.

  14. Shchi Cossack

    The Old Cossack has resolved himself to the probability that WJ will lead whatever rebuild (if any) is undertaken and will handle it with the same savvy and expertise he has demonstrated in handling the 40-man roster construction, the 25-man roster construction, the 15-day DL and the 60-day DL. With no confidence in BC or WJ or both to properly handle a rebuild, this will result in internal replacements needed over the next 3 years for the following players:

    (2016) Cueto & Leake (SP); Parra (RP); Byrd (OF); Pena (C)
    (2017) Chapman (RP)
    (2018) Frazier (3B); Bruce (OF); Cozart (SS); Phillips (2B)

    Over the next 3 seasons, what internal options are available to fill in for these losses?

    (SP with Lorenzen & DeSclafani filling 2 of the 5 starting positions)
    Bailey (DL); Cingrani (DL); Iglesias (DL); Moscot (DL); Stephensen (AAA)

    No other prospect is pitching above A+ ball in Daytona. That’s a lot of questions regarding the options for starting pitching, but in classic BC/WJ fashion, if everything goes right, the starting pitching could be pretty good.

    (RP with Hoover anchoring and Villarreal eating innings)

    There are starting pitching rejects at both the major league level and minor league level and a few pitchers at AA & AAA who may be serviceable in the major league bullpen, but this cupboard looks barren of any real prospects for the next few years.

    (C with Mesoraco starting and Barnhart filling the backup catcher role)

    No prospect is playing above A+ ball in Daytona. The Reds are fully committed to Mesoraco as their starting catcher and middle of the lineup thumper. The hip injury is probably not a concern, but Mesoraco has just one productive season (albeit a monster season) in 2014 at the major league level and has been plagued by injuries.

    (OF with Hamilton defaulting as the CF despite never hitting effectively above the AA level)
    Winker (AA); Rodriguez (AAA); Waldrop (AAA)

    No other prospect is playing above A+ ball in Daytona. After a very slow start, Winker is back on track at AA and with his .395 OBP is the logical replacement for one of the corner OF openings. With a 20% SO% and 6% BB% (Waldrop) and a 25% SO% and 7% BB% (Rodriguez), Rodrigues and Waldrop fit the mold traditionally sought by WJ and could very well get the call before Winker’s .395 OBP.

    Mejias-Brean (AA)
    No other prospect is playing above A+ ball in Daytona. Solid defense and a .377 OBP looks like a viable option but he lacks the HR power WJ wants, so another high SO% with HR potential option will probably be inserted or Frazier will be signed to a financially strangling extension based on his past performance.

    (SS/2B with Suarez filling one of the two middle infield positions)

    There are no prospects playing above A+ ball in Daytona. The middle infield will be a problem after 2017 with no prospects in the immediate pipeline and Suarez’ defense shaky during his play at SS in 2015.

    • redsfan06

      They could fill some of those holes in trading Cueto and Chapman. Byrd, Parra and Pena won’t bring much real help. Not sure Leake will either. No need to rush in trading the 2018 goners crop when there are other chips to cash in first. Although the right offer should send BP packing just to move his contract.

      • ohiojimw

        I believe at this point, other than the pending free agents their best bet is to hold off the dealing until the off season. More quality MLB guys will move then in return; and there will be 2-3 more months to see what prospects do while they are still on somebody else’s dime.

        Also as I said above, there is going to be significant money coming off the Red’s table that can be spent on the FA market.

        One of the Reds strengths is that with the free agents they have leaving, they are pretty much cost controlled/ certain for the next two seasons except for Chapman and for 2017, Frazier. That is both an argument for trading people and holding onto them. It all depends on the chosen course.

    • Hotto4Votto

      You’re certainly not wrong in surmising that we can’t fill those spots internally. They will need to supplement those guys with trade returns. Walt may mismanage a lot of things, and may very well be past his prime in a game that relies more and more on advanced stats and anlytics. But I don’t think our system is hopeless in filling a lot of our needs.

      Also, just because kids are in A+ at mid season in 2015 doesn’t mean they won’t be ready to help by 2018 (or even presumably earlier).

      Travieso, Garrett, and Romano have pitched really well in A+ this year. All are building on really solid years in Dayton last year. All three are top 10 pitching prospects in the system. One or more will likely end the year in AA. All three should be ready to step in by 2018 (with a full year each at AA and AAA under their belts) if some of Bailey, Stephenson, Lorenzen, Iglesias, Disco, and Moscot don’t pan out/continue to battle injuries.

      Blandino will help in the MIF by 2018. Daal and/or Bueno may be ready for a utility role to back up Suarez and Blandino (and we could still have DeJesus). Blandino should end the year in AA. May be there already if not for what seems to be a minor injury.

      3B and OF (and relievers) are what I would target in a trade. I think YRod still has some projection and growth left. Remember he’s younger than Ervin. I think Waldrop has enough of a hit tool to be a solid bench bat/plattoon corner OF’er. I think we have enough to be competitive in the NL Central by 2018, maybe even a season earlier. We really do need to supplement those pieces through trades though.

  15. wildwestlv

    Walt Jocketty HAS to go as part of any blow up. Otherwise, the entire rebuild will be flawed at the foundation. Talk about construction defects…

    • Evan armstrong

      I doubt that will happen as I believe Bob is stuck in the past and the excessive injuries this season I only see Cuteo being traded and the Reds resigning Leake to pair with Homer and the young guys.

    • pinson343

      Yes about WJ. A blow up would have to start with him, and it’s not happening.

  16. msanmoore

    I love our Reds, but days and series like this one are just a train wreck I can’t watch. It isn’t that I refuse to watch them lose, but to beat themselves this way is just painful and sad. Need to hang on to the break, hopefully see us trade some pieces away and eat this year, and root for the Astros to make a good run (just because they’re fun to watch).

    • pinson343

      I’m rooting for the Astros too. If Cueto is getting trade, I’d like to see him traded there. For one thing, I spend a lot of time in Houston.

      • lwblogger2

        I like the Astros but would like to point out that they are pretty much doing what a lot of Reds’ detractors have had an issue with. That is, they are hitting a ton of HR and striking out a lot. I find them fun to watch because they are young but I’m not sure how their approach will play out in the post-season. It’s cool that we’ll probably get to find out though.

  17. old-school

    I don’t understand the controversy on Votto….he is a very good player….in that second tier of top 20-40 players in baseball. But he isn’t in the conversation with Bryce Harper or Mike Trout or Miguel Cabrera or Paul Goldschmidt or Jason Kipnis or Giancarlo Stanton….He’s not worth 200 million dollars. He’s not even the best player on his team. Sorry, look in the mirror Redlegnation…..Joey Votto isn’t an MVP caliber top 10 player anymore. He is still a very good player. The only thing you can say is Brandon Phillips situation is worse.
    Blame Marty all you want but Votto’s contract and the bad team he plays on aren’t going away. Fine, Fire Marty and fire Thom….you still have a dreadful team with no chance of winning in the next 5 years.

    • kmartin

      Chapman pitching with a 6-1 deficit makes me wonder if Price made the decision prior to the game that Chapman needed work regardless of the score. If this is the case, then why not use Chapman in the seventh inning when the score was only 3-0 and the game was within reach? If a pre-game decision is made to use Chapman, why not use him in the first available high-leverage situation. I do not understand the obsession with the ninth inning.

      • pinson343

        Wasn’t going to bring it up, given the long term view of this thread, but by bringing in Contreras, who has been awful, Price threw in the towel when down by 3 after 6 innings. The Reds quality relievers – Parra/Hoover/Chapman – were all well rested, the Reds could still have made a game of it.

      • RedAlert

        Well stated pinson – totally agree – Head- scratching moves regarding the bullpen have been the norm for Price all year – simply amazing for a guy that is supposed to be one of the most respected pitching minds in the game – he has absolutely no clue or foresight regarding management of a bullpen –

      • ohiojimw

        I almost always listen to Price’s pregame radio program with Marty or Kelch because often he says things that don’t get a lot of play from the media.

        I couldn’t believe that today Price started out trying to explain away Mattheus’ problems on Saturday by essentially saying that he had to put him into the game in the 5th instead of holding him for the 7th. Or at least that was the closest I come come to making any sense from what he was saying.

        I get that they need more innings from the starters but how does that explain why Mattheus couldn’t get outs and let all the inherited runners in. Maybe what Price was trying to infer without coming out and saying was that he doesn’t have anybody (including Chapman) who is very good at coming in mid inning and stopping the bleeding but that some of them normally do well when they start with a clean inning.

        I was so angry/ frustrated that I turned the radio off without even listening to the rest of it or waiting for the beat reporters’ 2nd inning sound byte which is also often a good source for stuff.

      • lwblogger2

        The only thing I can think of is “Closer Rules” and the thought that maybe a save opportunity comes up. Really, the first manager to stop managing to the “save” stat and to not anger his closer by causing his closer fears of somehow leaving money on the table, is the manager who’ll be ahead of the curve. GMs and owners need to stop paying for the “save” stat too. Guys are getting deals because “Well he got 30 saves in 2012, so he’d be a good late inning guy.” It’s that thinking that needs to stop first.

      • Vicferrari

        I do not understand this line of thinking. If he would be brought into every high leverage situation he would pitch in many games the Reds had no chance of winning. Maybe they only lose 3-1 today. What manager actually does this?
        I get the overall philosophy but unless it is used on rare occasion in a need for a big win, Chapman or whomever fits this role would be done after 2 months.

      • kmartin

        I am not saying Chapman should be brought into every high-leverage situation. Here is my line of thinking: if you have decided to use Chapman in a game prior to the game then why wait until the ninth inning to use him? This is arbitrary. Use him when presented with a high-leverage situation. My argument is predicated on the assumption that the decision has already been made to use him on a given day.

    • pinson343

      I agree with your assessment of Votto. What I don’t understand is that people will get pissed off at Marty for saying that he’s not elite and at the same time include him in the list of players who cannot help the Reds in 2018.

      • tct

        Because Marty has been bashing Votto for a while now. Votto was clearly elite in 2013, and Marty ran his mouth all year about his lack of RBI. And he says ignorant stuff, like the quote where he said if Votto leads the league in walks and OBP in 2015, then the Reds won’t have a winning season. As if getting on base is a bad thing. And he ignores the fact that Votto led the league in OBP in all 3 of the Reds playoff years.

        Let’s just wait and see where Joey is at the end of the year before we decide if he is still elite. He was definitely elite from 2010-2013. He looked elite last year until he started having leg.issues. And while he has been boom or bust this year, he has looked elite at times.

      • Evan armstrong

        Why do people care or worry so much with what Martu B. says?

      • tct

        Because he’s the “voice of the Reds.” Because he is very influential among some members of the fan base. Because his ignorant ramblings on Votto have been, IMO, partially responsible for all the Votto hate. Because he is unfairly critical of some of the Reds best players like Votto, Bruce, and Bailey. And because he is constantly whining like a little baby and I don’t want to listen to an old man being grumpy and whining, but he is usually the only option if you want to listen to the Reds.

      • tct

        And if anybody is saying that Votto can’t help in 2018, then I don’t agree. He will be, what, 34? If he stays healthy, I think that he will still be a pretty good hitter at that.point. I think the people that want to trade him feel that way because of the length of the contract and the fact that he probably won’t earn his salary in his late thirties and early forties.

        But I think you got to keep Votto becaue his contract means that you won’t get much at all for him. And the way the free agent contracts are expanding, you probably couldn’t get anywhere near the same production on the open market if you used the money you saved.

      • Evan armstrong

        The hate comes from the contract. Any player making that kind of monies is always gonna get hate because in many people’s mind he is not earning it no matter how he performs.

      • lwblogger2

        @Evan – I think you hit it exactly!

      • greenmtred

        Votto has become an enigma. He has gone through several stretches this year when he was certainly elite, and several stretches (such as the present one) when he seemed anything but. I don’t think I can buy the idea that he’s lost it (whatever “it” is), but I have no idea how to explain the slumps, which seem counter-intuitive for a hitter with his skills.

    • Evan armstrong

      No chance of winning in next 5 years? Wow

    • jdx19

      I don’t think anyone has ever argued Votto is as good as Harper, Trout, or Cabrera right now. Before Goldy’s monster season this year, there was still a reasonable argument that Votto was better. He’s likely closer to 20-25, rather than down near 40th. But I agree in that regard.

      He IS worth $200M. If you think he isn’t you don’t understand how baseball economics and inflation work. The $25M Votto will be earning 10 years from now in real terms is like $15M. Votto’s particular skills (getting on base) age better than if he were a TTO player and hit nothing but homers. Even at 38-40 he’ll likely be able to carry a 350+ OBP which has value. He’ll earn every dollar of his contract unless he keeps getting hurt.

      He isn’t the best player on the team right now because Todd Frazier is having an insane first half. Votto IS the best hitter on the team and will be until his skills diminish a lot (maybe already happening, who knows). I don’t think you’ll find anyone to agree Frazier is a more skilled hitter unless you only look at recent statistics.

      No one “blames” Marty and Thom for anyone on the field. That’s stupid. But, they are terrible ambassadors for the team and the city, in many folks’ opinions.

      • old-school

        The window has passed on this team…Votto is worth his WAR and his salary on say the Pirates or the Royals….but not on THIS Reds team or next years worse team. If Jocketty sells high on Chapman and trades Cueto and Leake and commits to 2018, then Votto could be a veteran core player on a winning team…..Do you see this Reds baseball operations crew making those critical personnel moves to reboot 2010 for version 2018? I don’t. Votto is a very good player, but he’s not an MVP anymore and he’s not worth 200 million to elevate a 70-92 team to a 77 -85 team.

      • ohiojimw

        But even 20th is quite a come down for Votto because he was being talked top 10 at the worst and even top 5 prior to his knee injury.

      • CP

        He was top 5 until very, very recently in this season. Whenever a guy is slumping, fans want to evaluate the player at the bottom of the slump. You look at the top 4 hitters and they are all having amazing, MVP-type seasons (well, Cabrera is now out for 6 weeks). Votto was right behind that group.

  18. another-bob-in-nc

    The old saying that a fish rots from the head but Bob and Walt aren’t going anywhere. This team needs more than a tweaking and, I don’t think, Votto is the main problem. For the right deal (in some cases a box of rosin bags), I’m ok with trading anyone from Walt to a beer vendor.

    • vegastypo

      I think we better keep the beer vendor around. If we do trade Cueto/Leake, and Lorenzen and Disco run out of innings, the dog days of summer could be long indeed.

  19. wildwestlv

    I would NEVER equate being a fan, dealing with an awful sports team, to a life or death situation. EVER. But it has been interesting, reading the posts here, over time, and seeing people progress through the Kübler-Ross model of emotions/reactions, regarding the Redlegs. Where is everyone at, personally? Denial? Anger? Bargaining? Depression? Acceptance?

    • pinson343

      I’m at acceptance, apparently, I recognize the previous stages and didn’t watch much this weekend and was bored by the little I saw. From what I’ve read, the best part was probably Josh Smith, that AA starter, hitting 4 batters.

      Brantley BTW said the problem with the Reds pitchers today was that they weren’t pitching inside, hitting guys if needed. Maybe after Smith’s exhibition, they felt it was more sportsmanlike to just get battered.

    • jdx19

      Acceptance, but moving back to anger if the FO messes up with trade deadline and upcoming off-season.

    • jessecuster44

      Stuck at anger. Been there since August of 2013.

  20. Ted Feldmann

    Agree with everything said in the recap with one exception. If the fire sale occurs, expect at least 5 years of 90+ losses. No way this inept organization competes by 2017.

    • jdx19

      Well, with 2016 as the first of the rebuilding years, 5 years of 90+ losses would put us at 2021 before “competing’ again. That seems a bit silly. No reason to think the team can’t complete by 2018 if they play their cards right (which they may not).

      • lwblogger2

        My biggest fear is that we’ll have another lost decade or end up like the Astros, Pirates, Royals, who all had LONG stretches of losing. It’s that whole “which they may not” part of your statement that makes me wonder how invested I should be in this franchise.

  21. Ted Feldmann

    More food for thought…the Brewers appeared to “want” this series more then the Reds. That is not measurable but by the eyeball test it seems to be the case. Three bad pitchers made our hitters look like a bad high school team. No energy, no passion, no pride. Two years ago we blamed Dusty for this. In retrospect, maybe it wasn’t all his fault.

    • pinson343

      That was very evident today, just looking at the dugouts. The Brewer players were active and enthused, the Reds players were napping. And that was before the game became a rout in the 7th. Brantley said it’s due to a lack of leadership among the players, and has been for a while.

      • Ted Feldmann

        The Cowboy has his faults as an analyst but his observations about pitching and team chemistry appear spot on

      • pinson343

        When it comes to those topics, he sure knows more than we do.

      • RedAlert

        Exactly – dude knows what he speaks of in those regards – very knowledgeable and has played the game at a high level

      • tct

        He definitely has more knowledge than we do because he has more access and more experience. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s right. Maybe he is, I don’t know. But I’m just not sold on the importance of having player leadership in pro sports. Is having a player who his peers will listen to important in college sports? Probably. High school? Definitely. Middle school? Without a doubt.

        But these are pro athletes whose income depends on their performance. Almost all of them were the alpha dogs in high school and college. And nobody makes it to this level without being ultra competitive. So, I don’t know how important it is to have a player to lead them.

        If there is a leadership void, why can’t the coaches and managers fill it. Why does it have to be a player?

        More importantly, I think some people are trying to find any excuse for the Reds performance besides the most.obvious one; lack of talent. Very little talent in the pitching staff outside of Cueto and Chapman. And the offense has some talent, but it has been less than the sum of its parts.

      • jessecuster44

        Not only a lack of talent, but an inability to use the talent effectively. Put a good manager(LaRussa, Maddon, Mattingly…) in place of Price, and the Reds are just a bit over .500.

      • lwblogger2

        The thing is, Jocketty has said that Byrd and Schumaker were brought in party because they were “character” guys with good leadership. So the question is begged “What the heck are they doing?”

        It’s seeming like Latos was spot on with some of his criticism of the clubhouse. Man, I’d love to be a fly on the wall and see what is going on in there.

      • RedAlert

        Couple that with an inept GM and an owner that can’t see the forest despite the trees – and it spells epic fail all the way around

      • jessecuster44

        So I guess that Byrd trade really helped in that department, huh?

      • lwblogger2

        Gave up a pitcher who it isn’t out of the question might be helping right now too.

    • Evan armstrong

      How from just watching are you able to see fire or energy or desire?

    • jdx19

      You can’t judge and evaluate “want.” That’s silly. Say what you want, but I don’t think professional athletes ever want to lose.

      • Michael E

        Yes, but you can tell if a player looks like he is indifferent or “just glad to be there” versus one that is fully vested in winning. There is a look of intensity and a look of passivity. The Reds are zombies…look dead on their feet in big games.

    • RedInInd

      Was wondering how much of a change the Counsell-for-Roenicke change had on the team. That’s probably impossible to measure, but under Roenicke (albeit only one month into the season), the Brewers were playing .280 ball. Since Counsell was brought in, they’re playing .428. Slow start, small sample sizes, etc., I don’t know. Maybe Counsell showed them how to “want”?

      • vegastypo

        Keep in mind that when the Brewers were at their worst early in the season, Gomez was hurt, Lucroy was hurt (during Reds series) and Scooter Genette got hurt too. Did Khris Davis, their left-fielder, get hurt too? Maybe the managerial change helped, maybe it didn’t, but I think managerial changes are overrated. ……………It always amazed me that Joe Torre wasn’t anything special as a manager with the Mets, Braves, Cardinals, etc., but gee, he goes to the Yankees, and he’s this genius.

      • RedInInd

        True. I should have prefaced the question by admitting to not checking any facts, other than wins and losses under the different managers. Thanks VT.

  22. Michael J Hampton

    This team quit after the All-Star break last year and have not competed since. Sure, when you take into account the injuries they suffered up to that point, they over achieved going into the break and were due to regress, but there was no way they should have played as poorly and as lackluster as they have since then. Up to that point they seemed to play with enthusiasm and a sense of urgency. Afterwards, not so much. I don’t know what happened after the break last year, but there is something fundamentally wrong with this team and I think it starts at the top.

    • Evan armstrong

      Can someone… Anyone provide me with the insight to be able to tell when players have “given up”.

      • BigRedMachine

        Yes it is a very scientific, 3 step process.

        1) Team must be doing poorly.
        2) Pick players you don’t like.
        3) These players have given up.

        In case you are wondering it is the same way you determine which players on a team are dragging it down. In either case it is best to ignore statistics and just say “it is obvious” if you are questioned.

      • jessecuster44

        Pretty unfair to just blanket a team as “quitting,” but this weekend’s performance has people pushing the “quitting” button.

        You’d expect a better effort against a horrid Brewers team @ GABP. Did the Reds quit? No. Did they do the opposite of quitting? No.

        This team isn’t good, and it’s becoming clear that this mix of players isn’t a good fit. The manager isn’t very good, nor is he good at PR. The GM – in season – isn’t worth a darn, and the owner seems out to lunch.

        Whatever is wrong with the team is most likely located closer to the top than the bottom.

      • Ted

        Sure….lack of hustle, inability to make in-game adjustments, lack of a game plan (i.e., poor hitting approach, defensive lapses, throwing fastballs down the middle). All of those reflect a lack of preparation and a lack of adequate coaching. These players appear to be going through the motions. One r two players having a bad game may be random but an entire team in a funk means something is seriously wrong.

      • ohiojimw

        Well put; but don’t forget TOOTBLANs.

        I find it amazing that so many folks that post on here miss that these guys are just like all of us at our work. They have varying degrees of motivation and differing work habits. Sure they all want to win. However some guys simply understand themselves and the required task better and consequently are better at preparing themselves and completing the required physical tasks to a level closer to their full capabilities. And just like with us, the intensity of their motivation comes and goes.

      • Michael J Hampton

        Exactly. Ohiojimw makes a good point about comparing it to these guys being in a similar situation to us poor slobs in our work environment. We all want to do well, ” to win”. I’ve been in the work force for 40+ years,now. I’ve had management that was highly competent and inspired me because I had confidence in their abilities because they knew what they were doing. Under this type of leadership I have been inspired to perform enthusiastically and with some semblance of excellence and been rewarded accordingly. Likewise, I have had management that was clueless, without any kind of a cohesive plan and my performance has suffered (along with everyone else’s). Those leadership problems can be local or can go all the way to the CEO. It’s hard to not just give up. You battle out of pride and maybe some sense of self worth, but it’s difficult.

        I suspect it is much the same with a ball team. This team (and it’s pretty much the same core of players this year as last) played inspired ball up to the break last year. I don’t know what happened after the break, but they haven’t looked the same since. Maybe when the front office (Jockety) did not make any moves to address the club’s needs it took the wind out of their sails. Or maybe it’s just watching Price’s head scratching managerial moves over and over. Lord knows he keeps me scratching my head. But whatever the reason, since that time, this club for the most part, has not played inspired or enthusiastically.

        Now, please, please, don’t somebody ask how to measure inspiration or enthusiasm. That’s a foolish question. The only reason someone asks a question like that is to be provocative or maybe to try and impress someone with what a great sabermatician they are. Hey, I love all stats, advanced and “old school”. I have been a fan for almost 50 years now and I can still figure up BA, OBP, Slugging, OPS, in my head after each at bat for my favorite players. But, some things cannot be measured (at least not yet), but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

  23. Tom Gray

    i think the Reds are entering a period of stagnation or decline that will yield 70 to 75 W per season TOPS.

    Whether they trade them all or not. Doesn’t matter. Reds won’t contend until 2018 at the earliest.

    • jdx19

      That’s a 2 year rebuild period from now (2016 and 2017). That really isn’t that bad.

      • Tom Gray

        2018 at the earliest. Look back to 1982 for similarities. After 1981, Dick Wagner blew up the Reds roster. The Reds had 101 L in 1982 and didn’t contend until 1986. And didn’t win until 1990.

      • jessecuster44

        Still think that if Reds are smart, they can make a couple of trades for offense and bullpen. IF injured players come back healthy, and IF the young pitching continues to develop, they can compete for the 2nd WC.

        The trouble is, the Reds won’t be smart. They haven’t demonstrated smartness in quite a while. So it would be better to sell off all the bad contracts before the deadline, fire Walt in the offseason, and start over.

      • jdx19

        What happened in 1981 is completely irrelevant to what is going on now.

      • Tom Gray

        Absolutely not accurate. The Reds got squat for star players about to become free agents in 1981. They’ll get the same for About To Be Free Agents this summer.

    • Evan armstrong

      In today’s sports I think it’s impossible to say with any certainty what will happen next year let alone 2-3 years out. I say just sit back and lets see..

      • ohiojimw

        Which makes talk of 4 and 5 year rebuilding schemes pretty much meaningless. Those teams emerging today after 5 or 6 or how many years in the wilderness are emerging now because somebody is doing something right or luck has just turned their way after being so bad for so long that they finally have enough choice draft picks coming of age to make a move.

  24. Jason

    Remember how great the first week of the season was? Yeah that feels like it was 20 years ago. As in terms of Joey Votto I am a Joey Votto fan and have stuck up for him in the past but I agree he is no longer elite for whatever reason. Last week I saw Miguel Cabrera play and thought how Votto was compared as the left handed version of Cabrera but I no longer see that in Votto. Hopefully he finds his wallet again.

  25. Redsfan48

    Nick, you are way undervaluing the starting rotation for 2016. With some offense, this team will have the chance to contend immediately in 2016.

    • sultanofswaff

      Agreed. This team will compete next year. I think so many of the commenters around here run way too hot and cold and don’t have the temperament to roll with the ups and downs of a 162 game season. It gets tiresome and is why I don’t comment here as much as I used to. I didn’t hear them whining when the Reds were playing over their heads 3 weeks ago. It’s not who you play but when you play ’em.

      To patently dismiss our chances next season or after without even knowing what the returns will be when we trade off our impending free agents comes off as trolling IMO.

      • jessecuster44

        You assume that trades will be made. I think the Reds can compete next season if they behaved like a sane MLB franchise. But they won’t. Watch.

        Big picture? It didn’t matter that the Reds were playing well 3 weeks ago. It doesn’t matter that they’re playing poorly now.

        What does matter is that there needs to be a plan to get back to competing in 2016. Is there? Most would assume that means trading away a few players for high level prospects than can contribute next year.

        Instead, I think the Reds will cite “bad luck,” and “injuries,” and cross fingers that they will be healthy and lucky in 2016. You know – their strategy for 2015. Wash, rinse, repeat.

      • RedAlert

        yep – Walt and Big Bob – stuck in perverbial Groundhog Day like Bill Murray

      • Redsfan48

        Yeah, the Reds need to trade Cueto, Leake, Byrd, Parra and potentially Bruce (if the offer is right) and if they do a good job with these trades they could have serious return. I am almost always optimistic so I truly believe they can contend again in 2016 if the right moves are made. First step is trading the above players, and giving Yorman Rodriguez and potentially either Winker or Waldrop the chance to develop at the Major League level the remainder of the year. Next step is rebuilding around the core of Frazier, Mesoraco and Votto, as well as the starting rotation. Maybe pick up some cheap bullpen pieces this offseason, strengthen the bench (either via FA acquisitions or via the prospects acquired in rebuilding trades) and hire a new manager. I’ve been a big supporter of Price in the past, but I think after the All Star Game we need a change just to shake things up. Offer Price the pitching coach job back if he wants it, he was a great pitching coach.

    • Nick Kirby

      I appreciate your optimism, but I don’t see any way the Reds can compete next year without Cueto, Leake, and probably Chapman. It will basically be the same plus Mesoraco. The rotation is just simply not good enough to win next year unless the Reds make drastic moves, which they simply can’t afford.

      • Redsfan48

        I assume we will have a new outfield. I’d be shocked if all 3 outfielders return, and I’d be still surprised if we even have 2 of them return. The most likely to stay at this point is Hamilton, then Bruce. It does depend on what prospects we acquire but you definitely can’t just close the book on 2016 so early. Maybe I’m wrong and they don’t contend in 2016, but they definitely have the potential to.

  26. vared

    Listened to the entire radio broadcast while traveling today. Marty was excellent. Not all whining considering the train wreck that was this weekend. Took a crap game and made it into an enjoyable broadcast with Kelsh. And – he was dead on in his observation of Votto. I’ll take that over a “homer” broadcaster all day, every day.

    I do agree otherwise though – blow it up.

    • jessecuster44

      Marty’s observation on Votto would be much more salient if he hadn’t spent the last two seasons taking shots at him.

    • Nick Carrington

      I’m saying this as someone who likes Marty and enjoys listening to him. I think he is still an excellent broadcaster. You can argue that Votto is not elite anymore (someone please define “elite”), but Marty’s evidence to his point was embarrassing to the franchise. I was embarrassed to hear him propagate RBIs as a relevant stat to evaluate players in 2015. He has to be better than that.

      Again, Votto may not be “elite” depending on how you define that, but RBIs have no place in that debate.

      • RedAlert

        Nick , it’s not as embarrassing as the front office that Castellini has assembled and the product that he has allowed to be placed on the field and in the dugout – Marty needs to be on the lower end of what this organization needs to be concerned with right now

      • RedAlert

        Not intended as a shot at you Nick , just expressing frustration with where this proud franchise is heading – just disheartening to see it crumble like this and the owner just fiddles while Rome burns

      • Nick Carrington

        Oh I didn’t take it negatively. I agree with you. As I said, I like Marty. I’m not suggesting he is a major problem even though some things he says concerns me. The front office and players are certainly the most disappointing thing right now. We are in agreement.

      • vegastypo

        And RBIs would be especially irrelvant to a guy who often hits second in the lineup. Whether he hits second or third, though, the guys hitting in front of him are not exactly on-base machines. That really cuts into the RBI opportunities, if that has to be a metric.

      • lwblogger2

        The problem Nick is that a lot of fans and even some front-offices (Reds?) are still placing a ton of value on RBI and runs. You have your “RBI guys” and your “Table setters” and there are baseball definitions of what they are. Votto, in the mind of most of this type of thinker is an “RBI guy” who is paid to drive in runs. If he isn’t .300/30/100 or thereabouts in the traditional stat-line, then he’s not living up to expectations. I get the thinking because as a former player, I used to think just like that. A ton of former players, coaches, managers, and fans still think that way. It’s outdated but not terribly off-center, especially when you consider the typical fan in Cincinnati.

  27. gusnwally

    Well at least we have the ASG to look forward to.

    • jessecuster44

      Hope it rains. It would serve Bob right.

  28. redsfan06

    As CP pointed out in his earlier comment, the Reds are 21st in pitching and 22nd in offense. The offense is down Mes and Cozart and the pitching missing Bailey. Even with those 3 back, both the offense and the pitching is no better than middle of the pack. The Reds need to make some trades to bolster what they have in the minors. There’s not enough bats down there now.

  29. Adam S.

    If votto is worth his salary then he should be able to be traded and reds should trade him. If he can’t be traded then he obviously isn’t elite and worth salary. Reds need to try and trade him

    • jessecuster44

      Who plays 1st? Boesch? Who plays 1st next year?

    • Evan armstrong

      You do know he has a no trade clause…

  30. Adam S.

    Trade Clauses can be waived and I would let anyone play first. Reds need to completely rebuild cannot get better with votto contract on books

    • jessecuster44

      You can’t let “Anyone” play first base. Imagine if Jay Bruce played first base… Oh – he did?

      Seriously, you could keep Votto and rebuild. Reds have absolutely nobody who can play 1st base and hit for power, unless you move Frazier. Trading someone without a viable replacement isn’t good for business.

      • Dustin

        haha for the money they give him you can replace him with multiple players that could make the difference that he won’t, sad to say but I don’t see them being a serious threat with him, mostly because every time a Johnny cueto comes around, we give our big contracts to the wrong guys, you could move meseraco to first after his hip surgery rather than trying outfield

      • CP

        How exactly do they replace him with multiple players for similar cash? Have you seen the free agency prices lately? Have you seen the 2014 class of free agents?

        Hanley Ramirez: 4 years/$88 million. -.50 WAR
        Melky Cabrera: 3 years/$42 million. -.80 WAR
        Pablo Sandoval: 5 years/$95 million. -0.60 WAR
        JJ Hardy: 3 years/$40 million. 0.40 WAR
        Chase Headley: 4 years/$52 million. 0.6 WAR
        Billy Butler: 3 years/$30 million. -/.60 WAR
        Adam Laroche: 2 years/$25 million. 0.20 WAR
        Michael Cuddyer: 2 years/$21 million. -.30 WAR

        The only productive FA bat signed appears to be Nelson Cruz (1.8 WAR, at 4 years, $58 million).

  31. vegastypo

    I suspect that in the next few years, the NL will have the designated hitter. Votto and his on-again, off-again defense can move to DH. … I think talk of trading him is a moot point anyway, because the Reds would have to pay so much toward his contract that they might as well pay the whole thing and keep his bat. He’ll get through this slump.

  32. vegastypo

    Unsure if this has been said earlier, but despite the standings, the last-place Brewers are a pretty good hitting team. When you send Lorenzen out there with nothing but a fastball, then Josh Smith, who shouldn’t be in the majors because he can’t find the strike zone, and then Leake has a “Bad Bronson” type of game, expecting much success in the series ends up looking pretty short-sighted. The Reds are not going to score a lot of runs anyway.

    I don’t know how much I should care about team leadership and chemistry. I think wins bring chemistry more than chemistry brings wins. … Regarding Brantley, I remember him saying that when Frazier was called up but sat the bench while Rolen struggled, Brantley said at the time that Frazier was the only guy in the dugout to show much “energy” in the dugout. It sounds like that hasn’t changed a bit, from Dusty to Price.

    I also am suspicious of talk of a team “quitting.” Players who are overmatched are going to look that way. Granted, a few lazy defensive plays look bad, but “quitting” is a rather bold assertion. … The only person I think can be accused of “quitting” on the team is Jocketty, and we’ll never know whether he is incapable of working trades, or not allowed to by ownership. But I have a hard time thinking ownership would care how the bullpen/bench is assembled, so that probably is on Walt.

  33. User1022

    I really do wonder what kind of record this team would have had these past 2 seasons if Dusty were managing instead of Price……

    Say what you want about Dusty, his teams played for him and they won. He had essentially the same core as Price does. Why does Price fail so miserably when Dusty found ways to make the team not just competitive, but playoff calibre?

    • lwblogger2

      I defended Dusty quite often but this is not the same team that Dusty managed.

  34. sezwhom

    Do you think Cubs fans are still upset about their 61-101 season in 2012 now?

    There were wholesale changes including the GM Jed Hoyer and Manager Dale Sveum.
    If you’re advocating a fire sale on most current Reds players then the first to go should be Jocketty and Price. Let’s do it right this time.

    • lwblogger2

      And I think that Cubs fans will still be upset if they don’t have a lot of post-season success. Plus, the Cubs are different. They were horrible and fans still flocked to Wrigley.

    • Michael E

      Of course not. By sucking up the place the Cubs got Kris Bryant. I’d gladly take a 60-102 season to get a Kris Bryant type. Trouble is, they’d just skip Bryant because of the agent and take the 5th or 6th best draft prospect and then 2nd drafting team would reap the “can’t miss” pick….sigh. Hard to not be glass half-empty as a Reds fan.

  35. CP

    I don’t understand the angst amongst the fan base. This season was soooo predictable, and the Reds needed virtually everything to go right to have a shot at the playoffs. Instead, outside of Frazier reaching the next level, everything went wrong.

    There is a reason I predicted this team to only win 72 games in the prediction thread earlier in the year. When things go bad on a team like this, things are only going to get worse as the organization begins selling off assets. I’m actually surprised at how many games this team has won given the injuries to key players.

    Blaming Bruce and Votto? Please. This team is offensively challenged because they only get above average production from Votto, Bruce,and Frazier. Even if Votto and Bruce are slightly lower than what you’d expect (which is pretty meh in the big picture-Votto’s production is only down very recently as a result of a slump), look at the mediocrity or downright putridness of everyone else. You have slap hitters playing both 2B and C, a replacement level LF, and arguably the worst hitter in the NL playing CF. Where are the runs supposed to come from?

    • CP

      I should have said “surprised angst”. This organization failed on many levels prior to this season, which deserved plenty of scorn.

      I think with a little planning, this team probably would have gone into this season with a better looking future. Without taking on additional salary, there was little they could have done in the offseason to improve the 2015 squad’s competiveness (particularly with the benefit of hindsight regarding the Mesoraco and Bailey injuries), but a more forward looking organization would have probably fielded a younger 2015 roster (with comparable % odds of making playoff run), yet with a much shinier future. Instead, the organization seemingly overleveraged their existing roster and jeopardized the short-term future of the organization. It’s difficult to say where this organization will end up in the future now.

    • Jeremy Conley

      Very well said. Losing brings out the vitriol in fans, but really, the writing has been on the wall since 2013. The Reds needed to move some pieces of their core to stay relevant then, and they didn’t. Now they have a legitimately bad team that is also very expensive. It’s been time to reload for two or three years, now they have to rebuild.

  36. PRoseFutureHOFer

    Every team has injuries and they’re never an excuse, but it’s perfectly reasonable to account for injuries when deciding whether to “blow it up.” How would this team be performing with Mesoraco, Cozart (having a career year) and Bailey? Likely still not the Cardinals, but a whole lot better than they are right now.

    I have a funny feeling that we are going to be surprised with a long term deal for Cueto. I’m probably crazy, but it’s a hunch – I do not think Castellini wants to lose this guy (and if you think he’s trading Frazier YOU’RE crazy).

    Give me Mes, Cozy and Bailey, plus Cueto – and how are we looking in 2016? Trade Byrd, Bruce, Leake, Chapman, even my man BP – and there’s no reason we can’t have the core to compete in 2016.

    And to beat a very, very dead horse – instead of trading Chapman, it sure would look nice to see him in the rotation next season. I’m pretty sure there’s a guy in the HOF who went from starting to closing and back to starting again, and did it pretty well. Anyone who says that Chapman “can’t” go back to starting now after 4 or 5 years of being babied is not being honest. Rotaion of Cueto, Bailey, Chapman and a bunch of promising kids battling for 4 and 5 would get me pretty excited.

    • jessecuster44

      Dude, it’s not that Chappy “Can’t,” it’s that he WON’T.

    • Michael E

      Let’s not go including “Cozy” as some plus-plus player because he finally had a good two month run. His career says this was an outlier, with an outside chance he got healthier and progressed.

      Mes, Bailey and Cueto, thats a nice start (Cueto ain’t getting signed, no chance), but Cozart is nothing special.

  37. Carl Sayre

    I have seen small flashes of real good ball out of most everyone on this team. They don’t sustain it and it almost never more than 2 players at a time. The thing about Marty the mouth expressing his biased opinion on Votto, I can’t tell if JV is just in a slump,trying to expand his zone to drive in runs or the age curve is kicking in. I would venture a guess it is a little of all 3, but the mouth has been anti Votto from the beginning and since he is an employee of the Reds it is time for him to go. I will make this observation and it bothers me to say it but this team has quit, it is one thing if you don’t have enough talent to win but the last 2 weeks has been very poor baseball. My wife made an astute observation,her question was are the players trying to get Price fired? The play before this was sometimes hard to watch but I didn’t question the desire to win.Bad decisions, bad execution and add that to subpar talent it is difficult to watch.

    • VaRedsFan

      Votto has stated that he is not going to change his approach, so to see him swing at a bad pitch doesn’t mean he is chasing RBI’s

  38. David Potteiger

    I guess depending on how you define “elite,” I would agree. He isn’t a top 10 player. He isn’t a top 25 player. He is a very good player, but he isn’t Harper, Trout, Goldschmidt, Stanton, Donaldson, Cabrera, etc. So that part is true. Hell, he isn’t even Todd Frazier, what’s that say.

  39. lwblogger2

    I generally don’t question players’ attitudes or effort. It’s just very hard to do. It’s even harder to judge when the team is losing and losing badly. That disclaimer out of the way, the Reds seemed to play the whole weekend like they were playing rec-league ball. There were some exceptions of course. There are certainly guys who were working hard and don’t seem to be phoning it in, but as a whole, the team really didn’t seem to be working too hard out there. I normally am not quick to judge that sort of thing but that’s my perception. If that is truly the case then it’s time for a regime change. I think it’s time for Price to go and Jocketty should be gone as well.

    • Tom Reed

      I agree that Price and Jocketty should be gone but the question is will Big Bob push the release button?

      • Michael E

        No chance.

        More like “I really like what we’re building here and Walt and Bryan are big part of that” crap after the season ends in non-playoffs, no trades to improve the prospect pool and FA’s scurrying away post-haste.

  40. sultanofswaff

    Whether we got swept or took 2 out of 3, the narrative doesn’t change—-we are trying to evaluate what we have so we properly assess our needs prior to the trade deadline so we can hit the ground running next year. To that end, I haven’t heard anyone mention that Barnhart has been playing the majority of the time lately. Bourgeois started in CF even though Hamilton was perfectly healthy. Iglesias was lights out in his 2 rehab starts. These are positives.

    Between these moves and the words from Jocketty telegraphing his intent to be a seller, I’m encouraged the Reds recognize their predicament and are being proactive about improving the team. So long as the organization uses the remainder of the season to play the youngsters currently on the roster, the soon to be trade acquisitions, and the promotions of Stephenson/Winker/YRod, I’ll be content regardless of wins and losses.

    • Michael E

      That is my utopia. Don’t chase the impossible (buying at the deadline) and further eroding the talent for the future. Trade the obvious players, make solid trades that garner several prospects that immediately slide into our top 10 (with one or two being top 5 additions). Play several younger players and find a way to trade another player in the off-season that is expensive/old.

  41. VaRedsFan

    With regards to quitting. Without being privy to all things that go on, fans jump to the conclusion that full effort is not being given. Are players taking extra batting practice? Are they watching video to find out what is wrong? Are players taking extra fielding practice? (they actually showed Suarez getting extra pregame fielding attention during a broadcast.) To me that showed that he is giving an effort to improve. That is all I want as a fan, to know that someone is trying their hardest. Suarez doesn’t have a big contract yet. Maybe the guys that have contracts don’t have to put forth max effort like the guys that don’t. Is it coincidence that many of the free agents to be have great seasons just before they turn free agent?

    Not knowing what Bruce, Votto, or Hamilton are doing to get better before every game leads a lot of people to 2nd guess their motivation. If we just knew (or if a reporter asked a simple question …”Jay, what steps are you taking to trying to improve? Video? Extra BP?”) that they were using every measure available to get better, it wouldn’t lead to so much doubt.

  42. Zachary Boone

    i’m a fantasy baseball junky and i think yahoo does a pretty fair job of season long ranks…..votto is ranked 78th for the season….seems pretty fair

    • CP

      It’s the classic old school v. new school Votto argument.

      Most fantasy baseball leagues still use AVG, HRs, SB, RBI, and R as the scoring categories.

      Votto scores better in less traditional leagues. People that have transitioned to OPS, or separate OBP + SLG (or even less traditional scoring options) should have Votto a lot higher.

      He’s the 33rd highest hitter in my OBP + SLG league. Fantasy baseball dramatically overvalues SB + the counting stats (RBIs and runs) so there is also that to consider. I like guys like Starling Marte and Charlie Blackmon but offensively, Votto crushes them.

  43. Nick Kirby

    Thanks for all the comments on this post. It is great to see that the fans of a really bad team are still showing a great interest. I appreciate the different points of view on rebuild vs retool and Marty vs Votto.

    A little more on Marty vs Votto. I think the entire “elite” part of Marty’s criticism of Votto got taken too literal. Votto is probably not a top 10 overall player right. If that is where you draw the line of elite, that is fine fine. Then technically Votto is not “elite.” However, Votto ranks in the top 15 in the NL in just about any statistical category of importance (OPS, wRC+, HR), and he is even 22nd in Marty’s big RBI stat. And by the end of the year, I would be willing to bet that Votto will probably finish as a top 10 hitter in the league.

    So my point is this: why does Marty find the need to spew hatred towards a very productive and good player? It’s not like Votto is being paid all this money and is being an average player. He is still very good. There is simply no need for the “voice of the Reds” to trash Votto. It is simply childish behavior from a hall of fame broadcaster. The fact that the Reds allow their “voice” to trash their highest paid player day in day out shows me just how backwards a lot of this franchise is.

    So is Votto elite? Maybe not, but there is no reason to point out that a guy who is just on the outside looking in isn’t.

    • Nick Carrington

      Agreed. Whether he actually does or not, Marty seemingly has a vindictive agenda toward Votto. The Reds should address that situation immediately.

      • I-71_Exile

        I would argue that Marty is no longer elite as a broadcaster. Glass houses. Stones.

      • PRoseFutureHOFer

        Cautiously wading into the conversation, here’s my take on JV, from the somewhat old school perspective. To me, it’s not just about RBI. I agree that there are better ways to guage a player’s production than RBI. Where I have an issue is when people want to argue that ALL the old school stats, indivually or collectively are MEANINGLESS. JV is hitting .273. Is that meaningless? Not very long ago I would have said that JV could hit .310 with his eyes closed. Maybe he’ll still end up around there…but likely not. So, we’re now OK with a .273 batting average? Again, this is not to imply that batting average is the best guage of a hitter – but where do we draw the line? Batting average is meaningless? If he were hitting .250, would it be OK to say that’s not good?

        RBIs are meaningless…so we’re OK if he only drives in 60 runs this season? I mean, if they’re meaningless, I guess no total is too low, right?

        How about doubles? He’s on pace for around 26 doubles. What happened to the guy who was on pace to shatter the single season doubles record? Are doubles an acceptable stat to cite? Is it OK for me to prefer that he hit 40 doubles?

        I am open to new information. I am open to arguments about which numbers are most indicative of production. But it’s hard for me to spin 273 with 25 homers and 70 rbis, 25 doubles (and 100 strikeouts) as anything better than OK.

      • jessecuster44

        They won’t address it. Management doesn’t support Votto’s approach at the plate, so why would they tell Marty to cool it? Management allows the manager to spew 77 f-bombs, and the radio voice of the team to spew hate towards whatever player he doesn’t like at the moment. The organization is completely bass ackwards.

    • vegastypo

      “So my point is this: why does Marty find the need to spew hatred towards a very productive and good player?”


      When the Reds gave Votto that extended contract, they were expecting big power and big RBIs. And a long-timer like Marty expects that type of production for a big-money guy. I suspect he sees walks as failures to get a base hit, not something to be recognized as successes on their own. I also think that’s why the Reds’ organization really hasn’t supported Votto more on this. They wanted one type of player, and are getting another, and it’s magnified when the team is struggling. ………I’m a little concerned that Joey is actually trying to be more of what he thinks they want, and it’s hurting him at the plate.

      • VaRedsFan

        That is exactly right VT. When you are one of the highest paid players in the league, your numbers (old school or not) need to look like Cabrera’s, Trout, Bonds, Arod, Griffey, or (insert top 5 player in their prime here). When he’s delivering an OK, but not elite season, he will get called out on it.

      • CP

        Votto this season is roughly equivalent to Griffey’s best season with the Reds. At some point, if Marty (or fans) aren’t happy with Votto’s offensive production, they need to start by looking in the mirror.

      • VaRedsFan

        CP, I was referring to players when in their prime.

    • Michael J Hampton

      I stopped listening to the Reds radio broadcast years ago because Marty became so opionated and made certain players his whipping boys. That’s a shame because I grew up listening to Marty and Joe (actually started with Al and Joe) and I have many fond memories of listening to the games on my old radio that my dad fixed up for me, staying up late listening to west coast games and all those great rivalries, Dodgers, Astros, etc. I used to catch at least part of 150+ games a year. But Marty became such a bitter, cranky old man I no longer enjoyed listening to him. I either catch the game on TV (and put up with Son of Marty) or just keep up with it on Gamecast.

  44. wizeman

    I was out of the country for a couple of weeks… and a number of times after the sun came up… I listened to the Reds on the MLB app before anybody else got up.
    It was the first time I had listened to the radio broadcast extensively in years.
    I was really taken aback at how much Marty criticized things. Not just immediate results… but his perception of players and things that were subjective.
    I found that I did not enjoy him at all. He is like the old relative who sits in the corner and runs his mouth about everything. You still love him… but when the event is over you just kind of feel sad about what he has turned into.
    Everybody is expendable. Time for him to go.

  45. Playtowin

    The criticism of Marty Brennaman is on target. He does not enjoy what he is doing anymore. He is grumpy and negative about almost everything. For some reason he thinks he is smarter than the rest of us. When you get bitter it is time to move on. Marty should give a younger, fresher, more positive voice a chance.