Every game Johnny Cueto has taken the mound the past couple weeks has been accompanied with a sense of dread that we might be watching his final start in a Cincinnati uniform. As a Reds fan, you want to savor the last, glorious dance with Johnny Cueto. It makes me think of the farewell concert (and film) by The Band called The Last Waltz.

The Band played a song, written by Robbie Robertson, titled “The Weight” with the refrain you can put the load right on me. This afternoon, Johnny Cueto was asked – once again – to put the load right on his twisting back. On this day, Cueto couldn’t carry it on his own, although it was far from his best day. The Reds lost primarily due to poor hitting, lousy relief pitching and shabby defense, things outside the starting pitcher’s control.

Johnny Cueto’s emergence as one of the top pitchers in baseball has been a genuine revelation. The Book of Revelation is also the name of the last chapter in The Bible. If this game is indeed the final chapter in Cueto’s tenure with the Reds, in too many ways it’s fitting. (A clichéd reference to a dumpster fire wouldn’t be fair to dumpster fires.)

National baseball writers have reported the past couple weeks that the Reds have so far been reluctant to engage in trade talks, in part due to uncertainty (in the eyes of Bob Castellini) about the Reds postseason prospects.

Let me say loud and clear again: It’s time to look toward 2016 and beyond.

If the last two embarrassing losses in Miami aren’t enough to put an exclamation point on that statement – one that even a never-say-die owner can recognize – I don’t know what else could.

Reds 1, Marlins 8 | FanGraphs | The Band at Woodstock

The Reds jumped on Marlin starter Dan Haren for a run in the first inning. Brandon Phillips began with a double down the right-field line. After Joey Votto was hit by a pitch, Todd Frazier singled in Phillips. End of meaningful offense.

Jay Bruce doubled in the third inning, giving him 200 for his Reds career. He’ll likely pass George Foster and Hall of Famers Joe Morgan and Ernie Lombardi in that category before the end of the season.

If you’ve fallen in love with Eugenio Suarez, I’d tap the brakes on that.

183 Responses

    • Steve Mancuso

      Another terrible, horrible defensive play, followed by losing focus and not covering third. Overall, the most awful play I’ve seen from the Reds in a few years. I’ll write more on Suarez later.

      • Jeff

        I turned the game off on that play. I’ll watch them get beat, but I’m not watching bad fundamentals. Pitcher never moved off the mound in that whole play, even when the ball went by Pena. He never moved to cover Home or Third.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Yep. Terrible fundamentals. It was Mattheus on the mound, btw.

      • Kurt Frost

        I’m sorry I looked for and watched that.

      • pinson343

        Right, after the horrible, desperation throw by Suarez, Mattheus failed to cover home, so Frazier had to, and then Suarez failed to cover 3rd.

      • Carl Sayre

        Steve I didn’t get to watch today’s game but isn’t this a reoccuring theme for the last 3 weeks? I am alright when they come up short on talent but I have seen some very bad baseball recently.

      • lwblogger2

        Aside from the series in Washington, the Reds have been as close to unwatchable as I’ve seen a Reds team in a long time.

    • User1022

      Holy….

      I didn’t watch the game, but I looked that sequence up on MLB.com.

      I can’t even….

      I think what’s striking is that Frazier comes racing in to try to cover home, and then Pena tries to run to 3rd to beat the runner. The old grizzled veterans trying to do the best they could in a bad situation.

      All while the ones who should have been doing their jobs, Mattheus and Suarez, do absolutely nothing.

      Suarez, I can kind of forgive. The spinning throw was horrible, but at least he tried.

      But Mattheus not covering home…

      I would ship him down to Louisville just for that. If he doesn’t want to play the game hard, we’ll bring up someone who does.

      • tct

        Yeah, Suarez just rushed his throw and made a bad play. He ran to second to cover the bag, and when there was no throw he turned away thinking the play was over. He was frustrated and didn’t see that no one was covering third. Concentration lapse. It happens.

        I think he has the tools to play short and be somewhat close to a league average shortstop. And right now, it seems like most of his issues are mental. That can usually be fixed. I’d rather have a guy that has the tools and the talent than a fundamentally sound player with little talent. At the very least, he should be a solid backup infielder and decent bat off the bench. And that’s something the Reds haven’t had for awhile; a backup infielder who can hit.

  1. james garrett

    Walt and Bob don’t get it and until they do we are stuck in watching a really bad team.

    • Steve Mancuso

      They might get it now. And if they do, waiting for after the ASG isn’t a big deal. Problem with Castellini’s late recognition is that it’s too late to replace Jocketty as the guy heading the transition – a step that is absolutely necessary.

      • Jeff

        This is why I’m becoming more and more pessimistic. I don’t want the guy who rested the season on Gregg, Marquis, and Byrd, rebuilding my favorite team from the ground up.

      • another-bob-in-nc

        On another but related topic, any official reaction on the open letter?

      • Michael E

        I think Walt will trade, but he’ll make a huge mistake getting mediocre MLB players he can plug in instead of getting a handful of really good prospects. He’ll make a comment that they want to stay competitive for the fans.

        I just know that’s how it will go down and as a fan, I’ll will be more pissed off than ever.

      • pinson343

        He’s not going to trade Cueto for plug-in players, no one makes a trade like that. In the off season, with his trade chips he traded for Disco and Suarez. His terrible choices were the guys he picked up cheaply.

  2. Jeff

    I thought this was a 72 win team to start the year and I’ve seen nothing to change my opinion. If anything they have me wondering if I was too optimistic.

    • Michael E

      Hope so, we need a top 5 draft pick next year. DESPERATELY.

    • lwblogger2

      I thought they were 7-12 wins better than that. Looks like I was wrong.

  3. wildwestlv

    Pirates/Cardinals tonight, 8:05 pm EST, if anyone wants to watch professional baseball.

  4. DJ Ramey

    I agree, This season is in seriuos doubt. Its time to concentrate on the future and upgrading a lineup that has been near the bottom of the league in RISP for the last few years. Lack of hitting with runners on base has to be addressed..

    • Jeff

      Serious doubt? Nothing is in doubt, the Reds aren’t making the playoffs, no doubt about it. They are losing series’ to really bad teams. Time to face facts and now this team to and start looking to the future.

      • DJ Ramey

        Lol, i was being polite, what i would like to say about this season , or this overpaid, underachieving roster isnt printable. Only bright spot has been our rookie starters so far!

  5. Adam S.

    What guarantee is there that a better GM would take Reds job. I doubt one is out there.

    • jessecuster44

      I’m a better GM. Jumping Jehosophat.

      Plenty of hungry asst. GMs with good ideas out there who would kill for one of only 30 MLB GM jobs.

      • lwblogger2

        I agree. There are several assistant GMs that I’m pretty sure would like a MLB GM job. The Reds were able to bring Baker in as a manager and Jocketty came here as an adviser. Now in fairness, Castellini and Jocketty had were already connected but he was a big name GM when he came to town and he did actually come to town. Krivsky was sought after when the Reds brought him to town. I don’t think Cincinnati is the wasteland that Adam S is trying to make it out to be.

    • I-71_Exile

      I’d take it. I have no qualifications beyond a fantasy championship about 20 years ago and a love of Skyline chili though.

      • jdx19

        A love of Skyline Chili is all anyone really needs.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Reds have a good job. Plenty of talent here. An owner willing to spend money on payroll. New television contract coming. Lots of GMs would be interested. But the Reds instead need to hire a youngish Assistant GM from one of the analytics-oriented teams.

      • old-school

        Isn’t this really the number 1 question in all of Reds land that Castellini needs to be asked? Bob- now that its obvious the Reds window of opportunity for a championship has closed and are in need of a rebuild, how is it that Walt is the guy to do that? Shouldn’t a new GM oversee that? Where has Castellini been to answer that question? Even Mike Brown usually would make himself available once a year to answer the hard questions.

      • pinson343

        It is the number 1 question. The beat reporters won’t ask it, even if Bob C. gives them the chance.

      • pinson343

        I agree that it’s a plumb job. The new GM would have a big opportunity to turn it around.

    • Michael E

      Are you serious? There are only so many MLB GM jobs and very few that open up each year. There are assistant GMs, minor league GMs, head scouts, player development heads, etc, that would all rat out their own mother to be an MLB GM.

      Even the worst club in MLB (certainly not the Reds) would be a dream job for any of those not already a GM.

      • Michael E

        Unfortunately, Walt will make the trades, get back some mediocre MLB vets to “stay competitive” and THEN he’ll retire at the end of the year, leaving the Reds in shambles with little hope for the net 5 years…except high draft picks.

      • redmountain

        Scouts have been reported attending a number of minor league games. Do you think they are just fans? The Reds have been watching guys in the majors and the minors. Just said on the Pirates game that it is believed that the Dodgers are in the lead for Cueto. If true, then what should they get? Seager cannot be an option, I would think.

  6. sezwhom

    Reds were awful today. It’s one thing to be patient but Castellini must recognize that not only does this team need an overall but so does management. Time for Price (easy decision) and especially, Jocketty to go. The latter won’t be easy but it’s time for somebody new to focus on a different philosophy and direction.

    • Michael E

      There is only one person left that thinks Jocketty should stay…and that’s Castellini. I don’t even think Walt believes in himself.

  7. wildwestlv

    The Suarez/Mattheus clown show will haunt your dreams forever. If you have not seen it, I highly advise avoiding it. Disturbing.

    • MrRed

      I have fortunately not seen it. But I’m loving the colorful references to it. Was this as bad as Canseco heading a flyball over the wall for a homer?

      • pinson343

        It was worse in that a horrible physical error was followed by 2 mental ones, and a pathetic sight of ….. never mind, sorry.

    • greenmtred

      Thanks for the heads-up. I avoided it this afternoon(chose the serenity of kayaking instead) and will avoid it in the future.

      • pinson343

        I watched the whole game, decided to watch in advance because Cueto was pitching. Kept watching due to some form of paralysis induced by horror. You made a wise choice.

      • greenmtred

        I like the “paralysis induced by horror” reference. It’s a syndrome I know too well.

    • lwblogger2

      I’m glad I was downtown at Fanfest and later the Futures Game and Celebrity/Legends softball game. That was a really nice time. The softball game in particular was a lot of fun.

  8. Adam S.

    If Castellini is not a believer in Analytics why should he hire a pro analytics GM. He has to hire what he is comfortable with.

    • Steve Mancuso

      He only has to be comfortable with winning. I wouldn’t think he’s a “believer” one way or another on that, anyhow.

      • Michael E

        Exactly. You know my aggravation with over-reliance on “analytics”, but a good owner seeks out the best possible individual to run operations (assistant GM, head scout, etc), and make the team good now AND for the future.

      • lwblogger2

        Right… I’m not going to go as far as to say he needs a strict, analytics driven GM, but he needs to hire someone who is forward-thinking in how talent is evaluated now. Analytics is a huge part of that. The Reds’ analytics department is just sad. They have a handful of good people but they can’t do it all by themselves and there are a lot of people in the front-office that seem to dismiss the info that they have been able to provide with their limited resources.

        I hate to say it but the Cardinals’ organization has the model. You leverage analytics and also keep some of the fundamental traditional baseball thinking in the mix. You let analytics drive but still be mindful of the human element of the game. The Cards have a nice mix… Well, that hacking thing was pretty jacked up though.

      • jdx19

        A good start for “forward thinking” would be key on players who aren’t high-K, low-BB guys. I’ve always thought that was step 1. A guy who strikes out 24%+ and walks 6% or less has already stacked the deck against himself.

        It’s very, very difficult for anyone with that profile to ever be good at the major league level. It happens so infrequently it takes an amazing amount of power (Bryant, Gallo, etc) to make it happen. And even Bryant and Gallo walk more than the common archetype that the Reds seem to think are actual good ball players (Lutz, Dominguez, maybe Yorman, etc, etc, etc).

        Now, I know prospects like Bryant and Gallo don’t come along every year, but it just seems like the organization doesn’t understand this basic concept. Getting on base is good. Striking out is bad (unless you have the requisite power to overshadow it).

  9. Adam S.

    I don’t want reds helping some other team win this year, I’d rather just keep cueto and leake on the team especially since I doubt they would get a prospect who can play.

    • wildwestlv

      If they’ll help some team beat the Cardinals, I’m all for moving them. Watching the Cardinals NOT win is the only reason I still follow baseball this season. And, until recently, they haven’t given me much a reason.

    • pinson343

      That wouldn’t work out well for 2016.

    • lwblogger2

      I’m not understanding you here. The Reds will not make the playoffs this year. They are still reeling with injuries and would need to play about .700 ball to get in. Even without the injuries, they would be extreme long shots. Hanging onto Cueto and Leake in particular only makes sense if you think that the Reds should and can resign them. If not, the Reds essentially get nothing or possibly a compensation pick for each of them. I’m not sure what Leake can fetch but I think Cueto will land them a solid prospect who should be MLB ready no later than 2017 and probably as early as next season. It’s unlikely a compensation pick will be ready in that time-frame. The only thing gained by not moving Cueto and Leake is the joy of watching them pitch a dozen or so more times each in a Reds’ uniform. It may mean a few more wins in a lost season.

      I don’t want it to end like this for Leake and Cueto either but it’s the smart baseball move. You can be either an analytically leaning fan or a traditional leaning fan and it’s strikingly obvious that it’s the only real choice.

  10. Adam S.

    Steve I prefer chapman as closer you want him as starter. I am curious what happened in 2010 spring training. He went in as a starting candidate and I was even in board then they switched him then yo reliever and never said why. Coco was still closer and dusty hadn’t weighed in yet. Do you recall that spring training? Was it Walt who made call then?

    • pinson343

      In 2010 Chapman began the season at AAA as a starter. Then the Reds were in contention and having trouble with the bridge to Coco and decided that he could help the Reds and get major league experience at the same time as a reliever.
      WJ (but not Dusty) emphasized that the “long term plan” was still for Chapman to start.

      In spring training 2012, Chapman was set to start, and there were injuries to the expected back of the bullpen guys, Madson and Marshall. WJ and Dusty changed the plan, with Dusty showing obvious glee.

      In 2013 Chapman started in spring training, did not pitch well, and stated his preference for closing. At that point pitching coach Price, who had been saying all along that Chapman should/could start, no longer endorsed that.

      Jeff Brantley, in a gingerly way, said that the Reds were concerned about how Chapman would react to pitching in a role that he didn’t want.

  11. james garrett

    I agree with Steve the Reds job is a good one.They have talent but don’t have any leadership to get the most out of it.Maybe Bob needs to get out of his comfort zone a little and try something different.

    • Michael E

      ANY GM job is “a good one”. If you’re in front office of any team, major or minor or are a head scout or other job, you’re DREAM job is an MLB GM job. The team matters not, not for the first gig.

      If Prudhoe Bay Polar Bears joined MLB in expansion and went 0-162 and that GM job was open, there would be dozens of assistant GMs, head scouts and head of player development applying to live on permafrost in a fancy ice house just to be a GM.

  12. User1022

    That Mattheus/Suarez sequence… I still can’t wrap my head around it…. How once Mattheus sees the ball go sailing past home, he still just squats there…

    Frazier comes hustling in, desperately trying to do Mattheus’ job, and Mattheus just casually saunters toward home plate….

    I’ve never seen anything like it. Just a complete lack of any form or sense of responsibility or desire.

    Say what you will about the Reds teams of 10-15 years ago, they played the games HARD, they just had mostly bad players (and bad luck with injuries). No one could ever accuse Larkin, Casey, Griffey, Kearns, Boone, Larue or Dunn of loafing it out there. (Well, ok, Dunn did always look and act like he had smoked some….non-tobacco before each game, but he stil managed to be a fairly productive player, at least offensively.)

    • pinson343

      Dunn and Griffey were accused of loafing all the time, I felt unjustifiably. Dunn was just awkward out in LF, not a loafer. As for Griffey, the all out sort of way he played in Seattle was not allowing him to stay healthy at all. Management ordered him to be more judicious about when he went “all out”, which he was (he would still turn it on, such as bowling over catchers, with the game on the line).

      The result was that Junior was able to reach 500 HRs and then 600 as a Red. The other result was that many Reds fans felt that Ron Oester deserved to be in the Reds HOF but not Junior.

      PS When Junior played RF, it’s true that he did not stray much toward CF. He had a genuine fear of Ryan Freel hurtling into him.

      • greenmtred

        I never thought that Dunn or, especially, Griffey loafed on the field. Part of that rumor or thought process (or whatever it was) may have stemmed from the lounge chairs they reputedly had in the locker room.

      • User1022

        Yeah, the point I was trying to make was “Even if the team sucks, that’s no excuse not to play the game hard and do your dang job.”

  13. GreatRedLegsFan

    That happens when half of the roster is at AAA (or below) level.

  14. james garrett

    Playing hard with heart and passion should be a given for every team.Unless Price addresses it(which I doubt) it becomes acceptable.

  15. Evan armstrong

    Why don’t we wait and see what happens before jumping off the boat?

    • MrRed

      Well, the boat has run aground. When would be a good time to jump off?

      • jessecuster44

        Don’t abandon ship yet – twas only a small iceberg that we hit….

      • philboyd studge

        Why jump off the boat now? How you ever tried to jump off a boat after it has already sunk? It’s more like trying to float to the surface by then.

      • jdx19

        Irrelevant. The Reds are one of the 4 worst teams in the league. It’s hard to complete when 17 of your 25 players are below-average major leaguers. The liklihood of making the playoffs is likely 1-in-2000 or so. The team is done. Time to jump.

  16. wizeman

    leake and cueto leaving. think they have to trade chapman. though tough to swallow for bob c. do not want them to trade bruce.
    play by suarez and matheus was one of the worst things i have ever seen.

    i do not think jocketty the guy to rebuild this team. dipoto might be an option. before everybody goes nuclear… he understands statistical analysis but was caught between a totally hands on owner and an old school manager that had the owners ear.

    we need obp bats. think pitching going to work itself out with young arms and bailey.
    diaz will be back by friday.

    want stephenson and don’t know who they will run out there if not him.
    lorenzen at 70 plus innings.

  17. Carl Sayre

    The sites TOS will not let me say what i would like. I will put it politely the difference between this team and the boy scouts…………………..the boy scouts have adult leaders.

    • Evan armstrong

      Your view is based off of what?

      • Carl Sayre

        I amf the opinion that WJ has not been very good at his job and part of that is he hasn’t figured out that Price is overmatched. Those are my opinion but they are based in facts.

      • Evan armstrong

        People keep saying Price is “overmatched”. Can any clarify this? I think it’s safer to people don’t like his style of management.

      • RedAlert

        Price is brutal and YES his style of management sucks

      • wkuchad

        Good grief! Read most every game recap from the last month if you want clarification on Price.

      • jdx19

        I actually agree with Evan on this one… I’ve never understood the “overmatched” rhetoric that has been going on here.

        I just think Price has a poor style and he’s not particularly intelligent relative to his peers. (Hope that isn’t against TOS). I mean, starting Schumaker because he’s 3 for 6 against a guy? That’s not the hallmark of a brainiac.

  18. Oklared

    I posted before on questions with Suarez on two error night. Not convinced on his fielding but what are better options now versus observation and coaching the rest of this season. If no signs of improvement they might have to reevaluate where/who Cozart’s replacement is IF necessary due to injury. The kid can hit a little bit though just don’t know about fielding and he is young.

  19. Tom Reed

    It’s up to the principal owner, Bob Castellini, to pull the plug on this version of the Reds. Change is needed from top to bottom. We can no longer hold injuries as the cause of failure. Other than young starting pitching, the organization has no depth. If they are not traded and injuries are not a factor, the Reds do have a core to build around in Mesoraco, Votto, Cozart, Frazier and Bruce. We have to have a solid bullpen and bench if the Reds are going to compete down the road.

    • Michael E

      Full on change is needed, and more trades than even we suspect…will it happen? We’re all quite pessimistic based on two old men in GM and ownership positions that seem to only care about TODAY. That might be a product of being old and fearing “rebuild-on-the-fly” route that might not bear fruit for a couple of seasons.

      It’s this point that I wished we had a younger owner, but hey, at least we have one that was and is willing to fund a real payroll. For that I think Mr. Castellini. I just wish he’d come out and say “This isn’t working and we’re going to lock ourselves in the board room for 24 hours and come out with a plan tomorrow”.

      I hope it is a 4 point plan to trade to obtain cheaper, younger, highly talented prospects, get a new GM that both Walt and Bob agree is necessary for this type of move, identify the players that are not setting good examples and move them or cut them and fire Price and start a careful search for a manager of fundamentals, discipline and even-handed treatment of all players.

      • pinson343

        There’s no way I’m going to complain about Castellini as owner, though he needs to make adjustments. I remember what it was like to have Williams and Marge Schott as owners.

      • jessecuster44

        Please do not begin with the “At least we’re not…” explanation.

        I remember Marge and Carl Lidner, and they are separate regimes. The past – good or bad – doesn’t matter here. To compare Bob to previous owners lets him off the hook. You need to look at his stewardship objectively. Bob infused the Reds with money, and had them headed in the right direction through 2011. The way the Reds franchise has performed under Bob C since November 2013 has been utterly unacceptable, and until the ship is righted, I’ll place a lot of blame squarely on him.

        Re-upping Walt after last season was one of the most disheartening moves I’ve seen in a while.

  20. Gonzo Reds

    If 5 runs in 4 nights doesn’t make Bobby pay attention nothing will, time to blow up this team, minus Walt and Price. Here in FL got to watch all 4 games and the thing that struck me was the only reason to watch Reds games right now is Cueto/Leake/Chapman and they all likely will be gone in the next week or so. Oh, to have the Bailey contract voided and be able to give that $ to Cueto instead, sucks out loud!!! Hope we deal with smaller market teams, I don’t want to see my favorite players playing for the hated Yankees or Dodgers. The thing that burns me the most of course is that if you look at the Cardinals lineup there’s NO way they should have won as many games as they have, absolutely kills me to see them win when we are about to blow it up and be another five years before we can compete again. Argh…..

    • pinson343

      You raise a point that few do. The Cardinals and Pirates also have anemic lineups this year, only 20 runs more than the Reds going into today. They beat average and weak teams with pitching and defense – and that’s all there is for them to beat (parity).

  21. Jeff Morris

    Wonder how long Jocketty has on his GM Contract? Is this year it? Or…is it after next year? Also, Price? Is this year it? Or…is it after next year?

    • jessecuster44

      I think Walt is signed through 2016.

  22. Jeff Morris

    I don’t know what Jocketty and his Scouts, and probably Price also are looking at? Gregg was terrible, Shumauker also is not that good. Seems like everytime he is up, he is a dead out, especially as a PH and with runners on base. Suarez is hitting okay, but has made numerous errors in the field (seems like every game he makes an error) Wonder what he was like with his last team in the field? (I think it was the Tigers?) Boesch is terrible, Mattheus is not that good (was waived by the Angels) and ect……

  23. hof13

    Yahoo sports is saying Cueto “threw a fit” when he was pulled from the game. Guess he knocked over a cooler – not sure what else constitutes a fit.

    “Cueto threw a fit when he was pulled for a pinch hitter in the sixth inning, and things went downhill from there for the Reds,…”

    Also says Price held a 30 min clubhouse meeting after the game.

    • Tom Reed

      If ‘…Price held a 30 min. clubhouse meeting after the game’ with four days off coming up that could indicate that today was likely his last game as manager.

    • RedAlert

      Don’t know why – he lost this clubhouse a long time ago

    • User1022

      Perhaps the “30 min clubhouse meeting” was just Price talking to a mirror.

      • ohiojimw

        This pretty much sums up the net effect of all the others he has held, doesn’t it?

  24. james garrett

    The Cardinals have professional hitters.They don’t swing for the fences and put the ball in play more often then not.They also are fundamentally sound throughout the minor leagues so they are ready when they get called up.They do all the little things it takes to win.Even when all their players are healthy our lineup is just as good on paper.The difference is the leadership on the field and in the front office.Their pitching is much better but they have had injuries also.

    • pinson343

      Their professional hitters aren’t scoring many runs this year (only 20 more than the Reds going into today). They are winning with pitching, defense, and (as you say), solid fundamentals.

  25. Playtowin

    The Reds have too many weak spots. The outfield is maybe the worst in baseball. The starting pitching is below average. Middle relief is weak. There is no depth and there is a lack of position player talent in the minor leagues. Reds face an extended run as a 4th or 5th place team in the NL Central. The music stopped playing in 2013. They need to get some decent talent in the upcoming trades. I fear other teams will not give them much. Reds have no leverage.

    • Evan armstrong

      How is the OF the worse in baseball?

      • PLAYTOWIN

        OK, one of the worst in baseball. Let’s call it they are in the bottom third. Would you not agree that the Cards, Cubs, Pirates and Brewers all have better outfields? it was the worst in April and May when Bruce was hitting .165 Steve Mancuso had the right read on Byrd. Nice fellow, no defense. Hamilton is a disaster as hitter. Outfield positions should provide plenty of offense. The outfield and their subs are just not very good. There are no all-stars in this group. Being awful in the hitting paradise that is GABP is sad.

      • lwblogger2

        .223/.290/.362 is the avg/obp/slg of Reds’ outfielders this year. .223 avg is 29th in MLB. .290 OBP is 30th in MLB. .362 SLG is 30th in MLB. Offensively, that makes them easily the worst OF in baseball. Where they make up some ground is in defense and base-running but it isn’t enough. This coming from a guy who is a huge Jay Bruce fan and who is using very traditional stats to prove a point. There is no magic here. Overall, the Reds’ OF is bad.

      • jdx19

        Reds OF has put up 1.2 fWAR as a group, and it’s actually a bit higher since some of Skip and Negron’s terrible numbers came in the infield.

        So, 1.2 fWAR at the all-star break equates to about 2.0 fWAR… that’s the WAR-based definition of an average major leaguer.

        The defense and base-running (provided mostly by Billy) are enough to overcome how bad Billy and Byrd, to a lesser extent, have been at the plate.

        The OF is average, in my opinion, taking into account all factors.

      • lwblogger2

        That fWAR is as a group, so not really league average. FanGraphs has the Reds’ OF fWAR at 0.9 on the 2015 Leaders’ page, which puts them 27th in MLB.

      • jdx19

        Yeah… I’m not sure why I just added them all up and presented it as being significant. Distracted as work! Ignore me. 🙂

        Nothing to see here…

  26. Jeff Morris

    And…as usual Steve, you are right on point here with your summary above. Thank You. In my opinion, what I would do is…..Trade Cueto and Chapman now and try to get some decent players for them in return, especially get a decent left handed pitcher for the bullpen, as you only have Parra that you use against Left Handed Hitters now, and you may trade him? I would not count on Marshall coming back, and Cingrani still needs alot of work, and more pitches to develop. Get a decent right handed pitcher or two as well for the bullpen. . You don’t have the money to resign them after this year anyway (Cueto and Chapman). I am leaning toward keeping Leake and resigning him. He hits better than most pitchers, hardly is hurt, if at all, and is a fighter and competitor. I would try to trade Phillips and his big contract, as he is declining. I would trade Byrd if you can get something decent in return, since he is getting up in age and strikes out too much. He may be decent the rest of the year, but if you keep him next year, he will be like Ludwick was last year, too old to contribute much. And….I would try to trade Bruce, only if you can get something decent in return, especiallly if that player is good defensively. Bruce is hitting better now than he was in April and May, but reallly does need a change of scenery. If you keep him, he will be same old same old, the rest of this year, and all of next year. Then, don’t resign him…but let him go somewhere else and see if another team can fix his swing and inconsistencies at all.

    • pinson343

      Trying to keep Leake is a novel thought, he”ll be relatively affordable and, most of all, he is durable. Has that nice easy motion, he’ll be as durable as his mentor Bronson was (didn’t miss a start for so many years). Also as you point out, he can play the game, field his position, etc.

      Without Leake’s performance on Friday this would have been a complete repeat of the sweep by the Brewers – getting a total butt kicking from a bad team (in this case a bad team without their best player and without Dee today).

  27. wildwestlv

    Take a good look at Philadelphia. The 2016 Reds are going to be the Phillies 2.0 and Uncle Walt is going to be tossing around banana peels in Goodyear, praying for more “player injuries” to blame the season on.

    • MrRed

      I wish they were the Phillies 2.0. At least they would have a WC to their credit…

    • jessecuster44

      If you take a good look, the Reds and Phillies really aren’t comparable. The Phils’ core of Utley, Howard, Hamels and Ruiz went to two World Series and won one. The Reds’ core of Votto, BP, Bruce, Cueto, Leake and Chappy haven’t amounted to much.

      I think that the end result will be the same… The 2016 Reds will most likely have the 2015 Phillies record, unless wholesale changes are made.

    • RedAlert

      Guess you satisfied with status with aren’t you Evan – you’re Castellini’s perfect sucker then

      • rhayex

        Dude, that’s uncalled for. I don’t care if you disagree with someone, don’t call them names.

      • RedAlert

        What name – sucker ? Are you kidding me dude ??? – a name ???

      • jessecuster44

        Best just not to respond to Evan.

      • jdx19

        I know everyone is frustrated, but Evan really isn’t that far out there. Especially compared to some of the posters we’ve seen over the last few years here at RLN.

      • jessecuster44

        I’m sorry. I don’t subscribe to supporting a team no matter what, and just accepting whatever your favorite team does.

        If everyone did such a thing, this site would not exist.

      • RedAlert

        Regarding Jessie’s comment – (these replys not linking up with the appropriate comments tonight)

      • RedAlert

        Whose reaction are you referring to ?? – – everyone has their right to their own opinion dude – and it doesn’t matter to me ( and probably most on this site) whether you agree or disagree with mine or theirs – so whose reaction are you talking about ???- point is , people are entitled to their own opinions about this team and organization and can express their views – whether you like it or not

      • RedAlert

        This in reference to rhayex – I’m moving on my man- we don’t have to agree or even like each other , but we can still each be fans of the Reds – we do have that in common

      • RedAlert

        By the way – we all call it like we see it in his site

      • RedAlert

        On this site ( sorry about the typo )

      • Evan armstrong

        Satisfied? Not at all. But I also understand that I and all fans have no real clue or understanding of what is all involved with the DTD operations of a professional sports teams. I accept my role as a fan. I support my team win or lose. I don’t make claims or assumptions on players mind sets or team decisions because I don’t have access to any information. To believe any fan could do a better job running a sports team over those in the business is laughable.

      • lwblogger2

        I don’t think any of us could do a better job. That’s a fair statement. What I do believe is that there are other professional baseball personnel that can do a better job than the current regime.

      • CP

        I’m not sure about that, baseball hires a lot of “non-baseball” people every year (including some bloggers/internet commentators).

        I can guarantee the commentators who continuously complain about the managers and how anyone can perform better than Price can’t do a better job though, unless we’re talking about about picking up sunflower seeds off the dugout floor or something.

      • lwblogger2

        Agreed, but they are usually hired as advisers or part of the Analytics Department for teams. A good example is the Red Sox’ hiring of Bill James… There may be a few exceptions though. My main point is that very few fans, myself included, could probably do a better job as an MLB GM than, well an MLB GM. Maybe in some aspects of the job but certainly not overall.

      • jessecuster44

        I wouldn’t have signed Marquis and Gregg, with the intent of using them. The fact that I think I could do a better job than Walt speaks volumes about how poorly he has run things in the past two years.

      • jdx19

        It’s not laughable to think some fans can do a better job evaluating players.

        Really… Kevin Gregg and Jason Marquis? I would have been my first-born that those guys would be terrible. They were. One of the easiest decisions to make would have been to not give them millions of dollars to lose games. Yet, Jocketty gave them millions of dollars to lose games.

      • jessecuster44

        Walt gave them the money he saved by trading Heisey for nothing. That’s doubly bad.

      • greenmtred

        How is trading your #1 and #2 starters staying with the status quo? Getting rid of everybody won’t teach them a lesson and, while it might make some of us feel better for a while, I expect that good warm fuzzy feeling to wear off pretty quickly.

      • RedAlert

        # 2 starter already out for the year

  28. james garrett

    Good for Cueto he should go off.I bet he can’t wait to get out of town.He knows he never gets any run support.Remember the last game of the season in 2014.He knocks in the good ahead run in the eight inning to put him in line to pick up his 20th win.We are going to miss you Johnny.

    • MrRed

      Hear, hear! I’ve really enjoyed watching Cueto over the years. Certainly one of the best this franchise has produced. It would be nice for him to get a chance at some post-season success.

    • pinson343

      Cueto’s 20th win on his own hit was by far the most memorable moment of 2014.
      Easily the biggest moment since 2013.

      He was upset today because he was taken out after 5 innings, he wasn’t angry at his teammates, he was angry at Price. That was the right move by Price, but I admire Cueto’s passion and how well he channels it when he’s on the mound.

      I’ll wait for the farewell when he’s actually gone.

  29. MrRed

    How about an over under on this team getting to 95 losses?

      • MrRed

        It’s going to be close. I’m picking over on the thought that one or both of Cueto and Leake will be traded and if so, things will really start to unravel (relative to how well things are going now)…

    • lwblogger2

      That’s getting towards epically bad territory. I’m with WildwestLV, under but not by much.

  30. kmartin

    Based on interviews I have heard with Price and Baker, when a relief pitcher does not pitch for four or five days he gets an “NTP” (needs to pitch) by his name on the dugout scorecard. Now, let’s assume good pitchers such as Chapman or Hoover have an NTP. Given that they are going to pitch in the game, what is the logic of using them at the end of the game? Why not use them as soon as the starting pitcher comes out. Last Sunday we used Chapman in the ninth when the score was 6-1. Today we used Hoover in the eighth with the score was 8-1. It seems more logical to me to use a good relief pitcher with an NTP first, rather than last. I am willing to bet Hoover had an NTP today because he has not pitched for several days and will not pitch until next Friday at the earliest. Why hold him back for the eighth?

    • wildwestlv

      If only Bob C. had “NTGM” written next to Walt J.’s name.

  31. Playtowin

    A new GM would need the full confidence of the owner and a mandate to use his best judgement within the budget to make the team better. The future is in the draft and player development. Find the guy who has those skills and there is hope…think 2020..

  32. wizeman

    just had dinner with huge cubs fan. over margaritas he asked me if i would trade cueto and chapman for castro, schwarber and a throw-in.
    i said yes. would hate to trade in the division but schwarber catches… meso moves to left and i have castro for 3 years.
    i dont think cozart will ever have the quickness or range he had before injury
    would you guys make that trade?

    • Adam S.

      I am not helping Cubs. I don’t want a catcher, mes has to play there or dh somewhere and we just wasted a first round pick on a catcher

      • Evan armstrong

        Helping the Cubs? I would trade them to the Cards if it gave us the best return without question.

      • jdx19

        We wasted a first round pick on a catcher? Already condeming young Stephenson, are we? That was fast…

    • jessecuster44

      Yes. In a heartbeat. Know why? Because Cubs. The instant Cueto and Chappy don the Cubs pinstripes, Cueto’s lat problems will resurface, or he will blow out his elbow. Chappy will decide that he prefers to close on even numbered days, but not odd ones.

      Trade them to the Cubs and watch the bad mojo overwhelm those two.

    • Evan armstrong

      I would give them both just for the catcher alone.

    • greenmtred

      I’d wait and see on Cozart. I have no idea how he will be post-surgery.

    • lwblogger2

      I love Schwarber and he was fun to watch yesterday. I like Castro but hate him at SS. Maybe LF is the answer for Starlin? I don’t know if that’s the right package for Cueto and Chapman.

  33. Adam S.

    It’s not like the GMs pre Walt have been any good. The previous GMs back to late 80s are cook, Quinn, Bowden obrien and krivsky each were terrible. Next reds GM is likely as bad. It shows reds cannot hire a good GM.

    • jessecuster44

      You need to take a closer look at what Krivsky did.

    • D Ray White

      Krivsky’s drafted most of the talent on the current team. He also acquired some good talent on the cheap. Krivsky’s got screwed by Castellini, but arguably had a better run than Jocketty. And really, you’re going to say Jocketty was better than the front office that brought us contention pre-wild Card and a World Series to boot.

    • lwblogger2

      I’ll add that Bowden made a few good moves as well, particularly in 1994 and 1995. It got ugly from there though.

      • lwblogger2

        Bringing in Greg Vaughn was rather brilliant too.

  34. pinson343

    An argument can be made that WJ is the best GM the Reds have had since … who was the GM in the mid-80s ?

    • jessecuster44

      So what? Walt may have done a fine job from 2009 to April 2013, but he’s been pretty bad since then.

      Past performance does not guarantee future results.

      • Adam S.

        Agreed past performance doesn’t indicate future results. But if a krivsky type is best reds can do, then no thanks.

      • jessecuster44

        So… just stay with Walt and his outdated thinking? Ugh. No thanks. There has got to be someone younger, smarter and hungrier out there.

    • Adam S.

      Krivsky lost a lot of games and made two clueless trades the nats trade and Hamilton trade. Reds win series in 12 with Hamilton.

      • jessecuster44

        Hamilton was universally disliked in clubhouse. Reds needed pitching and Volquez was an All-Star in his first year. Reds may not have completed Latos trade with SD without Volquez. Agree that trade in hindsight looks bad.

        The Nats trade? Kearns never amounted to much, Lopez didn’t either, and neither did Wagner. At least the Reds got some serviceable years from Bray.

        Krivsky got BP from Cleveland, and robbed the Red Sox with the Arroyo/Pena deal.

        At least Krivsky tried to do something to improve the team in the middle of the season. Walt – he reminds me of Bernie from Weekend at Bernies.

      • lwblogger2

        I liked Lopez… That Nats trade wasn’t a good one but I’d hardly call it one of the worst in history though. I hated the Hamilton trade but to say that the Reds would have won the series in 2012 had it not happened is purely speculative. Cueto’s injury, Rolen’s rare error, leaving a struggling Latos in to face Posey, all helped doom the Reds that post-season.

      • lwblogger2

        And love the Weekend at Bernies reference.

      • greenmtred

        Krivsky didn’t lose any games, unless he was artfully disguised as a mediocre starting pitcher.

  35. pinson343

    It’s irrelevant to pick on one player at this point, but since I watched that whole fiasco, I reserve the right to talk about one of the more pathetic performances.

    Byrd came in with gaudy numbers against Haren and looked the worst I’ve seen him this year (including April), swinging wildly at pitches well outside off the strike zone. Three ABs with at least one runner in scoring position: 2 Ks and a foul out.

    • jdx19

      Yet another good reference point to show how pitcher-batter splits are useless and should never be used to make a playing time decision.

  36. jessecuster44

    Just watched the Suarez sequence, and the most galling thing to me is deer-in-the-headlights Bryan Price.

    If I was the manager, I walk out, remove Suarez and Mattheus from the game immediately. There is absolutely no place in the major leagues for that lack of mental awareness.

    Good lord. It is no wonder that the Reds do not compete with such a manager.

    “Accountability.” Ha.

    • Evan armstrong

      And you would be the only manager to do that and be fired the next day when all your players revolt.

      • RedAlert

        his players checked out a while ago

  37. ProspectCincy

    Cingrani and two relievers combined to throw a no hitter today for the Bats.

    Nine rehab innings for Tony; 2 hits and 13K. Gonna be nice to see him starting in a couple of weeks. FINALLY.

    • jessecuster44

      How do you know this? Cingrani is probably still in Price’s doghouse.

      • ProspectCincy

        Price already said they’re stretching Tony out to start second half of the season. One more AAA start and he’ll be back in the rotation …

        By that time, Johnny won’t be there, Mike won’t be there and Anthony may not be healthy enough to stay off the DL … so they’ll be plenty of room!

      • jessecuster44

        Love it, if this is actually happening.

  38. JMO

    Trade Cueto and Leake. Keep Chapman and Bruce. Rebuild.