Johnny Cueto didn’t give up an extra base hit, just four singles – none of which was hit particularly hard. I don’t believe there was anything wrong with Cueto today other than the emotion of it being the last game he’ll pitch for the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.

It’s hard to command the strike zone when your heart is breaking.

Reds 3 Cleveland 5 | FanGraphs | Better Cueto Day

Johnny Cueto gave up two runs in four innings, throwing 94 pitches. I suppose there’s a chance he’ll pitch July 30 at home against Pittsburgh although the game before against the Cardinals at St. Louis would be his normal rest. With the trade deadline looming just a day later, even if he hasn’t been traded by then, the Reds could hold him out.

Jumbo Diaz pitched a clean fifth inning. But Ryan Mattheus walked the first batter he faced (the bullpen’s signature move) in the sixth, then he couldn’t field a bunt right to him, then he grooved a pitch which Jason Kipnis hit off the right field wall. It says a lot about the bullpen that Mattheus is in the better half. Then lefty-specialist Manny Parra walked a left-handed batter (signature move, see previous reference) forcing in Cleveland’s third run.

J.J. Hoover pitched a clean eighth. Bryan Price brought Aroldis Chapman in for the ninth inning, as the Reds closed to within a run. Then Price *kept Chapman in for a second inning* after the Reds tied the game. I guess he figured Chapman’s workload would be someone else’s problem pretty soon.

It was Chapman’s first appearance since the All-Star break and possibly his last in front of the home crowd at GABP. John Fay reported yesterday that Chapman’s name was on the list of players that owner Bob Castellini had approved to trade. Chapman recorded his 500th strikeout, setting an all-time major league record for speed at accomplishing that feat. Chapman did it in 292 games, besting the previous record of 305 by Craig Kimbrel (Joel Luckhaupt).

While that’s a happy thought, as our glorious leader, Chad Dotson points out, it’s sad that Chapman has pitched fewer than 300 innings for the Reds over 5 years. Here’s another depressing fact: Chapman’s 44 pitches today were a career high as a Red.

As Wes pointed out in the game preview, Carlos Corrasco can pitch. He’s been a top 10-20 pitcher this year, depending how you measure it. The Reds managed four hits and one walk against him in six innings. The lone run off Carrasco scored on a homer by Eugenio Suarez.

The Reds scored a second run on a single by Brandon Phillips (his second hit of the game), a walk by Ivan De Jesus and an *RBI* single by Joey Votto. Votto also stretched a single into a double in the tenth inning and is now hitting .289/.401/.503.

Suarez also doubled to left center with two outs in the ninth inning and was knocked in on a single by pinch hitter Jason Bourgeois to tie the game. Bourgeois advanced to second on the throw to the plate where he was stranded by Skip Schumaker, who struck out on three pitches.

Every time Brayan Peña hits a soft fly ball it reminds me how much the Reds miss Devin Mesoraco. Peña has 0 home runs this year. He ranks 184 out of 185 in power among major league players with at least 230 plate appearances. Doug Gray adds that Peña ranks 304 out of 332 in average exit velocity among players with at least 50 balls in play. Peña’s on-base percentage is excellent, though, at .348.

Peña and Marlon Byrd were a combined 0-10.

By the end of the game, Eugenio Suarez was playing third, Brandon Phillips was playing shortstop, Skip Schumaker was playing second and Tucker Barnhart was playing right field. Skip Schumaker is the only utility infielder I’ve heard of that can only play one infield position. Perhaps “limited utility player” should be his position. Barnhart made a couple strong throws from right field.

Pedro Villarreal in a tied game was a bridge too far. He gave up three singles and (yet another) bases loaded walk to force in the winning run for Cleveland in the 11th. Villarreal gave up an insurance run on a sacrifice fly. His ERA and FIP are both over 5. Old-school and new-school agree about Villarreal. Yet he’s in a major league bullpen. This tweet won the internets today:

Coming into today’s game, the average attendance at GABP is nearly 1,000 people more than last year.

84 Responses

  1. DHud

    Walking in a single run makes anyone who knows the game of baseball cringe, but four just kills you a little inside…

    Can Skip Schumaker throw strikes?

  2. kywhi1

    Like some others before him, perhaps Bryan Price would be a fine manager under different circumstances. Still, the thoughts of Price managing whichever “prospects” come from whatever moves Walt Jockey makes between now and the coming trade deadline are the makings of one helluva nightmare.

    • CP

      I disagree. I think Price is a decent fit for a younger, less established roster. Can’t really do worse than Baker did with Mesoraco, Just play them everyday, unless they struggle for extended periods. It’s the GM’s decisions that get difficult…

    • RedAlert

      I agree with kywhi1 – seen enough of Price in almost 2 years of managing to believe he is NOT the answer for the Reds – he’s too old school – didn’t play Ridriguez when he was up ( unsure if he’s still up )- then throw in prospects in a trade – yes, it does have the makings of a nightmare and Price ain’t the one that needs to be steering the ship in the future – neither is Jocketty

      • Indy Red Man

        Yorman isn’t an elite prospect? Frazier wasn’t an elite prospect either? The majors are full of guys that are having great careers but weren’t “elite” prospects….whatever that means.

      • CP

        Yorman has a .738 OPS in AAA. Todd had 3 full seasons of .800+ OPS in AAA. So no, Yorman isn’t on the same level Todd was. They really aren’t all that comparable.

      • tct

        Todd only played one full season in AAA, 2010, and he put up a wRC+ of 109. Yorman’s wRC+ is 111. Now, Todd would do a little better the following year for 90 games before being called up to Cincinnati. But he was also 25 years old by then. Todd was better in the lower minors than Yorman, but when Todd was Yorman’s age he was still in A ball.

        I think Yorman will be Chris Heisey with a higher ceiling. But, he has the tools to be a really good player, and he is at least one of the Reds top 10 prospects. Some would say top 5. It’s ridiculous for the Reds to call him up and not play him.

      • CP

        I did misread Todd’s stat line on BR, but I don’t think you can just exclude the equivalent of a full season in 2011. He was called up for a reason.

        No is arguing Y-Rod’s age isn’t a major factor in his minor league production. That doesn’t change the fact that his production did not warrant a major league promotion, much less major league playing time.

        Do I think it’s weird that the Reds called him up and then didn’t give him any playing time? Yes.

        Does it matter? Not really. I think the timing was decent for all parties.

      • CP

        There is no “answer” for the Reds waiting somewhere out there as a manager. The only answer is to find better players, and perhaps some better luck.

        Yorman’s situation is a strange one. Although I think he’ll get his tryout later in the year, it’s pretty obvious he was just brought up to be a warm body. He hasn’t shown that he deserves to be a MLB player yet in AAA, suddenly you guys think he’ll somehow figure it out in the majors? You’re the exact same people that thought B-Ham was suddenly going to “get it” in the majors. Price probably did Yorman a pretty big favor by not playing him. Yorman gets a little extra cash and a chance to watch MLB baseball from the dugout. Let’s not compare his situation to Mesoraco. This was 4-5 games. At this point in his Yorman’s career, there is very little to suggest he can perform adequately in the majors. Skip can’t either, but there is something to be said for getting the last miles from your 20 year old car.

      • RedAlert

        Absolutely ludicrous to bring him up for a week and he sniffs zero action / but I have come to expect as much from the ineptitude that is Price and Jocketty – and as long as those two are at the helm , this organization is in trouble

      • CP

        Yorman isn’t an elite prospect. I wish the fan base crying about Yorman’s playing time, behaved this way when Baker wasted Mesoraco’s rookie year.

        The only reason Yorman got to wear a Reds’ uniform this season was injuries and a lack of organizational depth.

      • RedAlert

        The fact that you consider him to be not an “elite prospect ” has nothing to do with him getting not one single at bat or whiff of playing time – your argument does not hold water – it’s just become status quo for how The Reds organization operates – I don’t think the fan base is “crying” as you put it about his playing time – but to bring him up and not even step on the field in any situation , that’s just plain crazy and makes no sense , regardless of whether he is an elite prospect or not

      • CP

        Players that aren’t very good don’t automatically get playing time. I would liked to see him play over Skip, but I also don’t care very much, because Yorman isn’t good (yet). He was brought up because his options are done after this season, and to fill a roster slot…that’s it. Yorman made something around $15,000 in his time with the Reds. I’m betting Y-Rod is pretty stoked about that.

      • tct

        Quick blind comparison of two players stats in their first season in AAA.

        Player A; age 24. .781 OPS 109 wRC+

        Player B; age 22. .735 OPS. 111 wRC+

        That’s 2010 Frazier and 2015 Yorman. I don’t think Yorman will have the success that Todd has had, but it goes to show that a guy doesn’t have to destroy AAA to go on to have major league success.

      • CP

        I think I agree with most of what you posted, but Frazier’s 2011 was the lowest OPS/wRC+ of his minor league career. He had sustained success throughout the minors, then had another 384 at bats in AAA where he posted a .806 OPS and a 119 wRC+. He also had a minimum walk rate of 8.3% in the minors. Yorman has shown improvements in that regard, but we’re still seeing 5.4% in AAA.

        I don’t not like Yorman, his age is a real wild card in any analysis of him, but he lacks the track record someone like Frazier had in the minors. He really had no business being called up, and no business starting. I’m as critical of B-Ham as anyone on this website, but no way do I play Yorman over him. Yorman will likely get the chance to play every day for the team when some assets start liquidating. That’s part of the reason why Yorman riding the pine for 5 games doesn’t bother me.

    • Tom Gray

      The Reds fired a 3-time NL Mgr of the Yr in 2013.

      The next Reds manager better be like Sparky or Lou Piniella.

      • docmike

        The fact Dusty Baker was able to win a Manager of the Year award once, much less 3 times, is absolutely stunning.

        However, it speaks to the poor baseball acumen of the people who voted on the award, rather than to any true measure of Baker’s ability.

      • jdx19

        I think Barry Bonds would like to have a share of Dusty’s three manager of the year awards!

      • CP

        Yes, I too hope the next Reds manager luckboxes his way into 3 players that are rightfully first ballot hall of famers, then 3 or 4 other players that are 3-5 WAR players. It’s truly amazing how Sparky scraped together all them wins…

      • User1022

        The thing I always wonder is, how much influence do managers have on players’ performance? How do you know those players would still be first ballot Hall Of Famers if anyone else had been managing them? I don’t doubt they’d still be good players, but managers may provide that extra spark that take them over the edge.

        Would Michael Jordan still be considered the greatest player ever if he hadn’t been coached by Dean Smith and Phil Jackson?

        I guess it’s one of those debates that will never be solved because to truly know, you would need an alternate timeline of reality with those players at the exact same age in the exact same situation being managed by different people and see what effect it has on their production.

      • CP

        Perhaps. Rose, and Bench both had 6+ WAR seasons for Bristol prior to Sparky’s arrival. Morgan had already put up 27+ WAR for the Astros prior to joining, or roughly what Brandon Phillips has put up for his entire career.

        Of course, Morgan then became arguably the best player in baseball with the Reds. I’d posit that has everything to do with Morgan and his supporting cast, but sure, managers get unfairly blamed for teams losing, they also should unjustifiably get credit when teams win. I do know Sparky essentially had a dream team to work with (note: we ignored guys like Tony Perez, who was coming off back-to-back seasons of 5.9 and 6 WAR). You have to roll your eyes a little bit whenever someone wants the next manager “be more like Sparky…”

      • reaganspad

        Yes that Sparky Anderson who moved an All Star Player from LF to 3rd base where he had a problem, and inserted a kid named Foster full time. He had to move Tony Perez from 3rd to first to replace Dan Driessen, a 3rd year player who slumped from 300 as a rookie to 281 in 1974 because he is platooning George Foster and Ken Griffey SR.

        Sparky Anderson’s moves finished creating the Big Red Machine. Good managers get their best players on the field and bring in new talent and continue to win, something that Dusty Baker could never do.

        Yes that Sparky Anderson who went with 2 rookies in the pen to “close” out games in McEnany and Eastwick.

      • reaganspad

        Eastwick and McEnaney who both saved games (22 and 15 respectively) and who both threw over 90 innings. O yes and Carroll and Borbon pitched 96 innings and 125 innings.

        You see, Sparky, the World Series Manager invented how to use a bullpen.

        Oh and when Sparky was fired, he went to Detroit and won a world series there as well.

        But I know that in your mind, somehow Dusty is better. Just glad he is not with the Reds anymore. They job that he did with the cubs should have precluded him from getting another major league job.

      • CP

        “But I know that in your mind, somehow Dusty is better.”

        Huh? I’m like the opposite of that actually.

        I don’t know what effect Sparky had. That’s the benefit of being someone that believes in the scientific method. I can say “I don’t know” and not be ashamed. Sparky may or may not have had a plus effect on the team. Who knows? What I do know: managers have little impact on the outcome of games in the aggregate. There are a few exceptions, and they appear to be negatively skewed. Dusty is one of those players.

        I also know, without qualification, Sparky was handed one of the best rosters in MLB history. Acting like it was some amazing leap-of-faith to move Tony Perez to first base, or Pete Rose to third base, is actually pretty awe inspiring in and of itself. I find it amazing that apparently managers were really that dumb during the 70s? It’s a baseball axiom: “if you can hit, you can play.”

      • reaganspad

        Sorry CP, the dusty comment was meant for Tom Gray.

        But not everyone can be handed a talented team and still win. Sparky did it twice. If the Reds were so good, why did they not win it in 74, or 73? Sparky made a huge difference. most think he allowed the chemistry of a champion to be created and he encouraged it.

        Great teams are created for short periods of time. They are hard to keep great. It takes great management to hold greatness together.

        Once it is gone, you can appreciate how great the leadership was.

        Sparky going to the Tigers and winning another world series in 1981 is the sign of greatness.

        The odds of believing that it is all the players in 75,76 and 81 is astronomical.

        “That’s the benefit of being someone that believes in the scientific method”

        “Sparky may or may not have had a plus effect on the team”

        You just showed me that you really do not believe in scientific method

      • CP

        “If the Reds were so good, why did they not win it in 74, or 73?”

        Probably because Sparky was terrible that year /sic. Do yourself a favor and read up on variance. The best team doesn’t always win, and bad things happen to good people. It’s actually a great concept for day-to-day living. Why didn’t I close that sale? Why did that car run through the red light and hit me? Why did my 401k drop 10% last year?

        “You just showed me that you really do not believe in scientific method”

        I’m not going to get into an argument over the scientific method on RN, but that statement was entirely consistent with the method. If you want to prove that Sparky was more than just great players, you’re gonna need to state a hypothesis, then “Observe! Compare! Contrast! Describe!” (unfortunately this song plays on repeat in my brain because my kid likes Sid the Science Kid). The burden of proof is on the party making the assertion.

        No one is arguing Sparky wasn’t successful. The question is whether Sparky was, as Bill James wrote, ” lucky stiff who came along in the right organization at the right time?”.

      • reaganspad

        Good point CP, except that doesn’t explain Detroit.

        You can get lucky once (if that is what you want to call Sparky and the BRM) but I did prove my thesis by suggesting that you do not get lucky like that twice.

        Sparky won World Series with 2 different teams in different leagues. Yes, both teams had talent, both teams had incredible chemistry as well as talent.

        My proof is that that Chemistry (which is hard to prove out) to be the same in both teams without any input from Sparky, is so big of a number to one possibility, that it would fill up the rest of this blog with comma’s and zeros.

        To be a lucky stiff TWICE? I don’t think so.

        and I actually think the burden is yours:

        “The burden of proof is on the party making the assertion.”:

  3. msanmoore

    Steve I’m thinking the same thing. Johnny’s head just didn’t look in the game. Combine all that with the rain delay, a little bad luck, and some squeezing by the ump … and I think that’s a big part of what we saw. Hope he goes to Houston. I really want to see the Astros make the run.

  4. David Turner

    I see folks on other blogs accusing the players of just phoning it in. I doubt that, but I think it must be very difficult to keep your head in the game when you know it may be your or your teammate’s last one.

    Re the four bases-loaded walks- “It was all a strange game, you’re a little insane.”
    – So you wanna be a rock n roll star, The Byrds, 1967.

  5. sultanofswaff

    10 walks by the Tribe, just 2 for the Reds in an extra inning game. Holy mackerel.

    I find it astonishing that management would run the risk of Cueto getting injured so close to the deadline. I get that trades are about contracts, but there’s not a single club that couldn’t absorb Cueto’s contract without breaking a sweat. Something needs to get done pronto.

    • Tom Gray

      I wonder if trades actually involve negotiations back-n-forth or you just trade the player for the first offer you get, before he gets injured?

      In your GM experience, how does that go?

      • Tom Reed

        Hopefully Jocketty and/or Tower will come on the blog and explain that to us.

  6. sultanofswaff

    With the abundance of closers available, does anyone else doubt Chapman will get moved?

    • tct

      Just because the Reds have been stupid with Chapman doesn’t mean other teams have to. If I was the GM of a contending team I’d be drooling over the possibility of getting one of the best arms in baseball for a year and a half for a discount price because his former team used him in a dumb way. I wouldn’t even use him as a closer; I’d have my manager using him twice per week, 2-3 innings per outing. As long as he stayed healthy, I’d be making sure I got at least 100 innings out of him next year.

      And there’s always the possibility that a team trades for him, signs him to an extension, and converts him to a starter.

      • greenmtred

        Look: I generally agree, in a non-committed sort of way, that Chapman has been mis-used, regardless of the cause. I agree in a more committed sort of way that current closer protocol is dumb. But watching Chapman’s second inning yesterday, I was underwhelmed. If the game had meant something, I would have been nervous. I recall this happening before, so I wonder how generally effective he has been in his rare multiple inning opportunities, and wonder whether his use is based on knowledge (his and the team’s) of his actual–as opposed to perceived(wow–anyone who can throw that hard would be the greatest starter ever)–capabilities. Remember how quickly Syd Fynch dropped off of the radar?

      • Tom Reed

        Chapman throws a lot of high hard ones that often results in at least one walk in his 9th.inning appearances. As a starter, hitters would work the count and Chapman’s walk rate would skyrocket. I think that’s part of the reason he’s not been made a starter.

    • msanmoore

      I’ve never personally bought that he’d be effective as a starter. I don’t think we’ll ever know as he’s repeatedly expressed that’s what he wants to do and while another team might use him more often, I still see him as a closer.

      That being said, I think he gets moved.

      • tct

        I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be effective as a starter. The fastball is still plus plus even if he’s sitting at 97-98 instead of 100+. His slider can be inconsistent, but it is a plus pitch when it is on. And when he threw his changeup last year, it was almost unhittable. Literally, only 1 or 2 guys even made contact. Throwing his offspeed stuff more would hopefully make him a bit more consistent.

        The only barriers would be if he could hold his velocity late into games. But, I don’t remember there being a problem here when he was starting in AAA or in spring training in 2013. And he would need to work on the little.things; fielding his position and holding runners, as.he’s not great at that. But he is super athletic and does have a decent pickoff move.

    • Redsfan48

      I doubt highly that they will trade him. Next year at the deadline, maybe. But I find it hard to believe they will trade him this year unless they get a truly elite prospect in return.

    • Tom Gray

      Chapman is the best closer in NL. I think there will be interest from other teams.

      • jdx19

        Absolutely. Chapman may bring back a lot more than some folks expect.

  7. GreatRedLegsFan

    Not sure if Price is a good fit for the future, there’s been so many injuries over the last two seasons.

    • Tom Gray

      Look at his MiLB managerial record for clues. He is undefeated at MiLB manager.

  8. Redsfan48

    Interesting experiment with Tucker Barnhart in RF. I have a feeling if Michael Lorenzen wasn’t starting tomorrow, we might have seen him in the outfield today, and that would have been exciting to see.

      • Redsfan48

        Obviously Lorenzen is more valuable as a SP. And Barnhart doesn’t have the bat to play RF. Clearly, Yorman Rodriguez and/or Kyle Waldrop would take over outfield spots, unless they acquire someone such as Michael Conforto from the Mets (who they have rumored to be available) who is near MLB-ready.

      • reaganspad

        Conforto is a beast and yes he is major league ready. You need him if Bruce is traded

  9. RedAlert

    Jocketty is gonna hold onto to his tradeable assets for too long – thus , prospects that the Reds may have been able to obtain as a result of these trades will be residing in other teams’ organizations – book it > he will find a way to butcher these deals

  10. docmike

    Man, can you believe those idiots on the Indians? They actually buy into the theory that walks can lead to runs scoring! Don’t they know that walks just clog up the bases? (At least, that’s what my hero Dusty Baker used to say.)

    If you want to see a team “play the game the right way”, look no further than the Reds today. In an 11 inning game, they only allowed Cleveland to issue them 2 walks, because they know how baseball games are won. And they aren’t won by drawing walk after walk, they’re won by swinging the bat (even if the pitches are bad).

    I hope the Indians at least learned something by watching the Reds’ batters today.

    • jdx19

      I was thinking this same thing through the whole game. WALKS DONT WIN GAMES, CLEVELAND! GET A CLUE!! 😉

      • greenmtred

        Don’t know if this applies to this game (only could stomach a little of it), but you won’t draw many walks if the other team’s pitcher is throwing strikes.

  11. CP

    I can’t believe no one mentioned this yet…did Skip Schumaker really pinch hit for Billy Hamilton? Is that where Billy is at now offensively nowadays? Yikes.

    • greenmtred

      It is worth noting that, small sample size notwithstanding, Skip has the most pinch hits in MLB this year. Plus the move gave us the opportunity to see a memorably strange team take the field for the top of the following inning.

  12. ohiojimw

    There were some interesting comments on the Reds radio today between Marty B. and C.Trent.

    CT said that from talking to scouts following the Reds he counts at least 7 guys who might be traded that these scouts pretty much all feel would make significant contributions on contending teams, with three or four of them likely making very significant contributions if traded (keep in mind this is guys being mentioned as on the Reds tradable list which presumably excludes Frazier and Votto).

    Marty B. replied that then doesn’t it become a fair question to ask why theses guys combined haven’t made enough of an impact to keep the Reds from being 8 games (as they spoke) under .500? CT said in reply to MB, that is essentially the question scouts ask him, that as a person watching this team play almost every day, how can a team with as much talent as the Reds have such a poor record. What goes on behind the scenes they don’t see?

    Then they begged off by saying giving their unabashed answers to the question as part of the broadcast, would probably result in both them needing to look for a new job in short order and moved on.

      • CP

        Is there though? I think this is a case of perception v. reality. WAR and wRC+ tell the real story. I think this is also a symptom of Marty’s entire outlook on baseball btw. When you don’t have an objective way to measure hitter or player performances, you end up falling back on blaming the manager for “unexplainable” performance. I don’t think there are many surprises with this roster.

        Offensively, you have two great hitters (Frazier & Votto), and one good hitter (Bruce). You might also count Suarez/Cozart in there (although I think Cozart was headed back to being below average). Then you have average-to-below average hitters (Byrd, BP, and Pena), to downright terrible hitters (Hamilton). The bench is arguably the worst in baseball.

        The starting rotation has one elite pitcher, and every one else is essentially average-to-below average (not that I think this will continue, but .

        The bullpen literally has 1 elite pitcher. Unfortunately, he has minimal impact on games.

        Baseball isn’t a game where a few guys can carry the load. Compare the Reds to good teams and see what you find. at the beginning of the season, it was pretty clear that this team was going to end up struggling offensively based upon lack of on base skills. Frazier has outperformed all expectations, but this was offset by Mesoraco’s injury, plus the continued decline of BP/Byrd, and the offensive black hole that is Billy Hamilton.

      • tct

        This is spot on. It blows my mind that Marty has been around the game so long and still doesn’t realize that it is not basketball where a couple good players can carry you.

        Looking at the top 10 players by WAR, and combining their total WAR.(numbers at the All star break)

        Cardinals 20
        Pirates 20
        Reds 19

        The WAR of the rest of the team:

        Cardinals 6
        Pirates 2
        Reds -1

      • jdx19

        Good post, CP, and good follow-up, TCT.

        You can’t roster terrible players and expect to win. As you very adeptly show, TCT, I suspect across most teams their Top 10 in WAR will be somewhat similar. And the teams with good records will have more WAR near the bottom, as well.

        Outliers probably exist for teams with guys having career seasons (Harper, Kipnis) or teams that employ people named Trout, Mike.

    • WVRedlegs

      It is because this team has more holes than it does talent. And this team has talent. One of the best hitters in the game in Votto. One of the best power hitters in Frazier. One of the best catchers in Mes. One of the best starters in Cueto. One of the best closers in Chapman. One of the best setup guys in Hoover.
      But the other shoe drops. Black hole in LF. Upgrades needed at CF and 2B. Holes at the #3, #4, #5 starter spots. Five of the seven bullpen spots need upgraded. Three or four of the bench spots need upgraded. No leadoff hitter. No #4 hitter with Mes on DL.
      Miguel Cabrera cannot win a World Series in Detroit with such a sub-par supporting cast, either.
      This is on the architect of the Reds roster. Walt Jocketty.

  13. msanmoore

    Realizing it takes at least 2 teams to complete the trade, I believe JC is distracted to some degree. I think that at least partially explains what we saw Sunday. And I doubt that factor improves with time.

    • User1022

      In that case, it would behoove the Reds to move him as quickly as possible. The last thing we need is a string of bad starts to make other teams start questioning Cueto’s health.

      • msanmoore

        Exactly. I don’t like losing him any more than the next Reds fan … but we will lose him and I’d rather it happen prior to his next scheduled start.

  14. Eric the Red

    Can anyone knowledgable comment on the state of the Reds new TV contract? If it’s going to be finalized in the next 12 months, I think it will have an impact on their approach to making trades. It would explain why Frazier is “untouchable”, and decrease the chances of trading Chapman. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, just that both the operating profit and sale value of the Reds will be driven by that contract more than anything, so maximizing the value of that contract is the single most important thing to the Castellini family.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Painting with a broad brush: The Reds TV ratings are strong. The new contract expires at the end of the 2016 season. The Reds currently earn $30 million/year from their deal with FSO. Based on other recent negotiations in similar markets, I’d guess the Reds will get a $30 million/year bump plus equity in the broadcast. Contract extensions sometimes happen early. It’s possible that Time Warner/Comcast might put together a competitive bid on a different channel which could drive the price up a little.

      My guess is that the Reds are assuming these new revenues and have been for a while. It’s no coincidence that Votto and Bailey’s contracts are back-loaded the way they are. In that sense, the Reds have “spent” $10 million of the new $30 million, at least through 2019 (the end of Bailey’s contract). Total revenue for the team is about $250 million, so a $30 million boost is big, but it’s not like it dwarfs other sources of revenues.

      Absolutely there is a connection between the team’s television ratings and the value of that contract. To the extent that the ratings are sensitive to the team’s record and the presence of likable players that people want to watch, trade strategy certainly does affect the TV contract.

      All sources of local revenue – attendance, merchandise sales, parking, radio broadcast rights – depend on those factors, team success and star players.

      • Eric the Red

        Thanks. My guess is that translates into a contract extension for Chapman. He’ll be cheaper to hang onto than Cueto or Leake–since even the best closer will get a smaller contract than a solid SP like Leake–and hanging onto him will allow the Reds to sell “excitement” and avoid looking like it’s a complete rebuild. Assuming the team has Hamilton, Mesoraco, Frazier, Votto, and Chapman, they’ll get better ratings than their record will probably justify.

  15. jamesgarrett

    In my opinion the Reds have talent.Their projected lineup was/is a good one and barriing injuries to Mez and Cosart they would have been pretty good.But injuries happen and they could not overcome them.We could talk all day long about the guys in the bull pen that don’t even belong on a major league roster.They didn’t underperform they just don’t belong period and the bench is terrible.We have no choice but to trade the guys not signed for next year and listen to all offers for everybody else As stated above we should be diligent because when the trades start happening they go fast and furious.

  16. redmountain

    Did anyone happen to read the article on MLBtraderumors about why Sandberg quit as manager of the Phillies. He could not get his veterans to pay attention to him and would not work on things to get better. His view was that once a player made it to the majors they let up and cruised. I think that there are some parallels to the Reds.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Roger Doran-complex.

      I hate long-term, high dollar contracts. All of a sudden, X player starts appreciating the finer things in life: expensive wine, fine art, five-star cuisine, great classical music, etc. It’s not a character flaw but human nature. I want my players to enjoy the finer things in life…..after they retire. When they are active, just baseball 24-7. You know what got them the contract; human nature says not often will this happen.

  17. i71_Exile

    Steve, that’s the saddest headline I’ve read in a long time. It was very, very touching and makes me miss JC already and empathize with what he must be going through.

  18. Tyler Burdett

    I don’t see why Marlon Byrd is getting so much heat on this site as being a “bad” hitter. The guy has 15 home runs and his wRC+ is 105 (100 is average). Also, his BABIP is .273 which is significantly below his career BABIP mark of .324. Sure his defensive metrics are poor, but he has been a pleasant surprise to me as a hitter in his age 37 season.

    • greenmtred

      Agree. At the very least, he’s not much of a problem, as Reds’ problems go.

    • CP

      Although I believe I stated Byrd was average to below average, the point I’d make is wRC+ is not controlled for position. He’s 12th of 16 for all qualifying LF.

      19/23 for all LF with > 250 PA.

      Since he is also 21/23 on the defensive rankings…he actually is a minor disaster out there in LF. He simply doesn’t hit enough to cover his poor defense, which is why he is a below replacement level player.

    • Myron Gaines

      He’s plugged the black hole that was the Reds’ left field position well enough, especially for such an old guy. I was expecting another disaster signing of a player well beyond his prime, but he’s been pretty good (probably still on steroids).

    • tct

      As CP says, you gotta get more from your left fielder. It is one of the 2 least important defensive positions. Getting league average offense from left field puts the Reds at a disadvantage compared to their peers.

  19. Carl Sayre

    I find it a tribute to JC being that far off but fighting and keeping his team in a game. He clearly was struggling for whatever reason but he kept battling now when your starter only goes 4 it kills your bullpen. The observation about the strain on the bullpen granted if Villareal is the best the Reds can do in the pen it is time to start trading and get some ball players.
    I read some articles and a bunch of comments on here while WJ was mismanaging the off season about how stocking up on arms is overated that the league wins with the bat. Well I am waiting to see all these arms that the Reds had stockpiled. Lorenzen has been inconsistent but that is to be expected, I think that Disco may have hit a wall where he is working into an area innings wise that he is unfamiliar but I think he is the future, now where is the other starter we need now and the 3 QUALITY bullpen arms we need now? What is going to happen in a couple of weeks we are 3 starters from having a rotation? WJ drug his feet during free agency until the only option he had was Byrd, who’s bat has been pretty good for the last 6 weeks not great but pretty good even at that his days playing in the field are behind him. I look for WJ to do the same thing at the trade deadline and we won’t get all the value out of our trade chips.

  20. pinson343

    I’m a little late here, but I agree with Steve that Cueto’s problem was emotional. Price admitted it in today’s pre-game interview.

    Hamels, who of course has been with the Phils his whole career, is also having problems – 14 earned runs in about 7 innings in his last 2 starts.

  21. pinson343

    The tweet about Villarreal is the best tweet I’ve seen all year. As all the changes were being announced, my thought was what does it matter with him pitching ?

    He did give Barnhart a lot of in-game practice in RF. Barnhart looked good out there !