I am currently in Daytona, getting ready to take in the rest of the week with the Tortugas (I hope the weather cooperates). I’ve just spent the last five days watching the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. I was hoping to have something different for the post this week, but my laptop died while I was in Pensacola and had to go buy the cheapest laptop at the local Best Buy that I could. That’s limited my workflow quite a bit, so for today I’m going to be taking your questions throughout the day. While I am certainly expecting minor league related questions, I’m willing to take on questions about the big league team as well. There are a few rules to follow though:

  1.  Try to avoid questions that will require me to look up answers (such as: Who was the last guy to steal 25 bags and hit 25 home runs in the system).
  2. Try to avoid overly long answer-type questions. I tend to give thorough and detailed answers as it is, so please don’t have my type out a novel.
  3. Each user can ask up to three questions.
  4. Ask your questions before 8PM and I will be sure to answer it. If you ask after 8PM on Tuesday, then I can’t guarantee that I will answer your question.

I will be in and out throughout the day answering questions, but probably won’t get started until 11am. That’s it. Get to asking some questions.

69 Responses

  1. Shane Horning

    The Chapman deal has been been criticized pretty heavily around town after seeing what the Yankees got in return, but what kind of careers do you see Rookie Davis and Tony Renda having?

    • Mike

      It seems the Reds really have not gotten much in return for the players traded so far. Hopefully , with the year Bruce is having do you agree that we need to hit a home run on this trade?

      • Doug Gray

        I’d love for them to hit a home run with every trade, but it’s unrealistic to think it’s going to happen every time, too.

        I’d expect a Top 75 prospect in baseball for Bruce.

    • Doug Gray

      Rookie Davis hasn’t really been healthy this season. His stuff has been down, and for a while his numbers (except his ERA) was also down. Over the weekend there was an article on my site about him – http://redsminorleagues.com/2016/07/23/rookie-davis-back-on-track-for-the-blue-wahoos/

      He looked better, and had better velocity, on Friday night than he’s had/looked all season long. He’s starting to feel healthy again. I still think he’s more likely to wind up in the bullpen because there just won’t be a spot open for him in all likelihood. Tony Renda is maybe a utility guy – not much chance he’s a starter.

      It’s been a lost season for Eric Jagielo, but I will caution people to not give up on him. Stock is certainly down, but don’t write him off from that deal just yet.

  2. Mike

    Also, do you think the Reds will start to play Peraza more in the second half ? Seems reasonable to see if he can be a starter on this team moving forward.

    • Doug Gray

      No, I don’t. Bryan Price has basically said as much. And yes, I think that’s a crazy position to take from an organizational standpoint. For Bryan Price, I get it. He’s setting up his next job interview.

  3. Brad

    1 – Does Senzel make it up next year like Bregman yesterday?
    2 – How can the Reds not justify playing Peraza (not 100% minor related)

    • Doug Gray

      1. Doubtful. Even if he’s ready, the odds are the Reds won’t be in contention, so they’d simply be wasting valuable service time.

      2. They can’t. But, until someone steps in and tells Bryan Price to put him in the lineup or he’s fired, we aren’t going to see it.

      • Jon

        Doug I Agree but they have been wasting Peraza’s service time for a month now so …? It is all just Crazy how any of them can justify what they are doing with Peraza is just baffling. Price sure wants to win but he is saying one thing but doing the opposite, when the new job search comes up no one is going to think hey he won five more games so the fact that his words mean nothing is fine. Both Price and Front office are at fault and both could fix the issue. Price can easily give Peraza the “4-5 starts a week” he said by giving different guys one day off a week, but also Front office should have already sent him down to save service time and give him regular playing time. They can see Price isn’t playing Peraza so why keep him up here??

  4. Eric

    Do you think that Aristides Aquino will get moved up to Penaacola before the end of the year to give him a taste of AA this year?

    • Doug Gray

      I can see it going both ways. Pensacola has a lot of guys already fighting for at-bats. Guys that are more than just “pieces of the system”, who are playing out of position simply to get on the field. Aquino is a guy who should be playing every single day, too. So, promoting him for four weeks is taking away at-bats for someone the organization wants getting daily at-bats.

      Of course, Aquino is hitting very well right now and seems to have earned a promotion too. If I had to bet, I’d say no. But I wouldn’t bet much because I can see it going both ways, especially if the team trades Bruce and an outfielder gets moved up from each spot in the system.

      • The Duke

        I’d have him finish out this year in Daytona. He’s having his first extended success in full season ball. Let him ride it out and go into Pensacola next year with a nice complete season behind him. It’s only 4 weeks left anyway.

      • Jon

        Doug is so wise but I would say yes because of that last thing you mentioned. When Bruce is traded, it does appear he will be now, Schebler will move up and then say Ervin to Bats and that will lead to Aquino going to Pensacola.

  5. Jennifer Campbell

    After a Bruce trade , Do you think the Reds will call up Winker or Schebler ? Both are doing well in Louisville .

  6. The Duke

    1) Do you think Jay Bruce can bring back a prospect at the level of Alex Verdugo in a trade?

    2) Will Tyler Stephenson repeat in Dayton next season with all the time he’s missed with the wrist injury?

    3) When do you think we see Robert Stephenson called up?

    • Doug Gray

      1. It’s possible, but that’s probably the high end I’d expect – he was the #44 guy on the BA midseason list (worth noting that 2016 draft picks and anyone in the Majors, even if they had prospect eligibility left, weren’t eligible for this list. So, it’s likely he’s probably a slightly lesser rated prospect than #44 right now – probably in the mid-50’s).

      2. I’d think so.

      3. Some point in August. Right now, with Bailey coming back, there’s no immediate need for a spot. He may have to force the issue until September.

  7. RedsFanForLife

    JBruce, Cozart and now Disco have been named in the trade rumor mill, but which minor leaguers do you think have a chance to be add ons to possibly sweeten the pot?

    Which minor leaguers will get promoted to the next respective level, not necessarily to the Reds, before the end of the season in your opinion? Thinking Winker, Stephenson, Garrett, Schebler and Selsky for sure and most likely Adleman, Lamb, Hoover and Del Los Santos to the Reds by the end of the season.

    Who are your organization All-Stars for 2016 at this point by position?

    • Doug Gray

      1. It’s impossible to know who the other teams would want without knowing way more specifics of the deal.

      2. There won’t be too many promotions between now and the end of the year. I’d expect less than 10 true, non-injury related promotions (and non-September call ups).

      C – Chad Wallach
      1B – Gavin LaValley
      2B – Shed Long
      3B – Jermaine Curtis
      SS – Blake Trahan
      OF – Scott Schebler
      OF – Aristides Aquino
      OF – Angelo Gumbs

      SP – Amir Garrett
      SP – Tyler Mahle
      RP – Jimmy Herget
      RP – Alejandro Chacin

      • RedsFanForLife

        Why so non committing on questions 1&2? Just wanting to know your opinion based on your knowledge of players in the minors. For1, of course it’s impossible to know, but based on the seasons they are having or when they were drafted, wanted to hear which players you thought would bring value to a trade. For 2, you must have some players in mind since you said less than 10. Just felt you really didn’t answer the questions.

      • Doug Gray

        Because it’s just impossible to know what other teams are looking for. If the Reds want, say, Alex Bregman then the other teams are going to want Stephenson, Garrett and Winker. If the Reds are wanting a lesser prospect, then maybe the team is asking for Shed Long. It’s just an impossible question to answer without way more specifics.

        As for the promotions – more guys are deserving than those that will be promoted. There’s a real big log jam in Double-A right now where lots of guys are playing positions they normally don’t because they need at-bats more than defensive reps at a given position. It’s making promotions tougher to come by because they all need legit playing time and adding something to that is going to make it even tougher. How the trade deadline plays out can change that slightly. Still, there just isn’t a ton of room right now for upward movement, regardless of whether some of the guys lower on the totem pole deserve it because the guys in AA need the time and I’m not sure that any of them have warranted being moved up just yet.

  8. bradyetzlerBrady

    – Schebler is raking at Louisville. Do you think he can carry that over to the Major league level and sustain it?

    – Are you surprised Taylor Trammell has done so well thus far?

    • Doug Gray

      1. No, he’s not a .900+ OPS bat in the big leagues. But, I do think he’s a lot better than he showed in his early season big league time.

      2. I’d argue that saying he’s done so well is an accurate statement. He’s got a .692 OPS in a league where the league average OPS is .796. The big issue is that he’s just not hitting for power yet. He’s performed well outside of that, though. And that’s not really a surprise.

  9. Ben

    29th round pick Daniel Sweet is putting up unbelievable numbers at Billings. (OPS is at 1.049). Is he a legit prospect? Can he play CF?

    • Doug Gray

      He’s a 29th rounder out to a great start. But he went in the 29th round for a reason. He’s going to have to prove himself at every level along the way.

    • RedsFanForLife

      Interesting to know that he was originally drafted in the 23rd round by the Reds in 2012 out of HS. There have been quite a few lower round draft picks that are still currently in our organization and have made it as far as AAA Louisville. In 2010, Muhammed round 49 at Pensacola, Rogers round 28 at Louisville. 2011, Washington round 43 at Daytona, Smith, Selsky, Perez rounds 34,33,26 at Louisville. 2012, Vincej round 37 at Pensacola to name a few. Also interesting to note that Emmanuel Cruz and Matt Blandino were also 2 time draftees(2013)

  10. CI3J

    Based on the players the Reds have now, who do you project to make the 2018 Opening Day 25 man roster?

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t know about how the bench/bullpen will play out, so I’m not going to even try, for the most part. Starters:
      C – Mesoraco/Barnhart
      1B – Votto
      2B – Peraza
      3B – Senzel
      SS – Uh…. seems aggressive on Alfredo Rodriguez for me. Not sure anyone else is starter caliber. Maybe it’s Peraza and someone else fills in at 2B?
      OF – Winker
      OF – Hamilton
      OF – Not sure, but I doubt it’s Duvall or Schebler.

      SP – Bailey
      SP – Reed
      SP – Stephenson
      SP – DeSclafani
      SP – whoever steps up between Garrett/Romano/Travieso/Mahle/Finnegan/Lorenzen/Iglesias.

      I think the team would LOVE for it to be one of the latter three that really step up, but the latter two have the arm questions and Finnegan has a lot to prove for a Major Leaguer still.

      BP – See the #5 SP and pick a few of those guys.

      • doctor

        interesting, not Suarez at 2B and Peraza at SS.

    • Jon

      Doug is more conservative when is comes to giving opinions that could change so easily, but I am not so here is my full 2018 25 man roster prediction as of now.
      C – Mesoraco
      1B – Votto
      2B – Suarez
      3B – Senzel
      SS – Peraza
      LF – Winker
      CF – Hamilton
      RF – Hmm tough one my crystal ball just went cloudy….. Aquino probably best option but not likely given that everything would have to go right so probably Ervin or Schebler or possibly a platoon of the two.

      Bench – Barnhart, Renda, Mejias-Brean, Ervin/Schebler and say hmmm Yorman?

      I see Sad things regarding Raisel, I still hope he can return to starting but I have a bad feeling he will not, also I have a feeling either Disco or Bailey will be gone, most likely Disco given his much higher trade value so…

      SP – Bailey, Reed, Stephenson, Garrett, Mahle
      RP – Raisel, Lorenzen, Finnegan, Cingrani, Travieso, Weiss & Chacin

      The bullpen could include any of the following guys also, lefty possibles are Routt, Lamb, Peralta, Guillon or Varner, righty possibles include Romano, Ehret, Davis, Stephens, Astin, Herget and Hernandez.

  11. WVRedlegs

    Rookie Davis has looked very good in his last 3 starts since getting lit up on 07/05. He has pitched 18 innings and has 18 K’s and only 1 BB in those 3 starts.
    Did you get to see Davis pitch in Pensacola?
    Has he turned the corner on this season with these last 3 games more indicative of what we’ll see for the rest of this year from Davis?

    • WVRedlegs

      I saw Kourage’s article at your site after I posed the question. But still, what are your thoughts?

    • Doug Gray

      I certainly think he’s better today than he was a month ago. The stuff was certainly better. I still lean towards him being a bit of a reliever over starter though.

  12. Rob McKinley

    Do you think they will switch Tyler Stephenson or Chris Okey’s position or will they look to trade one? Kind of like the Mesoraco- Grandal situation before.

    • Doug Gray

      Stephenson is a big catcher, but I think they stick with both at the position for a while and let the situation play itself out.

  13. Rob McKinley

    I have watched Tyler Mondile throughout his high school career and always thought he had a chance to be a major league pitcher. Do you think the Reds will continue to use him as a starter or will they transition him into possibly being a closer of the future?

    • Doug Gray

      It’s so early in his career that it’s too tough to say. I’d imagine the team views him as a starter right now.

  14. VaRedsFan

    What are your thoughts on the Reds international signing Alfredo Rodriguez?
    Should they have thrown that money towards a higher ceiling guy?

    • Doug Gray

      Too much money, but I also think it’s what the market was for him. Teams are spending too much money on a guy simply because he’s Cuban. All of them. It’s a weird phenomenon.

      With that said, they couldn’t just go throw that money at someone else. That’s unfortunately not how the international scene works. Usually, it’s just as much about the money offered as it is the relationship you have cultivated with the buscone/trainer over the past several years. Most of the top players in a given year have already agreed to deals 12-18 months in advance, or at the very least limited it to 2-3 teams. If you aren’t involved in negotiations by the time a guy is 15, you are almost guaranteed to not land that player.

      I’d have loved to spend the money on 2-3 Top 15 caliber players instead of on Rodriguez. I also don’t think it’s realistic to think that was possible, either.

  15. ncboiler

    What’s up with Daniel Sweet? I know it’s a small sample size but a BB% of 23%? BB% converges pretty quickly and the has to be unexpected for a 25th round pick.

    • Doug Gray

      He’s a senior sign who has a good idea of what he’s doing at the plate against lesser skilled (but perhaps more talented) competition.

  16. Dan

    What is our 5 man rotation to start 2017?
    Jesse Winker…. Bad luck, injury prone, fading star, or TBD?
    Will the Reds attempt to resign Cozart since we don’t have a decent SS in our system and there isn’t much demand for shortstops at the moment?

    • Doug Gray

      1. Bailey, DeSclafani, Reed, Stephenson and one of Finnegan/Lorenzen/Iglesias.

      2. Bad luck on the injuries.

      3. They just spent $9M or so to sign Alfredo Rodriguez. They won’t be re-signing Cozart.

      • The Duke

        I think Iglesias and Lorenzen’s time in the rotation is over. They get to anchor the bullpen the next 4-5 years. I think Finnegan will get another shot going into next year with another offseason preparing as a starter. He’s only 23. If he continues to struggle as the year goes on again next year, then maybe you think about adding him to what would start to look like a very nice bullpen. He flashed his potential early in the year, at least enough to warrant another chance on a team that is not a playoff team in 2017.

      • Doug Gray

        I honestly think the team prefers both Lorenzen and Iglesias as a starter over Finnegan, it’s just a matter of whether their arms can handle it (the same can be said for Finnegan at this point). It will be interesting to see what the plan is for them all when spring training rolls around (or maybe sooner if they decide to announce it before then).

  17. JC

    1.) Does Shed Long move up to High A by year’s end?
    2.) How do you see SS and 2B shaking out for the Reds in the next few years with Suraez, Bladino, Peraza, Rodriquez, etc in the mix?
    3.) What’s your long term prognosis on Robert Stephenson (starter or bullpen)?

    • Doug Gray

      1. No clue. It’s nearly August and he’s been hitting well all season. He deserves the promotion, but it’s not always about what the one player deserves because it causes a chain reaction across the board. He will be there next year for sure.

      2. Peraza will fill one of the spots. Where it gets interesting is to see if Senzel pushes Suarez off third before Rodriguez is ready to step into the big leagues. If so, that could make things real interesting.

      3. Has to throw more strikes to remain a starter, but I think he can do that.

  18. Gonzo Reds

    Where do you see Ervin in September – AA/AAA/Up with the big club?

      • ohiojimw

        So is this then something of a lost season for him based on the flashes of promise he exhibited in ST MLB level games>

      • Doug Gray

        It’s not a lost season, but he’s not on the 40-man so calling him up in September doesn’t make much sense without him beating the door in and, well, he hasn’t done that.

  19. Will

    Do you believe the turnaround of the Reds bullpen in July is real because of firing the pitching coach and who do you believe in the Reds system can help the bullpen in the future ?

    What teams are still in the hunt for jay Bruce after Melvin upton got traded to the blue jays

    Do you think the Reds should trade homer bailey in the offseason if he performs well to the end of the 2016 season?

    • Doug Gray

      1. No. It’s got to do with adding two high end arms in Lorenzen and Iglesias. Zack Weiss is the guy I’d look to among minor league relievers to really be the next true reliever to step in. A plethora of guys starting right now in the minors could find high leverage roles in the bullpen in the future as well. I haven’t seen Jimmy Herget since the spring, so I’m looking forward to watching him this week in Daytona to get another look. I’ve gotten good reports on him as well.

      2. No clue. We’ve heard the Rangers/Blue Jays/Indians as rumored teams, but there could be more that we just haven’t heard about.

      3. No, because even if he performs well, teams won’t give anything for him and the Reds would probably still have to eat salary to do so.

  20. ohiojimw

    What do you see happening with Amir Garrett over the next year assuming good health on his part? Is he in the middle of the mix next spring or an outsider trying to break the door down? Is he making himself or possibly Reed or Finnegan an off season trade piece?

    • Doug Gray

      I think that he’s on the outside trying to break down the door. First, it’s unlikely he gets the look out of spring training next year if for no other reason that Super 2 status protection. That means he’s going to have to take a spot from one of Bailey, Iglesias, Lorenzen, DeSclafani, Reed, Stephenson or Finnegan. If, and that’s always a big question, five of those guys are performing, there’s simply not going to be a rotation spot available. Fair or unfair to him, he’s going to be down the depth chart.

      • WVRedlegs

        When do the Reds start to trade some surplus pitching if you think that Garrett gets log jammed at AAA to start 2017?

      • Doug Gray

        Probably going to be a while. Pitchers get hurt. No need to trade the big guns unless you’re competing.

  21. Pooter

    I just watched the Mustangs play last night!
    1) What is the potential for the pitcher Santillan? He impressed me last night.
    2) What is the potential for for Nick Sweet?
    3) When do you think Senzel will be ready to be an everyday Big Leaguer?


    • Doug Gray

      1. Santillan’s got #1 stuff, but he’s obviously very far from reaching that at this point. Big time arm.

      2. I assume you mean Daniel Sweet, and honestly, I don’t know. The fact that he was drafted where he was probably tells you that it’s not a lot. But every so often a low round guy like that breaks through.

      3. Probably late next year, but I don’t expect him to be with the club until some point in 2018 when they are more capable of competing and aren’t wasting his service time on a so-so Reds team.

  22. Clammy

    Knowing he isn’t foreseen in the starting rotation, wouldn’t it be a good time to sell high on Straily? What would it take for you to move him considering it’s a sellers market on SP?

    • gaffer

      I would love to know his market but who really would give up a top 150 prospect for him? Maybe there is a stupid/desperate team but I doubt it. He is probably more valuable to us right now and he has 4 more years.

    • Doug Gray

      I’m not sure too many teams would be buying him as a starter. Teams willing to look for starters are probably looking for someone a little better than Straily at this point, and as a reliever, he’s probably just as valuable to the Reds than anything that they would get in trade from someone.

  23. WVRedlegs

    Keep your head on a swivel in Daytona. And your equipment. Fisticuffs could break out at any time. Should be a handful of players sitting around on suspension for you to get some interviews. Aquino, Mella, Reynoso and Boulware.

    • Doug Gray

      I feel like if there were going to be fisticuffs flying at me, it would have been last week, not this week. But that’s a non-baseball story.

      I am a little bummed on some of the suspensions coinciding with my visit.

  24. Bobby B

    Doug what is your comprehensive feeling about the direction of this team? Do you think our young rotation and lineup core of Winker-Senzel-Votto has us playoff bound in 18′ or are you less optimistic? Do you have faith and n the front office?

    • Doug Gray

      I think that the team can be truly competitive in 2018. Obviously, things could go wrong and derail that, but as things stand right now, I think it’s realistic to expect a winning record in 2018.

      The front office is in transition. I like what I’ve heard Dick Williams say. Of course, I like what I heard Bryan Price say, too. Then he went out and did things differently than he said he would, so we will have to see.

    • greenmtred

      I second the thanks, Doug. Your view of the Reds’ future seems based on in-depth observation and free of panic. Makes this year a little easier to bear.