Bonjour!

I’ve been in France for two weeks, spent mostly in Beaune drinking Burgundy and eating delicious food. And while I had a great time, I wasn’t able to watch Reds baseball. The last post I wrote here was the recap for the game Lisalverto Bonilla pitched 8 innings against the San Francisco Giants. That was a looong time ago in a couple ways.

France does have the internets, so I was able to follow the Redlegs by reading the RN game recaps. The weirdest time zone thing about being over there (France is 6 hours ahead of ET) was waking up and finding the West Coast games still not finished from the previous night.

I was supposed to return to Ohio late last night and signed up for this recap weeks ago. But Delta and Air France had other plans for me, with a series of lengthy plane delays. I left my hotel room in Paris for the Charles de Gaulle airport 42 hours before tonight’s starting game time and arrived home as Billy Hamilton bunted for a hit against Marcus Stroman. After two days of travel, I’m tired, but missed watching the Reds play.

Had to learn a few French phrases during the trip. Never “batting practice” though.

Cincinnati Reds 2 • Toronto Blue Jays 17 || MLB || FG || Statcast

Lisalverto Bonilla gave up six earned runs. He walked 5 batters and struck out none. That’s all you need to know.

Robert Stephenson relieved Bonilla in the third inning with the bases loaded. Troy Tulowitzki is good at hitting the baseball and because of that quality, deposited Stephenson’s grooved fastball over the left field fence. That blast offered grim foreshadowing for what was to follow. Over 2 innings, Stephenson gave up 10 hits and a walk. Like Bonilla, he didn’t strike anyone out. Stephenson had pitched once in the last ten days. It’s unclear how the Reds expect him to remain sharp or find out what he can do using him this way. Make him a starter either with the Reds or the Louisville Bats. The bullpen experiment isn’t working.

Adam Duvall homered again, his fifth straight game going long. It was an opposite field shot “a marvelous bit of hitting” (C. Welsh). Duvall also singled to knock in the Reds first run. He’s batting .280 with isolated power of .286. Duvall was responsible for the Reds safety.

Scott Schebler made a good defensive play in 2nd inning, jumping catch at the fence to rob the Blue Jays of an extra base hit. Schebler also hit a ball to the CF warning track and singled twice.

The Reds led in this game.

“Bad one for the Reds,” Jim Kelch.

33 Responses

  1. greatredlegsfan

    Time to go in another direction, please no more Arroyo and Bonilla. As for Stephenson, if he’s going to figure out anything at all, it has to be in the minors.

  2. jaY jOHNSON

    It appears to me that Price has something against Bobsteve.The kid hasn’t pitched in 10 days and he gets put in the game after warming for about 10 pitches with the bases loaded and no outs. Isnt it the managers job to utilize his players to get the maximum out of each player.By inserting him into the game at that point certainly didn’t appear to be accomplishing anything resembling that.Now the F O will deflate the kid even more and send him down to Louisville.I know I would be saying to myself or even out loud”F U”I want out of this organization.
    They are destroying this talented kids career.

    • I-71_Exile

      As the inning progressed and Stevenson “warmed up”, the results didn’t exactly change. 10 hits aren’t a fluke. He has no command and the hitters know it. See fastball. Hit fastball. There’s a good chance it will be right where you want it.

      • jaY jOHNSON

        What he doesnt have is confidence.His lack of pitching with any frequency doesnt help him gain any either.This kids head is unglued.His talent/stuff has regressed due to being slapped in the face over and over by his managers.Maybe he is a jerk of a person though I havent ever heard that was the case.It sure seems that Price has put him into far more spots to fail than to succeed.When and if he is moved to another organization he will become the stud that he was destined to be .

      • Playtowin

        Stephenson is not very good. He has never done anything in the minors or majors. He is only on the MLB roster because he was a #1 draft pick and paid millions to sign. He can not locate his pitches and has proven to be hittable. He needs to go the minors and never return until he proves he can be a solid, reliable pitcher. I fear this is beyond his skills.

    • bradyetzler

      I want no part of that right now. That option will always be there, and at this point I think they are still figuring out who is going to be part of the team moving forward.

      There just isn’t any rush to trade prospects when we’ve had essentially two months to evaluate. Yes, the pitching has been brutal and is difficult to watch. But that can’t cloud judgement – they aren’t competing for a championship this year no matter what moves are made, and I want more than two full months before I make any decisions about trading players away.

      • IndyRedMan

        Sometimes people just need a change of scenery! That’s why the divorce rate is 50%. Something tells me that spending more time with Delino Deshields is not going to help Mr. Bob Steve and pitching once a week isn’t working out either. They’re not going to get a potential anchor like Sonny Gray but surely we could work out something which includes dealing Stephenson.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Sonny Gray has two full years of team control left after this one, so he will cost a ton. The Reds are not yet at the point where they can (or should) trade the future for the present.

      • Chuck Schick

        It would be difficult for the Reds to outbid the Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees or Red Sox for any cost controlled pitcher that is good enough to make a difference. Those organizations have better organizational depth and are more willing to part with their top prospects to win right now. They also have the resources to sign free agents if they cut too deep into their farm system.

        The Reds would be giving up a ton and would be risking years of darkness if the pitcher they trade for gets hurt. The Cubs can just raise the price of beer a penny and sign a UFA if the trade didn’t work out.

    • Playtowin

      No team would trade a good young starter for Romano, Gutierrez, Winker/Trammell. These 4 won’t make the Reds better any time soon let alone another team. They might get Stanley back if the Reds added cash.

  3. Scotly50

    ”It could have been worse,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. ”Their third base coach was compassionate enough to not keep wheeling guys into score.”

  4. james garrett

    Stephenson has 8 starts in the majors which all came last year and has made 12 relief appearances this year.Reed has made 11 starts and 6 in relief.Neither have anything to prove or gain by pitching in the minors,Disco in 2015 and Finny last year started 31 games each and learned to pitch at the big league level yet we don’t seem to want to give anybody else that same chance.Sure both have struggled as do all young pitchers.Finny was near the top in homers allowed and walks last year.This is the year of sorting out and Reed and Stephenson have one start between them.Garrett started off like a super star yet has got hammered in at least 3 starts but its ok because he is getting to start and learn at the big league level.To say this guy can’t and that guy is a bust is just dumb when the sample size is so small,Finally would you rather lose with the old guys who have no future or lose with the young guys that may have a future?

    • Tom Mitsoff

      At some point, Stephenson has to have a “wow” moment where he shows he can pitch effectively at the major league level. Wojciechowski did that in his long relief appearance last week, and is getting a shot tonight. I understand all of the reasons why people think he hasn’t had a chance to be effective, but at some point you have to demonstrate you can rise above adversity and pitch effectively. He hasn’t done that yet.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        Reed did that in relief earlier in the year then unfortunately bombed in his move to starter. Hopefully Wojciechowski will fare better than Reed.

      • Playtowin

        Stephenson stinks. He has proved it over and over again. Let’s move on to another young guy until a good one is found.

  5. cfd3000

    Frustrating game (though almost worth it to see Monsieur Milton) but I couldn’t disagree more about trading for another young arm. Bonilla and Adleman were never the future for this rotation. Disco, Finnegan, Bailey and even Garrett have all had success at the big league level and not one is healthy right now. From Reed, Davis, Romano and even Stevenson will emerge one or two reliable starters. From Castillo, Mahle, a couple of other young arms and the next draft or two will come one or two more. And don’t overlook Lorenzen and maybe even Wojo. It’s frustrating that patience is still needed, but there it is. This team is not close enough that risking the future for one pitcher makes much difference, but it is in position to be much better fairly soon. Wait for healthier arms. Give Davis, Reed, Stevenson and Romano a chance to pitch and learn. It’s coming. But not by trading the farm.

    • IndyRedMan

      Well if Stephenson teaches us anything…its that even highly rated prospects don’t equal production at the big boy level! The Reds have zero guys that are proven besides Disco. Jake Odorizzi is atleast as good as Disco so if they could get him or someone at that level without costing a ton then they should do it! Votto will be 34. Duvall will be 29. What is the target year now anyway?

  6. james garrett

    I agree Stephensen hasn’t done much but are we saying he doesn’t deserve more chances?Wojciechowski pitched well against the Rockies for 3 innings but gave up two hits and a walk and only got one man out in his next appearance in Philly.He came in the game with a 5 run lead in the ninth and Price had to go get him.Robert pitched 3 innings against the Giants in a blow out win and gave up a walk.Pickes up a save and was dominate yet never got a chance to start and Wojo does after one good and one not so good appearance.All I am saying is he needs to be taken aside and told that he will go in the starting rotation.Give him 12-15 starts and evaluate him during that time and lets see what happens.He then knows its all on him and if he has a stinker or does well he is being evaluated on the whole body of work not just the bad.If he gets hammered 4 or 5 games in a row then ok it ain’t working.Hammered is like last night and is not pitching 4 or 5 innings and giving up the same number of runs like Feldman,Bronson and the rest do almost every start.

  7. Chuck Schick

    Gray would make them better every 5th day.

    The cost to obtain him would make them worse the other 4 days.

  8. sultanofswaff

    At some point you have to ask if the Reds are actively harming the development of one of their best arms.

    –Stephenson doesn’t pitch for over a week and then you throw him into a bases loaded jam in a close game with little to no time to warm up.
    –After dotting the outside corner with a fastball, instead of staying there Mez calls for an inside fastball against a former MVP because THE BOOK says you have to establish your fastball. Stephenson put it right where the glove was—grand slam.
    –Same thing with Morales later. Mez called for a high fastball. Stephenson put it right where he wanted it—home run. Not saying his control was impeccable, but you can’t help but question the pitch calling.
    –Stephenson’s fastball was up and he was overthrowing his curve, OBVIOUS signs of rust.
    –This whole ‘establish the fastball’ mantra Price has been obsessing over is only applicable to a guy who gets regular work. You simply cannot expect a guy to locate when the rust is practically flaking off him. Pitch backwards if you have to, but get outs with whatever works that day.

    This has all the makings of a situation where the Reds give up on him, trade him in a ‘change of scenery’ move, and he flourishes elsewhere.

    • IndyRedMan

      What are the alternatives to dealing him?

      A. More good times with Delino Deshields! Israel and Palestine get along better.
      B. Pitching every 10 days for Price? That’s not working out so well either?

      He obviously can’t join this stellar rotation. Nothing short of nuclear fallout can disrupt the Arroyo comeback tour! If they run out of guys with a 6 era at Lville then they’ll sign someone else’s castoffs but under no circumstances can Bob Steve ever enter a game when when the bases aren’t loaded and we’re already down a ton!

  9. sultanofswaff

    I’m with you. I want big Sal in the rotation, but I’d dip into the lower minors for Herget or Rainey or Hernandez to augment the bullpen.

    • IndyRedMan

      Hernandez is 25 and they’re wasting his 100mph heaters on AA kids? He’s allowed 1 er in 13.1 with 16 Ks. I really don’t understand this organization at all? The human arm can only throw that hard for so long and its sort of hard to hit!!

  10. Tom Mitsoff

    Some comments I’ve read from posters in other threads have helped the light go on for me as to what the heck is going on (or not going on) with the starting pitching situation.

    The Reds have five pitchers on the 60-day disabled list – Bailey, DeSclafani, Finnegan, Nick Travieso and Nefi Ogando. Being on the 60-day disabled list means they are temporarily not counted on the 40-man roster. If and when they return, someone will need to be removed from the 40-man roster to make room.

    For Bailey, DeSclafani and Finnegan to return this year, three players have to come off the current 40-man roster (and be exposed to waivers). If my train of thought is correct, those three players will be Bronson Arroyo, Asher Wojchiekowski and Lisalverto Bonilla (or perhaps Jake Buchanan). Without that group being on the 40-man roster, Dick Williams will have to choose from much younger / less injury-scarred players such as Rookie Davis, Jackson Stevens or even Blake Wood.

    Some have called for a look at Austin Ross, who is pitching lights-out at Pensacola. If they bring him up, one of the afore mentioned names would have to go off the 40-man roster to make room. Then, when the injured return, Ross would likely be among those who would have to be exposed to waivers to create room on the 40-man roster.

    The move to keep these ineffective starters in play is designed to not lose a younger building block or two or three later in the year. It’s frustrating, but at least understandable in this context.

    • Chuck Schick

      Thanks, Tom.

      I can’t believe it’s just not as simple as calling up Player A and demoting Player B. Hard to believe that Dick Williams has to consider other things beyond who gives the Reds the best chance to win tonight. It was just easier to assume he was stupid

      • Playtowin

        Rushing a player to the majors before he is ready is stupid. For good reasons the Reds thought Stephenson and Bell were ready. They are not. Thank goodness that Feldman, Adleman. and Arroyo can eat up some innings. Reds have been unable to find another 2. You can say they have tried by using 11 different pitchers. Let’s remember the team is rebuilding and it is likely they won’t be seriously competitive until 2019 or 2020. It is hard to be patient but it is necessary.

  11. Scott Carter

    Well put Tom. Everything is not as easy or black and white as some fans believe. I hear people continuing to harp about this doesn’t look like a rebuild to me or complaining about one thing or another. And I have certainly been guilty of each of the above. It is hard to remember that this club is not yet ready to win although I believe it is on the cusp. The injuries to so many of our pitchers has really stalled the rebuild and stymied the front of office, when the three that were supposed to be the front of our rotation comes back there will have to be some roster decisions made. I certainly would rather DFA Arroyo than Ross, Mahle or Castillo.

  12. joshtrum

    I think I see others have the same problem I had earlier in the year. Being recently exposed to a window of good success like the reds have had, after years of futility since the early 90’s, we get frustrated when we take 4/6 from the Phillies/Indians and get close to .500 to have the floor ripped out by the Blue Jays. With all the injuries occurring in this rebuilding year, and previous explanations for why pitchers still are pitching, we just have to lick our wounds and play we’ve about reached rock bottom for the year. We’re 22-25 almost into June, how were we last year, or the year before?

  13. james garrett

    I no little about service time,40 man roster or 25 man roster or exposing players to waivers or anything about running a major league team.I just know how to ask questions and sometimes they make sense and other times they don’t.But if you add a pitcher to the rosters does that mean you have to take a pitcher off.It appears that is the logic applied here and I don’t believe that’s so.I would think that in running a major league team that a GM would have a few guys on the 40 man roster that he would describe as roster fillers.These are the players that are put on waivers to protect guys you want to protect.Guys that are older with little upside come to mind.If we can’t add a couple of guys now to the roster in fear of losing them when the injured return then Williams must be spending too much time doing other things.I don’t think he is stupid I just think we are over thinking a couple of roster moves and why they haven’t been done.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      The roster fillers in your scenario are Arroyo, Bonilla and Wojciechowski. Unfortunately, because of the devastating injuries for the second straight year, they have to do more than just fill a roster spot until Bailey, DeSclafani and Finnegan return.

      When Cingrani and Stuart Turner come back, they don’t have to take someone off the 40-man roster, because both are still on it. They’re not on the 60-day DL. They’ll have to move someone off the 25-man roster in each case, but not the 40-man (though that might be an option).

  14. bmblue

    When Cingrani gets back they should give Lorenzen another shot at starting. If he doesnt work or he gets hurt, bring him back next year in the bullpen and you know for sure. If bob steve isnt getting a chance with this rotation, he never will. And thats a shame. Maybe they aren’t giving him a shot because they want to trade him.

  15. james garrett

    Reed has 11 starts in the big leagues and Stephensen has 8.Neither has done well but do we just throw them away.Do we give Garrett his 8 or 10 and throw him away and the same for Romano and Davis and all the rest because they will not be successful every time out.Garrett was said to be star after a few starts then he got hammered a couple of times which is what happens to young pitchers.It makes no sense to say we don’t have this or that based on a few starts.Finnegan got 31 starts last year.He was close to the leader in walks and home runs.I assure you that out of the 5 guys I mentioned a couple will turn into good major league starters but at the rate we are going it will be for somebody else.This is the year we were to find out what we have and we throw them away.If we really do believe none of these guys will pan out,then why do we keep the same coaches?Isn’t their job to develop these guys.There is enough blame to go around but we haven’t given these guys a chance to fail.We look at a small sample size and say they don’t have it.Remember how Homer and Cueto started out?Guess we should have thrown them away after a few starts.