Really interesting comments by Cody Reed yesterday in Goodyear, Arizona. He sounds a little salty over the fact that he only got one start last year, but demonstrates some much-needed maturity:

As you may know, I’ve been pretty vocal about the fact that I think Reed should be in the mix for a starting spot in 2018. (We discussed it in our most recent podcast episode.) I just think it’s way too early to consign Reed to a bullpen spot. He’s only 24 years old! (Yes, he’ll be 25 soon.) And yes, he should have gotten some of Bronson Arroyo’s starts last year.

I’m pretty certain that the Reds have more information at their disposal when it comes to Reed than I have. So, I’m perfectly willing to believe that there is a legitimate reason why Reed is more likely to be successful as a relief pitcher than as a starter. But what’s clear is that Reed is intent on proving himself as a starter. He spoke to Mark Sheldon the other day, too:

During Reds Caravan late last month, manager Bryan Price took pitcher Cody Reed aside. Reed, who is primarily a starter, was told by Price he would not be included in the battle for the club’s fifth spot in the starting rotation.

Instead, Reed is in the mix for a spot in the bullpen.

“As long as I get the opportunity, that’s all I need,” Reed said Wednesday. “I need someone to take a chance and I’m really ready to fill the spot. If I do get stretched out and have a good spring, who knows? Maybe I can go back to the guy that I was when they traded for me in ’15.”

Read the whole thing. Price seemed to leave the door open for Reed to be a starter long-term.

“If he’s here in our bullpen, he should be pitching with some regularity. Or he should be starting in Triple-A,” Price said. “He needs to be pitching wherever he is and whatever role he’s in. A length guy, we did that last year for a bit and I thought he did the role fairly well. But I think we would need to get him in some higher leverage situation than long relief — with the ability to throw some length when needed.”

Price, of course, is managing for his job. I hope he doesn’t make short-term decisions — like pitching Reed in the bullpen when he should be getting work as a starter — that won’t benefit the Reds long-term. GM Dick Williams and crew will have to monitor that all season long. Or as long as Price is employed by the Reds.


Jesse Winker doesn’t want to go back to the minor leagues:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again today and I’ll probably keep repeating it all season long: If Jesse Winker is healthy and doesn’t get 500 at-bats this season, heads should roll.

Let me add this one, since I’m making grand pronouncements about the 2018 season today, and we were talking about Bryan Price’s job security above:


Reed is one of my favorites, but I like me some Amir Garrett too. Hopefully he’s ready to bounce back from a disappointing 2018. Garrett thinks he is:

I’m ready for baseball. You?

32 Responses

  1. OnBaseMachine

    Agree on everything you said. Winker should receive 600+ PAs. I’m starting to get the feeling that won’t be the case.

  2. cfd3000

    I’m hoping Reed is in the Bats rotation and pitches so well that the Reds have to give him starts if (when) someone is hurt in Cincinnati. I’m hoping Garrett is healthy and motivated and becomes a reliable starter for the Reds. I’m hoping Winker starts at least 5 days a week. And I agree about Price. The Reds manager should be managing for long term, not short term, success. Can’t wait for baseball, even exhibition games!

  3. Sliotar

    Spot on, Tom.

    The Reds surplus value in young talent that is expendable, such as it is, is tied up in the young starting pitchers. Some need to be committed to and some need to be moved on from, even if the return is modest.

    Committing to a rotation also finalizes this feeling of “I am a starter” that Lorenzen, Garrett, Reed, etc. all apparently feel. Move the non-winners and give them a shot elsewhere, rather than more “bitter” comments from disgruntled minor-leaguers/bullpen guys.

    Yes, always great that baseball is back, but there is already a circus-type feel surrounding this SP tryout thing, and Captain Bligh managing for his job (again) and running it doesn’t inspire the greatest of confidence.

    • Streamer88

      Reeds control last year was akin to Rick Wild Thing Vaughn before he got glasses.

      Bitter? Okay. But the fact that he doesn’t remember slipping in a few batting practice fastballs between a slew of walks is concerning.

      In my mind, the rotation is bailey Disco Finnegan Castillo and Mahle. With bob Steve ready when someone’s arm goes flying off into the stands the opening week.

  4. gaffer

    How did we ever think that Price was good at developing pitching? At best he seems to be good at making young pitchers afraid to pitch, but he makes up for that by letting washed up veterans pitch to 9.00 ERAs. Maybe its a millennial thing.

    • scotly50

      When phrased like that…..It was deplorable for Reed and Stephenson.

    • da bear

      Price got UNDO credit for the amazing 2012 rotation of Cueto, Latos, Arroyo, Bailey and Leake. Don’t think Price aided in the development of any of the five starters.

  5. jazzmanbbfan

    Whether he can back it up, I don’t know, but I like Garrett’s attitude.

  6. da bear

    BP skated on the 2012-2013 pitching staff reputation when he didn’t do jack but sit back and roll out the same five starters who in 2012 pitched EVERY single game but one (due to a double header). Did not develop Johnny Cueto, nor Mat Latos, nor Bronson Arroyo, nor Homer Bailey, nor Mike Leake. We fans are paying the ‘price’ for that historical success in slower than normal development times as these current youngsters are forced to figure things out for themselves while their manager complains about inability to throw strikes, and when they throw strikes for getting shelled. what does marvin lewis say….do your job? (wish ML would take his own advice, too)

  7. james garrett

    Wait are you saying that Bob and Reed may have been better options then the warm bodies?I mean these guy set records for being the worst ever in baseball.Surely you can see why Bob and Reed never started.

  8. Bill

    I don’t think Price is managing for his job. I think of him like Hamilton, BC likes them so much he will never let them go anywhere.

    • Jeff Reed

      Bryan Price has a history of having been a very good pitching coach, but when he was moved up to manager he reached his incompetence. It’s a dated sociological concept called the Peter Principle. The GM and/or the majority owner must think Price has something to prove or his contract would not have been extended. I have no stats to back up my opinion, but I think managers do make a difference.

  9. sultanofswaff

    The scourge of veteran privilege has to be eliminated on this club. In the larger context, I think baseball is waking up to the fact that veteran presence doesn’t carry much added value and the free agent market to a small degree reflects this new thinking.

    With nary a peep from the front office to the contrary, Price truly went out of his way last year to call out Reed/Stephenson/Winker/Garrett in the press. He railed about how it’s a meritocracy and that guys have to perform to keep their place on the team. He passed himself off as an expert on whether a player is major league worthy while giving playing time to veterans who were clearly not. Huge organizational credibility gap.

    To that end, pencil Hamilton in at leadoff and Finnegan into the rotation. Jesse will not start on opening day.

  10. eric3287

    This is absolutely spot on and why last year was so frustrating. The Reds had every opportunity in what was obviously going to be a bad year from a W-L stand point to at a minimum gather as much evidence as possible about the future of the starting rotation. Instead, through mismanagement of the 40 man and 25 man rosters, by both the field manager and front office, they wasted it.

    Every smart GM will tell you that you cannot make long-term decisions based on the very limited results you get from Spring Training. Yet here we are, February 19, 2018, and you Cincinnati Reds are preparing to do just that.

    And so we all get an idea of what is meant by “small spring training sample size,” Amir Garrett led all pitchers in spring training innings pitched last year with 21-1/3. Cody Reed was second with 20-1/3 and Sal Romano threw 20. That 21-1/3 spring training innings pitched by Cody Reed in 2017, by the way, was more than the total number of innings he pitched during the regular season with the Reds (17-2/3).

    So essentially the Reds are going to use 20 innings at most to choose between Romano, Stephenson, and maybe Lorenzen (ha ha).

    It’s one thing to use a good process and still make the wrong decision or have a poor outcome. What the Reds do, time and time again, is use a bad process and hope to get lucky.

  11. Scott Carter

    I hope that is $4.6 MM not $46 MM. Otherwise I think he is way over paid. LOL

  12. Scott Carter

    I am in agreement with you tweet Chad, My opinion of Price is going to be determined with where Winker and Hamilton are in the batting order on opening day.” I am hoping that Winker is in the lineup. Unfortunately I don’t think my opinion of Price as a manager is going to change. He wasted a lot of time allowing young pitchers particularly Reed and Stephenson rust away in the bullpen and wasted Winker on the bench. He would have to do an about face in his thinking to change. Don’t see that happening, unless he is forced to by the FO.

  13. Phil

    Limit Hamilton to 120 or so games. Start Billy in the bigger outfields where his defense is more valuable (Colorado, San Diego, etc) and sit him against most left-handed pitchers. Give Winker 150 starts in left or right field. Platoon Duvall and Schebler in the other corner. Rest Duvall at least one game a week and sit him against some tough right-handed starters. See what Schebler and/or Ervin look like in CF on the days that Hamilton sits.

    • carl sayre

      I would not normally look at that much platooning but the players involved and their capabilities!!!!!!!!! I think we may have found the Redlegs next GM!! I mean when you catch every nuance for each player hell I am impressed!

  14. JB

    Can everyone please stop complaining? All of the arguments against Price have been explained. The guy has made some mistakes…we get it. I’m no Price apologist and won’t make excuses for him, but there is a new season of baseball starting up with a lot of promising youngsters scheduled to play a big part. I like reading the comments here because there are a lot of knowledgeable fans. Whining about past transgressions and blaming Price for everything that has gone wrong the past few years is not enjoyable to read. So can we please stop dwelling on the past and look positively toward the future?

    • The_next_Janish

      +1 favorite site for Reds baseball, but the constant Monday morning quarterbacking is getting old. I still like the articles, but the comment section used to bring me back several times a day, not so much anymore.

      P.S. Hopefully Peraza doesn’t make us wish for the next Janish. It’s spring so I’m hoping he figures it out sooner than later, but then again it’s a defense first position.

  15. james garrett

    Last year was a wasted opportunity to find out as much as they could about who is part of the future.The same people are still here and I don’t expect anything different expect we will pitch much better barring injuries.The improvement on the mound will be more then offset by Price and his lineup construction

  16. sezwhom

    Cody Reed isn’t starting. Winkler won’t get 500 abs (unless there’s a trade or injury) and Amir is destined for the bullpen. You can “wish” all you want but as long as Price is Manager, not much will change.

  17. kmartin

    Chad you say: “Honestly, my ultimate opinion about Bryan Price will be heavily influenced by where Billy Hamilton and Jesse Winker bat in the Opening Day lineup. ”

    I just looked at the box scores from the last seven games the Reds played in 2017. Winker started only two of the seven games and Billy Hamilton hit lead off in every game he started. Unless Price had some sort of epiphany in the off season I see no reason to believe Winker is going to get a lot of at bats and that Hamilton will not hit lead off. I hope I am totally wrong.

    • Chad Dotson

      Wasn’t Winker hurt at that point? I’ve tried to forget everything about last season.

  18. bouwills

    The winker-hype on this site is a bit much. 4 of his 5 skill sets are rated below average. He has a strong hit tool, but he’s yet to have won a batting title. I wish Jesse the best this season. but he hasn’t earned a starting job-yet.

    • Jeff Reed

      I want to see Winker as a Reds regular outfielder for a full season before I’ll admit to having been too optimistic.

  19. Jeff Reed

    The last sentence of your comment sums up my nebulous feeling about the coming season.

  20. Redlegs64

    This is the crux of my frustration with the Reds. In 2017, decisions made by our MLB manager were not in-line with what was needed to develop a young team. That was abundantly clear. But we re-signed him for another year.

    We wasted precious time in 2017. We didn’t get near the sorting completed that we needed. And there seemed to be no urgency to address glaring issues.

    Now we are stuck in no-man’s land, where we expect young pitchers to compete for positions that look to be pre-determined. How is this different than 2017? I see no change in philosophy, no encouraging optimism, no willingness to take a chance on young guys.

    I hear and feel frustration starting to rise to the top. The players are stirring the pot.

  21. Jimmy

    The Reds should send a package of players including Billy to Tampa Bay for Archer…. Winker, Duvall and Schebler are the outfielders that should start.