Short Version: Matt Harvey pitched 6.1 innings and allowed no runs. The Reds scored 5 runs in the first 5 innings and tacked on a couple of more in short  order to make it a relatively easy stroll until  a dicey 8th inning. Michael Lorenzen slammed the door in the 8th; and the Reds waltzed home with the win.

Final  R H E
San Francisco Giants (61-63) 1 7 1
Cincinnati Reds (54-69) 7 11 1
W: Harvey (6-7) L: Bumgarner (4-5)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score


The Good

Matt Harvey pitched 6.1 scoreless inning allowing just 4 hits, none which happened until after he had recorded 17 outs (5.2 hitless innings).

The Reds scored 3 runs in the 4th powered by a Jose Peraza solo home run and bases loaded double by Brandon Dixon. Dixon’s double may have been a blooper but it brought home 2 runs and looks like a line drive  in the box score.

The Reds got right back at it in the 5th adding 2 more runs on a bases loaded sacrifice fly by Phillip Ervin and Giants throwing error on the same play. Jose Peraza had kicked things off again, this time with a double.  Does Peraza really lead this team with his 26 doubles? I think so!

The Reds added single runs in 6th with Dilson Herrera’s long ball and 7th on an Eugenio Suarez  single.

Michael Lorenzen came came on with the bases loaded in the 8th and no outs (see below) and extricated the Reds with only 1 Giants run allowed across.


The Not So Good

Cody Reed cleaned up a little bit of a mess left by the tiring Harvey in the 7th inning but then pitched himself into a bases loaded with 0 outs situation in the 8. In fairness to Reed, though no error was charged, Eugenio Suarez failed to complete  a play he often makes to help create the jam.


Not So Random thoughts

The right handed hitting platoon crew of Dilson Hererra, Brandon Dixon, and Phillip Ervin were in the middle of the Reds scoring.  The Giants probable starter for Sunday is listed as rookie lefty  Andrew Suarez. Will they see the field for a second consecutive day?

What’s going on with Eugenio Suarez’s fielding? He has already made more errors this year than he made all last year despite some very friendly scoring decisions such as the one tonight which went to his favor.

What to say about Matt Harvey? He is getting the job done more often than not. But why is he still with the Reds?  No waivers or no “reasonable” offers? Would you seek to sign Harvey for the Reds next year?

Sunday’s Action

Andrew Suarez (L) vs. Luis Castillo (R)

GABP 1:10pm

TV:FSOH Radio:700 WLW





70 Responses

  1. TomN

    Don’t know what it would take to resign Harvey, but I see no reason not to try. Unfortunately, the young pitchers haven’t shown themselves as solid starters though I still have hopes for Castillo and Mahle. Maybe Romano can also become more consistent. Disco and Harvey as a 1-2 is probably better than what the Brewers and maybe even the Cubs have. If Castillo captures his 2017 form, he might be the #1 anyway.

  2. Klugo

    I would seek to sign him. IMO, he would probably give us a better chance to actually contend than our young arms will. Yet. Our Young Guns, I believe, are still a yr or two away from real “contention status”.

  3. Indy Red Man

    Anyone else buying Lorenzen (and Harvey) as a starter?

    • greenmtred

      They should certainly give him an extended try. If it worked, it would partially solve their biggest problem.

  4. Indy Red Man

    Anyone else coming around on Lorenzen as a starter? Its not like the other young guys are all killing it?

    • lwblogger2

      Pluses: Good pitch mix, good stamina, throws a lot of GB, fields his position well, doesn’t hit like a pitcher

      Minuses: Velocity plays up in the pen and already doesn’t strike a lot of guys out. Walk rate too high. Lack of a put-away pitch leads to higher pitch-counts. Is the elbow still a concern?

      I don’t think there’s a huge risk in trying it, and he says he still wants to start. I’m just not so sure, looking at his peripheral numbers and watching him pitch, that he’ll be successful in the rotation. He looks like a #5 or maybe #4 starter on the higher-end of his upside. If the Reds were in a playoff race and/or very likely to compete next year, I’d say to keep him in the pen. They aren’t and they probably aren’t competing next year so it makes sense to me to perhaps try it.

      • Nick Carrington

        Good summary. I don’t think the velocity is really playing up that much. He’s thrown over 40 pitches 6 times (over 60 twice), and didn’t lose velocity. But the lack of strike outs and a put-away pitch are really concerning.

        Lorenzen has struck out plenty of people the last two years, but he’s not a starter as his current K% and BB%.

        He just started throwing his curveball again two appearances ago. That’s been his best strikeout pitch for a few years, but he had dropped it until now. If that can be a put-away pitch for him, it makes a big difference, and he might be a starter.

  5. Ted

    I would absolutely try to sign Matt Harvey. He’s better than any of the Reds young pitchers.

  6. Sliotar

    Quick comparison of schedule and game logs….it looks like Suarez has played in every game since play resumed after the All-Star break, July 20. He needs a day off. Still not sharp.

    The cynic in me wonders if Riggleman would not approach Suarez about sitting, because Jimmy is trying to avoid 90 losses and get the manager’s job full-time. And, with all the guys hurt, Suarez is one of the few power threats that plays every day.

    #FreeErvin #FreeHerrera (Heck, #FreeAquino)

    Nice to see a laugher go the Reds way. Too few and far between right now.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree Suarez needs more of a break than the single day away an off day for the team provides him.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        If Riggleman is concerned about the lack of power threat without Suarez in the lineup, would Herrera at 3B be an adequate bad (and fielder) while Suarez rested?

      • Jazzmanbbfan

        bat, not “bad”

    • Bill J

      I’m afraid Riggleman doesn’t have to worry about the manager job, he already has it, if B.C. has his way

  7. Jeff Reed

    I get the feeling something is going on with the Reds and Harvey. If they are getting offers, it could be the Reds are asking too much for him. In another rocky Reds season, Harvey has been a bit of an anchor for the starting pitching.

    • George

      “it could be the Reds are asking too much for him”

      I agree. If I am the GM of interested teams, I would balance the cost of 6 or 7 starts vs the probable cost of 2 AAA players who I would be calling up on Sept. 1. If it was me I would wait till the off season and make my efforts to get him as a free agent and still have my 2 AAA players. I think that last years free agents were shocked that GM’s didn’t open bags of money for them. The Reds could also make a try to get him at years end except that the Reds are still married to Homer (31,000,000.) The Reds FO will not just pay 31-Mill to DFA Homer. I think that if Homer is a .500 pitcher next year they will call it a wash. If Homer gets hurt in April 2019 and goes on the 60-day DL, then the insurance kicks in and they are off the hook. I wouldn’t wish anyone injury, but Homer is fragile so maybe the Reds FO is rolling the dice. Just saying .

  8. cfd3000

    My last game in person on the annual pilgrimage from Atlanta. Thoughts:

    I hate that Riggleman didn’t give Reed more slack in the 8th. The bases were loaded with a fluke hit that Suarez often handles, a seeing eye single that probably goes as an out of there isn’t a runner on first keeping Dixon close to the bag, and a walk (which is all on Reed to be fair). No hard hit balls, the Reds have a seven run lead, and if Reed can’t learn to pitch out of a little jam then, when will he ever? Riggleman should have given Reed more outs and a chance to learn.

    Hard to say live, but why didn’t Herrera score from first on the Dixon double? With two outs he should have been running on contact, and it seemed like he had plenty of time. Did that get clarified on TV? I feel like the Reds had real problems with base running in all three games I saw.

    Winning is fun. I get it. But it was even more fun to see winning with Ervin, Herrera, Reed and Lorenzen (and DeSclafani and maybe even Harvey) contributing as evidence of what may be coming next year. Let’s limit playing time for AAAA players and maximize the future. As someone said above – free Ervin, Herrera, and Aquino (and Reed too!)

    Go Reds!

    • TomN

      Completely agree. That would have been a good time to keep Reed in the game to see what he can do. Except for the walk, he hadn’t pitched bad and he’d gotten two quick outs in the previous inning. Why not give him at least one more batter. Even a GS and the Reds were still up by 3.

      Of course, it was completely predictable. I knew the walk sealed Reed’s fate.

      Really liked seeing Herrara and Ervin in the game. Would have been nice to see Aquino ph or something.

    • greenmtred

      A counter argument is that it makes sense to give Reed some protection from failing for a while. Given his history, he might need to build some confidence before he’s thrown to the wolves. I get your point, though.

  9. Ethan L

    Jim, you’re on to something. Suarez’s D hasn’t been good this year. Here are two more stats:

    2017: 5
    2018: 0

    2017: 4.4
    2018 -3.6

    I wonder what has caused this. Is he focusing more on offensive this year? Is he rest on his laurels from last year? Was last year a fluke?

    Despite the lack of defense, his wRC+ has jumped from 117 to 144. He’s closing in on last year’s WAR mark of 4.0. Perhaps the tradeoff is worth it: sacrificing some D for more O makes him slightly more valuable.

    • greenmtred

      I keep waiting for him to start paying attention and make the plays (and run out grounders). Maybe last year was a fluke, though it’s hard to imagine such a protracted fluke, particularly because it couldn’t have happened if he didn’t have the skill. The tradeoff may well be worth it, but it also may be that it would make sense for him to try the outfield if he doesn’t right the ship at third.

  10. sezwhom

    Just a suggestion for you analytical nuts; look up for your computer and watch the game. Harvey’s a joy to watch. Another strong outing. Legit #1 or 2 starter. Nobody close except Disco. Sign this man.

    • Sliotar

      At the risk of being called a “Super Nerd” (thanks, Jayson Werth) I will do what I do a lot in running my own business….look up data and see if something is there to help make (hopefully) smarter decisions..

      Let’s see….

      1) Harvey has thrown 7 IP in his last 2 starts. SF and Ariz, both at home.

      Article Saturday from popular Giants blog…..

      How bad are the Giants and DBacks on the road this year?

      Ariz – 90 (10% less than league average) 19th
      SF – 78 27th

      SF – 24,3% (7th worst)
      Ariz – 24.0% (9th worst)

      2) So, maybe Harvey’s last 2 starts have been inflated by crappy road teams? Possibly?

      How did he do in previous 3 starts, post All-Star break, before SF and Ariz?

      PIT – 3.2 IP, 8 ER, 4 HR
      PHI – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 HR
      @WSH – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 1 HR

      3) Matt Harvey turns 30 early in the 2019 season, The Yankees stated publicly they would not bring Harvey back to NY under any circumstances, and they were starving for SP.

      • Sliotar

        It is second nature to me to use data….quoting the wrong prices is the difference between me making a nice living and going broke.

        But, I am just a guy who has a $50 subscription to FanGraphs for data, loves the Reds and is interested in how all MLB clubs build their teams and why some are really good at it…and some are…not so good.

        The Reds better have 10x smarter nerds and 10x more data in their analytics department.

        The days of Skip Schumaker “grit” as a determining factor in player value is gone forever.

        If the Reds superior data and superior analytics brains determine Matt Harvey deserves #1 or #2 SP free agent money….yikes.

      • Streamer88

        Stats are very important, no doubt. But I think you’re looking at the wrong ones. Track down the stats on former aces who have TJS, then thoracic outlet, then get their fastball velocity back, and begin start getting command back…. that’s right – there are no stats in this category!

        We all discuss stats on this blog in a category I’d loosely call microeconomics. However, you cannot forget the macro side. Matt Harvey is a rare spice, say cinnamon. Is he worth 4/45 to the Indians, Dodgers, Cubs, etc? No – they have plenty of cinnamon. Too much cinnamon. The Reds have zero cinnamon. None. So they’ll set sail, take boats half way across the world, to bring home a small amount of a spice that will instantly become a commodity to them, while it simultaneously sits freely available in SE Asia (metaphorically).

        Harvey is worth signing. I’ve been saying this for 3.5 months. Micro stats have nothing for this situation which makes it a gamble but the macro outlook tells us we are in dire need of cinnamon.

      • lwblogger2

        There is no way the Reds should be signing Harvey to a 4-year deal in the off-season. It isn’t that he can’t pitch because it’s clear that he can. It’s also starting to look like he can be a pitcher who may be counted on as at least a #3 guy who could maybe get close to the pitcher he was before injuries.

        I don’t see him getting a big deal this off-season. I think he’s going to get a 1-year deal with an option or maybe a 2-year deal. I think the AAV will be in the $12-million range. That’s a 100% guess though. I think teams will want him to show he’s healthy before gambling on a long-term deal for him.

      • roger garrett

        Its good conversation but I really believe Harvey will go to the highest bidder or take a one year deal to prove his worth.He won’t be a Red.Somebody more then likely will over pay for him and I hope its not us.

      • big5ed

        Maybe, but mitigating against that fact is that GABP is a hitter’s ballpark. If Harvey can pitch well in GABP, then he likely is progressing. Arizona plays in very dry conditions in a hitter’s park, and the Giants play in a very pitching-friendly park. It stands to reason that they wouldn’t be as good on the road. But their offenses at least ought to be better at GABP than they would in Petco Park or Citifield, or in night games at Dodger Stadium.

        Numbers don’t lie – ask Homer Bailey – but they don’t tell the complete story, either. Chris Welch after the game mentioned how Harvey had told him that the feeling in his fingers had returned after thoracic outlet surgery. Data generated for a pitcher who can’t feel the ball doesn’t tell us much about the same pitcher who has recovered from that problem. It is similar to a racehorse who’s had some poor races due to an entrapped epiglottis, an occlusion of the air passage in the throat. If the problem can be surgically repaired, then the horse’s poor performances can be excused in projecting what he can do now.

        In other words, if you don’t know the non-numerical back-story, then the data doesn’t tell you all that much.

        Reasonable people can differ on how well Harvey can be expected to perform going forward. I am neutral on him, but if I were management, I would want to understand what Danny Darwin’s opinion on Harvey is, because Darwin is in position to understand the non-numerical factors. The Reds will have an advantage in evaluating Harvey because they have seen him up close for 3-4 months, so we will see how that plays out.

        Danny Darwin, for what it’s worth, is my runaway pick for Employee of the Year for the Reds this season.

      • Old-school

        You made the comment the other day Disco had the same no- nonsense mound presence of Kluber. I would add Harvey and Lorenzen to that poised maturity on the mound at least last night. The Reds need more professional pitchers executing pitches that are well located and move.

        The reds did well with Josh Hamilton and Brandon phillips- both players deemed lost causes. No one is giving Harvey a break the bank contract , particularly with the # of elite players in FA. The Reds will be in the mix .

        Castillo has the poise and the stuff, he just can’t locate or execute at critical times. He’s close.

        Mahle has the poise and the fastball, but not the depth of stuff. Romano same.Jury is still out.

        Stephenson has the stuff but not the poise or mental make up.Reed strikes me as a Cingrani flame out.

        Only 6 weeks left.

      • big5ed

        I thought the same thing about Lorenzen last night. He looks much more relaxed and confident than he did a year ago. And he was still touching 97.

      • greenmtred

        The data doesn’t (can’t) reflect that Harvey, coming off two surgeries and extended time away from pitching, is clearly a work in progress. Is it possible that the Yankees don’t want him due to his famously inappropriate off-field behavior? I wouldn’t go so far as to annoint him a 1 or 2 starter on the strength of what we’ve seen so far (though he could become one again), but he clearly knows how to pitch and has mound presence–qualities understandably lacking in much of the rotation. The Reds, we universally agree, need more starting pitching, and Harvey is no older than many of the FA they might sign. Maybe he isn’t signable, maybe he is. Maybe he doesn’t continue to improve, but any pitcher the Reds acquire is a risk.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Comments like this are divisive and serve no real purpose other than baiting or trolling. What if someone commented something of the effect of: Hey old school cro-mags, take a look up from your spittoon and learn something about math and probabilities?

      And for the record, I watch just about every game I can, and Harvey is no better than a #4/5 starting pitcher at this point. The Reds would be short-sighted and foolish in my opinion to sign him long term.

      • greenmtred

        Gotta be careful about looking up from that spittoon!! You might miss and the old lady would ream you out good and proper. I didn’t think that the comment was hostile (exasperated, maybe). I took it that Sezwhom was reflecting that numbers don’t always tell the entire story. Neither does the eye test, of course.

      • Hotto4Votto

        It’s the attitude that feels polarizing. Calling people analytical “nuts”, and assuming that they don’t look up from their computers and actually watch the game doesn’t serve a purpose other than to get a response. Not necessarily hostile (your words not mine), but certainly not helpful in promoting productive discussion.

        Numbers don’t tell the whole story. I don’t think analytical supporters actually think that, though that is the perception of some. I love numbers though because they usually tell me where to look for things that will help fill out the whole picture.

    • MrRed

      Sez Whom? Some people can walk and chew gum at the same time.

    • Scott C

      I am an old guy who has watched the game for over 50 years. I do not understand all the analytic systems or how they are derived, but there is no sense in being derisive to those who do. Common sense tells us that we need to listen to them (so what if most of them weren’t born until after the BRM). The best teams in baseball have been built on analytics. If you don’t change, you get left behind. The title bit of glory that Harvey (and Scooter) are providing right now are not what should grant them contracts or extensions. If they are given those, then we are probably looking at two or more years of rebuilding. I am hoping the someone in the Reds FO is looking at the computer data.

    • lwblogger2

      He was a legit #1 or #2 a while ago but don’t you think if was a legit 1 or 2 right now someone would have been willing to give up a prospect for him that met the Reds minimum asking price?

  11. Jreis

    I would like the reds to give Suarez some time at first base. This may be the solution when India Arrives to the bigs. Especially if Vottos production declines

  12. Dave Roemerman

    I agree with Klugo. If we can get Harvey for 12 million or so and 3 years (doubtful but hey) I’d feel pretty good about heading into a season with Disco, him, Castillo, good Bailey (who knows?!) and two others based on what they show. We’ve got a list of candidates to review. That said, I doubt he comes back, unfortunately.

  13. Jim t

    Peraza is just two home runs away from matching our 25 million dollar man. He leads him in doubles, stolen bases, has struck out less, is not far behind him in RBI,s and has a higher BA. Votto leads him in OBP by a wide margin and has drawn more walks. Isn’t anyone just a tad concerned about his regression and how it will effect the rebuild. His fielding has also been terrible and for a guy who’s greatest strength is OBP it takes 3 singles to score him from first base most of the time.

    • Bill

      Not really concerned overall, the lack of power is puzzling this year and if it continues will not be good. I expect him to be more of 20 HR guy moving forward not the 30+ last year or the 10 he is on pace for this year. If you expected Votto to have more stolen bases than Perazza I think you have Votto confused with Hamilton. We all know a decline would eventually come, I think this year there is something more going on than age related decline . Even if he gets on base at over .400 with singles and walks put him at the top of the order and let Suarez, Gennett, Schebler collect RBIs. Votto is still valuable, he might not produce $25 million worth of production into his late 30s bit overall he has earned the money. That is just how long term contracts to super stars work. Unless the Reds were willing to pay $35 million a year in the beginning the last year’s by themselves were always going to look bad to the casual observer

      • Jim t

        Not confusing him with Hamilton at all just comparing his performance and contributions to Peraza. He has earned his money.?????. The question is will he earn his money going forward. My opinion is he will not. Joey is becoming a sunk cost. I hope I’m wrong because we need him to perform better then just getting on base.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Joey Votto has already been worth the entirety of his contract with the Reds if you look at the monetary value amount of 1 WAR/ year.

        According to Fangraphs the value of 1 WAR for the seasons Votto has played under the extension are: 2014 – $7.7m, 2015 – $9.6m, 2016 – 10.2m, 2017 – $10.5m, 2018 – $11.1 (estimated). Votto put up 1.9 bWAR, 7.7 bWAR, 4.0 bWAR, 7.5 bWAR, and 2.9 bWAR (so far) in those seasons. In total Votto’s contribution up to this point would equal out to over $240m. The entirety of his contract was $225m. Even if he doesn’t play another game he’s at a $15m surplus already.

        Even if Joey only really hits for doubles power for the next few years, his BA and OBP should make him roughly a 2.5-3 WAR player, which will still be mean the Reds are getting value from him, even if only marginally.

      • Jim t

        Hotto I Love your passion but I’m sorry I can not accept this at all. We need Joey to produce at a rate that is acceptable going forward. Was really hoping to not see this kind of decline in production until his 37 year old season not 34. We need Joey’s production desperately. The real hit to the team is his 25 mil dollar hit to the operating budget going forward not what he may have earned in the past.

      • Hotto4Votto

        What can you not accept? The fact that all players age and decline. Typically that production takes a huge hit for position players around age 34-35. Even to future Hall of Famers. Can you not accept the fact that Votto has already been worth his contract? When he signed a contract extension that was going to take him up to 40 years old, it was known at the time that the back end of the contract would be paying Votto for the production he’d already produced. That was the cost of keeping an MVP candidate in Cincinnati long term. Almost all long extensions for players entering their 30’s are going to look like this (which is again why I’m against extensions for Scooter, Harvey, and was against is for Cozart). Phillips contract was an albatross at the end.

        I guess what I’m saying is, over the next few seasons Votto should provide enough production, even with a lack of power, to be worth his contract. He may fall short of that the last couple seasons. It is what it is, the $25 hit is about 20% of what the Reds salary commitment should be when they’re serious about competing. That’s fine when you have Suarez and Barnhart locked up to team friendly deals, and Bailey coming off the books after next season. Arbitration and rookie salaries will keep the rest of the commitments in check.

      • da bear

        Baseball is a team sport. To reduce the value of a player down to a single output such as WAR for comparison’s sake is simplistic and the opposite of being analytical. The value of an OBP machine like Votto is partially dependent upon having players hitting behind driving him home. If you get on base but don’t score, what’s the point?

        A small revenue team cannot afford to pay the same amount of $ for the same output that a large revenue team can. Reduce those FanGraphs numbers by a large percentage to normalize for budget considerations.

        Votto’s $25MM/yr could have been spent far more wisely to translate to wins over the past four years on better pitching.

        Suarez is far more valuable this year to the team at almost half the cost of Votto. To compete with the Cubs under smart management (Theo Epstein) the Reds need more Suarez contracts than Votto contracts to have any chance at all of competing while the Reds still have Votto.

      • Bill

        If you base his pay on one year, it greatly changes the perception. Even this year with his 2.9 WAR he is worth over $20 million if you take the estimates of $7-8 million a year for WAR. You have to include the entire body of work, for example the 7 WAR years which were a bargain at $20 million or less. If players need to “earn” the salary in year 10 of a contract you would have to pay more for the prime years. That is not how contracts are written, they balance the total over the number of years. With slight increases to account for inflation going forward. The Reds are still paying Griffey Jr and Arroyo. Are those two earning their salary?

        Why would you ever compare SB totals between Peraza and Votto? Votto has never been a speed player and I’m sure Peraza has more stolen bases than every single 1B, C, and 3B in the league. The number of doubles is a legitimate complaint vs Votto, stolen bases is not.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Bill, Fangraphs estimated this year’s WAR to be worth $11.1 million, FWIW. It hasn’t been worth $7-8 million since 2014 according to their calculations.

      • Bill

        I was just using conservative numbers to make a point that even using those from the time of his extension, he is providing value

      • da bear

        If you guys think the Reds should pay Yankee prices for MLB production you’d run this baseball team into Chapter 7 or Chapter 11.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Votto: wRC+ 132, fWAR 2.8, .842 OPS, 129 OPS+, 2.9 bWAR
      Peraza: wRC+ 96, fWAR 1.9, .735 OPS, 97 OPS+, 1.8 bWAR

      Those are the production numbers to pay attention to. Not counting numbers and certainly not stolen bases for a guy who’s never been a base stealing threat.

      And yes by percentages Peraza has struck out less. Peraza’s game is high-contact oriented so that makes sense that he doesn’t K much. Comparatively Votto has a BB/K rate of 1.12 while Peraza has a BB/K rate of .5

  14. roger garrett

    I actually think Joey’s regression is real but in the 2 hole it won’t matter much.His days of power are gone but I never considered him a power guy or an RBI guy.He is an on base guy that puts that first and foremost.He does not expand the zone nor swing for the fences or strike out much.Power guys and RBI guys do that.His fielding is a concern because he wants to play first and second and his running has been bad since he got hurt a few years ago.

    • Jim t

      It won’t matter??? He is making 25 mil dollars a year. That is a huge chunk of your operating budget. Prior to this year he was driving in a 100 runs and hitting 30 hrs. In our park it is huge we get some power numbers out of our 1st basemen. What made him a 25 mil dollar player was not his ability to draw walks alone. His overall game is taking a nose dive. I can’t be the only person seeing this.

      • Bill

        Everyone sees the decline in power numbers, you are just the only one trying to correlate HR and RBI totals to the salary in one particular year of a ten year contract

      • da bear

        Jim T is not the only Reds fan to think the Reds could have done just as well if not better than losing 90+ games a season spending the $25MM per year in a different manner than on a first baseman who’s value was bound to severely decline as he advances in age to the point where no amount of choking up on the bat will combat slowing reflexes not to mention space cadet errors in the field and on the basepaths.

  15. Bill

    I have nothing against Harvey, but he seems like the perfect candidate for the front office to overpay for. If he is signed for something reasonable compared to his peers I have no problem with it. If he is paid a premium due to familiarity and because someone really wants veteran leadership on the staff it could be a bad move. That is the role that Bailey is supposed to be filling and it hasn’t worked out well. If Bailey stayed healthy maybe results would have been different, but signing another veteran with an injury history to a high dollar long term contract worries me

    • Jim t

      Really can’t see them paying a guy with Harvey’s injury history enough in dollars or years nearly enough to keep him. They owe Bailey 31 mil next year and with Votto’s numbers heading south with a 25 mil price tag I would not remotely be considering Harvey a option. Next year the have committed 56 mil dollars of their payroll to two aging declining players. I understand there was chatter about raising the payroll but I’ll believe it when I see it.

      • greenmtred

        They need to add starting pitchers, though, and they’ll have to pay them. The point is that Harvey is worth consideration as one of them. They shouldn’t overpay him, nor should they overpay whomever they sign or trade for.

      • Bob Purkey

        Maybe I am missing something. . .Why is Bailey due $31MM next year? I thought $25 for ’19 and ’20 was a mutually agreeable contract which the Reds obviously won’t pick up.

      • lwblogger2

        Since nobody answered you, I will. It isn’t $31-million though, it is $28-million. It breaks down like this:

        2019 – $23-million
        2020 – Team option $25-million (buyout amount $5-million)

        So, the Reds need to pay him at least the $23-mil and the $5-mil buyout.

  16. old-school

    Lots of comments re: Votto in decline. Yes, he’s becoming Mark Grace- but Grace was still pretty good at 37/38. The issue is how to get some performance the last 2 years of his contract and keep him healthy in 2019.20. Lots of comments on Suarez’ defensive performance at 3b. Cossack has been beating the drum that Suarez’s great 2017 defense was the outlier, not the other way around. So what to do?

    The DH is likely coming to the NL in 2021. The Reds played 10 road games this year at AL parks with the DH. Joey Votto plays 140 games at 1b the next 2 years- resting 10 completely and DH 10 more in the AL parks. Eugenio Suarez plays 20 games at 1b the next 2 years and is the backup first baseman. Doug Gray says if you can play on the dirt, you stay on the dirt. Nick Senzel needs to stay in the infield.

    Transition Votto to a DH role in 2021 with 20 games of rest in 2019/20.
    Make Suarez the back up 1b playing 20 games a year at 1b and transitioning full time in 2021.
    Keep Senzel in the infield as the long term 3b.

    • Jim t

      Old school Mark grace wasn’t making 25 mil in his 37.38 season.

      • Bill

        You can’t compare salaries from $20 years ago without accounting for inflation and increases in player salaries

      • da bear

        Salaries inflated far more for big market teams like the Yankees Dodgers and Red Sox than they have for the small revenue teams like Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Oakland. Cincinnati allowed salaries to rise faster than normal with the success of the 2010-2013 teams….2014 thru 2018 has been a period of holding the line when they should have been drastically reducing salaries and getting younger when the decision was made to jettison the Cueto core and any hope of contending.

      • Old-school

        Grace from 35-37 years was 3.3 and 3 and 2.6 War. JV is better. Being proactive with rest and hopefully a DH transition can keep him productive and give value if 1war= 8-9 million on the open market. I can’t offer anything positive for his 2022/23 years other than the hope of being only a DH.

        That’s the Reds rebuild fail though. Wasting 7 WAR seasons on 90 loss teams over and over. They couldn’t align their winning window and rebuild with
        multiple JV MVP caliber years after 2013.

    • lwblogger2

      That actually makes quite a lot of sense once Senzel is ready. May be tricky for 2019 as they’d want Suarez to work out some at 1B as part of his off-season routine and play some 1B during spring training next year. I imagine he’d be a very good 1B.

      That said, I still think he’s a pretty good 3B. 2017 appears to be the outlier but defensive metrics are iffy and even a full-season’s sample isn’t enough. If you look at the full 3 years of his work at 3B, you’d see a below average 3B by metrics. I think that over-weighs his inaugural season at 3B as he was basically learning a new position. I see a guy making too many mistakes at 3B but who clearly has the range and arm to be above-average there. He needs to reduce mistakes. If he does that, he’s an above-average 3B again. In he didn’t have the tools, then I’d be for moving him to 1B right now but he has the tools.

      Not happy about the DH coming to the NL but you’re very likely right that it will happen as part of the next CBA.

  17. docproctor

    Matt Harvey now has 6 wins for a last-place team he joined in May.
    The Reds are 10-7 in his 17 starts (7-3 since June 21).
    He’s had 10 starts in which he’s allowed 2 or fewer earned runs.
    Beats the hell out of most of the guys we’ve thrown out there.
    Would love to see us make him a reasonable offer. He probably won’t take it, but make a bid

    • Jim t

      Doc not interested in a guy with his injury history with what we have in sunk and declining contracts already on the books. Considering how attendance has gone this year and what we currently look like going forward I really can’t see it happening. The reds will also be competing with another professional team in town for fan support. I really think the reds will keep trying to develop the prospects and invest more in team controlled players.

  18. big5ed

    My concern is that Votto is becoming Dave Magadan, who in his age 34 season slashed .303/.414/.391, as opposed to Votto’s .284/.422/.419.

    Votto’s numbers this year look a lot like those of his injury season in 2014, when he slashed .255/.390/.409. His BABIP that year was a career-low .299, and is at .334 this year, and that may account for a lot of difference in the numbers. The low 2014 BABIP, though, may simply reflect his injury that year.

    And aside from his knee, Votto may have an injury that we don’t know about.

  19. Joel

    I don’t see how figuring out what to do with Matt Harvey is so hard. Think about it in two different ways: 1) if you were a contender in need of some pitching help, would you be looking at Harvey as a solution to your problems? He’s had some nice games but a good number of duds too this year, and he’s basically a 1.0 WAR guy. Not awful, but that doesn’t exactly inspire an urgent need to get him on your team. 2) Do the Reds need to be worried about him entering FA this year? The market doesn’t seem to suggest there is great interest in Harvey, so the Reds can probably sign him to a relatively team friendly deal. Let’s say instead that the Reds are asking too much for Harvey. That suggests that they may lose Harvey in FA to a team that’s willing to pay more than the Reds are willing to but less than what the Reds are asking in return. But that would be quite the odd case of over-valuing a player you have but not being willing to actually pay that value. This leaves the more likely scenario of a team taking Harvey in FA by overpaying for him. That would not be such a terrible loss: one of your competitors overspends while you keep powder dry to potentially pick up a FA pitcher who actually get the Reds closer to playoff contention.